Lecture: Mark Weeden - The Epic of Gilgamesh as a Written Poetic Text

The Summer Program Ancient Languages of Anatolia is pleased to invite you to a lecture by Dr. Mark Weeden

Much attention has been paid in the last 30 years to alleged cases of connections between the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh and the Greek Homeric Epics, even to the point where it is suggested that episodes in Homer are directly or indirectly referring to episodes from Gilgamesh as a form of intertextual association. Frequently the assumption is made that oral versions of Gilgamesh must have formed the intermediary between the two, with various ideas being proposed for the carriers of this oral poetry: Phoenician travellers or Iron Age royal courts in Anatolia, for example. In this lecture the attempt will be made to demonstrate a facet of the Epic of Gilgamesh that is left out of these accounts. Notwithstanding certain undoubtedly oral elements of poetic composition, the Epic of Gilgamesh is the product of a literate scribal environment and a written tradition. While this view does not disprove the oral transmission hypothesis (which is unverifiable), it complicates the picture considerably and should warn us to pay close attention to the concrete contexts in which works of literature arise, rather than comparing their content in the abstract.

Mark Weeden is a Senior Lecturer in Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the Department of History, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

Date : 10 August 2018, Friday
Time : 17:00
Place : ANAMED, -1st Floor


The  lecture will be in English.