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Enkidu's First Steppe: Competing Portraits Of Enkidu In Yale And Penn

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Chapter Summary

The starting point of analysis of this chapter is the character of Enkidu, which is presented in sharply different terms in the Penn and Yale tablets. Although the two texts were copied as part of one Gilgamesh series, they offer mutually exclusive accounts of Enkidu's origins and associations. The competing portraits of Enkidu in Penn and Yale are most striking in references to his origin in the steppe. In particular, the Yale text places Enkidu with būlum, livestock kept by human herders. In the Huwawa narrative as a whole, Enkidu represents the best of herdsmen, those who inhabit the dangerous back country far from city centers. Both Akkadian Huwawa narrative and the Old Babylonian epic would have been created in the first centuries after the fall of Ur III Sumer.

Keywords: Akkadian Huwawa narrative; būlum; Enkidu's origin; Gilgamesh; Old Babylonian epic; Penn tablet; steppe; Ur III Sumer; Yale tablet

10.1163/ej.9789004178489.i-228.12
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004178489.i-228.12
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