Gilgamesh

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Who is Ishtar? Mesopotamian goddess – West Asian religion

By |2018-04-15T12:09:53+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

The Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar or Inanna Ishtar (also called Inanna) was an important goddess of West Asia. Beginning at least by 3000 BC she was worshipped by the Sumerians, and by the Akkadians, and theBabylonians, and the Assyrians. Like most other female goddesses, Ishtar was a fertility goddess, but Ishtar was fiercer and more powerful than the Greek goddesses like Athena or Aphrodite. According [...]

West Asian people – families, schools, slavery

By |2018-04-13T01:45:11+00:00September 15th, 2017|People, West Asia|

West Asian people: Ur-Nanshe, the king's chief musician in Mari, 2400s BC Oppression of women What we notice most about the way people lived in West Asia is the widespread oppression of women. As compared to their neighbors in Sudan, Egypt, Central Asia, the Roman Empire, or even India, West Asian women were [...]

Shepherd story – Epic of Gilgamesh – Mesopotamia

By |2018-04-15T12:12:56+00:00September 15th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Shepherd on a cylinder seal (Berlin Museum) When the Sumerian king Gilgamesh refused to fall in love with the goddess Ishtar, he gave her a lot of reasons why not, and he was pretty nasty about it. One of the reasons Gilgamesh gave Ishtar was that she treated all her lovers badly. For example, once she [...]

Epic of Gilgamesh – Mesopotamian writing

By |2018-04-13T01:43:06+00:00September 15th, 2017|Literature, West Asia|

Epic of Gilgamesh: Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu fight the monster Humbaba, on an Assyrian cylinder seal from the 600s BC The real king Gilgamesh The Epic of Gilgamesh is a story about a Sumerian king (Gilgamesh) who seems to have lived around 2500 BC, in Mesopotamia. Story-tellers probably began telling this story not long after he [...]

Early Dynastic Mesopotamia – West Asian history

By |2018-04-25T23:42:17+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

A statue of a worshipper from Mari, on the Euphrates river in Mesopotamia (modern Syria). Around 2900 BC, after the flood, comes a time period called Early Dynastic, which lasts for about 600 years (there is a good deal of disagreement). It corresponds to the Old Kingdom in Egypt and to the Early Bronze Age in Greece. The civilization [...]

Love stories and the history of love

By |2017-08-16T11:56:26+00:00August 16th, 2017|People|

Hades and Persephone in the underworld People have been falling in love for hundreds of thousands of years, since they were monkeys and not really even people yet. And they have been telling stories about famous lovers for probably almost that long. Our earliest love stories go back to about 2500 BC, when [...]

The Clerk’s Tale – Chaucer – Canterbury Tales

By |2017-08-03T22:00:27+00:00August 3rd, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

Clerks in the Manessa Codex (1300 AD) Chaucer's Clerk's Tale is actually taken from one of Boccaccio's stories, and because of that the story's action happens in Italy. It shows the young monk's ideas about how women ought to behave. It's about Griselda, a poor woman who marries a rich man. Her husband, Walter, wants to make sure Griselda [...]

Vessantara Jataka – Buddhism – India

By |2017-08-03T21:58:55+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Vessantara and Maddi and their two children (Sanchi stupa, Northern Gateway, ca. 50 BC) This Buddhist story is a Jataka tale from about 400 BC. In the story, the Indian boddhisatva Vessantara wanted to give up everything for Buddhism. He gave up his kingdom and all his money and lived with his wife and children in the forest. Jujaka and his young wife [...]