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Behind Penn: Old Babylonian Introductions To The Huwawa Narrative And To The Epic

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Chapter Summary

The original introduction to the Akkadian Huwawa narrative offered a simpler sequence leading up to the meeting of Enkidu and Gilgamesh than that detailed in the epic, as represented in part by the Penn tablet. In order to reconstruct the original introduction to the Huwawa narrative, one must work backward from the details of the Old Babylonian Huwawa material, without assuming the contents of Penn or of the SB epic. Based on the reference to Enkidu's fame as a guardian among herdsmen, it appears that in the Huwawa narrative, Gilgamesh knew Enkidu by name before his arrival in Uruk. The fact that Shamkat's proposal to take Enkidu to Uruk is not actually realized in the OB epic prompts the reader to identify it as a remnant of the Akkadian Huwawa narrative. Both the Yale and the Schøyen-2 sections present Enkidu as grieving and needy, with Gilgamesh offering confident consolation.

Keywords: Akkadian Huwawa narrative; Enkidu; Gilgamesh; Old Babylonian introduction; Penn tablet; SB epic; Schøyen; Shamkat; Uruk; Yale tablet



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