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Gilgamesh among UsModern Encounters with the Ancient Epic$
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Theodore Ziolkowski

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450358

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450358.001.0001

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Gilgamesh among Us

Theodore Ziolkowski

Cornell University Press

This concluding chapter summarizes key themes and presents some final thoughts. It argues that the reception of the Gilgamesh epic during the past century and a half has revealed an astonishing number and variety of works from many Western countries and in manifold media and genres, that is unmatched by other masterpieces of world literature. While Homer's Achilles and Odysseus, Virgil's Aeneas, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and the biblical myths have all continued to leave their imprint on our time, nowhere have they had such a varied and pervasive cultural impact as Gilgamesh. The enthusiasm for the epic can be attributed to the ease with which it could be adapted to accommodate the various interests and issues that have rocked the world over the last century. This ability also constitutes a striking testimony to the eternal values embedded in the ancient monument.

Keywords:   Epic of Gilgamesh, epic poem, epic poetry, cultural impact

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