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By Katherine Callen King

Historic Epic bargains a accomplished and obtainable creation to 6 of the best old epics – Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Vergil's Aeneid, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and Apollonius of Rhodes' Agonautica.Provides an available advent to the traditional epicOffers interpretive analyses of poems inside of a finished ancient contextIncludes a close timeline, feedback for extra readings, and an appendix of the Olympian gods and their Akkadian opposite numbers

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Extra info for Ancient Epic (Blackwell Introductions to the Classical World)

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233–245). Jack M. Sasson has edited the multivolume Civilizations of the Ancient Near East (Peabody MA, 2001), which includes essays on the art, economics, history, literature, and religion of Sumer, Akkad, and Babylon. Modern Adaptations: Joan London has written an award-winning novel whose Australian heroine is inspired by stories of Gilgamesh: Gilgamesh, A Novel (London, 2001; New York, 2003). Philip Roth uses the epic hero (one of his protagonists is a baseball player named Gil Gamesh) to satirize McCarthyite cold-war America in the 1950’s–60’s in The Great American Novel (New York, 1973).

Sasson (“Comparative Observations on the Near Eastern Epic Traditions,” pp. 215–232), and Scott B. Noegel (“Mesopotamian Epic,” pp. 233–245). Jack M. Sasson has edited the multivolume Civilizations of the Ancient Near East (Peabody MA, 2001), which includes essays on the art, economics, history, literature, and religion of Sumer, Akkad, and Babylon. Modern Adaptations: Joan London has written an award-winning novel whose Australian heroine is inspired by stories of Gilgamesh: Gilgamesh, A Novel (London, 2001; New York, 2003).

Gilgamesh continues his violent response to the challenges of nature in the next episode, in which he rejects the goddess of procreation and kills the Bull of Heaven she sends in retaliation. Ishtar, Queen of Heaven, is the goddess of life and death, of natural cycles. One of the ancient ways for a community to gain control over nature was for the king to celebrate a Sacred Marriage with Ishtar in her holy temple. Ishtar, filled with the king’s seed, would ensure overflowing fields and barns. As many myths about Ishtar and her consorts indicate, however, there was danger involved for the king, who, if asked, would have to surrender his life force completely to the goddess, losing his identity as individual actor in the human world, and undergoing the equivalent of death.

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