Concepts and names in the Epic of Gilgamesh

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Concepts and names in the Epic of Gilgamesh is an article on the subject of conceptual factors and names from within the ancient text the Epic of Gilgamesh.


One key concept is Allegory, and another is thought to be the concept of Euhemerism. In the context of the manner to which the text might be interpreted, the concept of aitiology i.e. etiology is particularly relevant.[1][2]

Additionally the story of Gilgamesh is thought an example of an individual experience of rite de passage, according to one source. (ref. - p. 9).[3]


The individual entries below number eighty nine in total, although some entries might represent a duplication of the same god, person or thing under a different name. Additionally there may be more names present in any rendering of the work, not currently present in those shown in this article.

  • (Prologue) thirteen names are introduced into the prologue of the story.
  • Tablet 1 - seven names in tablet one
  • Tablet 2 - one name (Ninsun) in tablet 2
  • Tablet 3 - six names in tablet three
  • there are no new names introduced into the text within Tablet 4.
  • Tablet 5 - fourteen names in tablet five
  • Tablet 6 - eight names
  • Tablet 7 - seven names
  • Tablet 8 - four names
  • Tablet 9 - six names
  • Tablet 10 - thirteen names
  • Tablet 11 - nine names

The names below are shown in the order to which they appear to the reader from the beginning to finish of the text.

All primary factual information (names) shown here were taken from the source Robert K. G. Temple, published by Rider 1991,[4] unless otherwise indicated.


  • Uruk (city) - is the first primary city in history, settlement begun around 5300 B.C., located by the Euphrates river (see below : Tablet 5).[5][6]
  • Eanna (temple) - was located within the boundaries of Uruk.[7]
  • An (is a sky god in the Prologue, Sky Father, and is described as God of Firmament within Tablet 1)
  • Inanna (Goddess of Love and Battle)
  • the Seven sages
  • Gilgamesh (hero)
  • Lugalbanda (parent of Gilgamesh, is additionally described as the Pure within Tablet 6)
  • the revered Cow (parent to Gilgamesh)
  • Rimat-Ninsun (woman)
  • Ziusudra
  • Aruru (the Great Goddess)
  • Shamash (the Sun)
  • Adad (the Storm)

Tablet 1

  • Enkidu (is stated to be of the Steppes within Tablet 2, and that he is the son of a fish within Tablet 5)
  • Ninurta (the God of War, and hunting - Tablet 11)
  • Nisaba (goddess, corn)
  • Samugan (god, cattle)
  • hierodule
  • Enlil (son of An)
  • Enki (son of An, God, is stated to be the son of Enlil within Tablet 7)

Tablet 2

  • Ninsun (the Wise, the Great Queen)

Tablet 3

Tablet 5

Tablet 6

Tablet 7

Tablet 8

  • Enkidu (mother of Gilgamesh, gazelle)
  • various animals - bear, hyena, panther, tiger, stag, leopard, lion, ox, deer, ibex
  • River Ulla
  • Eridu
  • various materials - copper, gold, lapis lazuli, red ochre, gaz-stones, jasper
  • Babylon

Tablet 9

Tablet 10

Tablet 11

See also

Will to power


  1. Duke University & W Johnson - Study Guide: Key Names, Concepts, Episodes [Retrieved 2015-05-18]
  2. Aitiology > aetiology > etiology The Free Dictionary [Retrieved 2015-05-18]
  3. D.P. Jackson. The Epic of Gilgamesh (p.9). Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 1 Jan 1997 ISBN 0865163529 (illustrated, revised 1992 ed., 100 pages). Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  4. Robert Temple. Epic of Gilgamesh. Rider, an imprint of Random Century Group Ltd, 1991. Retrieved 2015-05-16.  from California University
  5. M Liverani, Z Bahrani, M Van de Mieroop - Uruk: The First City Equinox, 2006 ISBN 1845531930 [Retrieved 2015-05-17]
  6. B. Stanley - Cities of the Middle East and North Africa: A Historical Encyclopedia ABC-CLIO, 2007 ISBN 1576079198 (439 pages) [Retrieved 2015-05-17]
  7. R.H. Sack - Images of Nebuchadnezzar: The Emergence of a Legend (p.90) Susquehanna University Press, 2004 ISBN 1575910799 (illustrated, revised, 175 pages) [Retrieved 2015-05-17]
  8. J Harris. The Epic of Gilgamesh: A Prose Rendition Based upon the Original Akkadian, Babylonian, Hittite and Sumerian Tablets (p.47). Writers Club Press, an Imprint of iUniverse 29 May 2001. Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
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