The Epic of Gilgamesh

How or why environments matter, how they are related in profound ways to identity

how does Gilgamesh shape, is shaped by, interacts with, or reacts against his environment

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Gilgamesh wishes to desecrate the Cedar Forest in order to build his temple. Bur first, he must first defeat the guardian of the forest, Humbaba. They stood in awe of the beauty of Humbaba's environment.

"Together they went down into the forest and they came to the green mountain. There they stood still, they were struck dumb; the stood still and gazed at the forest. They saw the height of the cedar, they saw the way into the forest and the track where Humbaba was used to walk. The way was broad and the going good. They gazed at the mountain of cedars, the dwelling-place of the gods and the throne of Ishtar. The hugeness of the cedar rose in front of the mountain, its shade was beautiful, full of comfort; mountain and glade were green with brushwood."

Gilgamesh and Enkidu have angered the god Enlil by killing Humbaba. He curses them with fire.

"They [Gilgamesh and Enkidu] set Humbaba before the gods, before Enlil; they kissed the ground and dropped the shroud and set the head before him. When he saw the head of Humbaba, Enlil raged at them. ‘Why did you do this thing? From henceforth may the fire be on your faces, may it eat the bread that you eat, may it drink where you drink.’ Then Enlil took again the blaze and the seven splendors that had been Humbaba’s: he gave the first to the river, and he gave to the lion, to the stone of execration, to the mountain and to the dreaded daughter of the Queen of Hell."

Enlil was the god of earth, wind, and the universal air - or spirit.


The Epic of Gilgamesh