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Epic of Galgamesh Essay

  • Submitted by: islamdiaa
  • on September 19, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 763 words

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Below is an essay on "Epic of Galgamesh" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Professor Christine Hayes: You don't need me to tell you that human civilization is very, very old. Nevertheless, our knowledge of the earliest stages of human civilization was quite limited for many centuries. That is, until the great archaeological discoveries of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which unearthed for us the great civilizations of the Ancient Near East, of which I have drawn a remarkably life-like map here on the board: [laughter] Mediterranean, I always start with the Mediterranean Ocean, the Nile River, the Tigris and the Euphrates. So: the great civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and the area we refer to as the Fertile Crescent, of which a little part here about the size of Rhode Island is Canaan. And archaeologists in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were stunned to find the ruins and the records of remarkable peoples and cultures--massive, complex empires in some cases but some of which had completely disappeared from human memory. Their newly uncovered languages had been long forgotten; their rich literary and legal texts were now indecipherable. That soon changed. But because of those discoveries, we are now in a position to appreciate the monumental achievements of these early civilizations, these earliest civilizations.
And so many scholars, and many people, have remarked that it's not a small irony that the Ancient Near Eastern people with one of the, or perhaps the most lasting legacy, was not a people that built and inhabited one of the great centers of Ancient Near Eastern civilization. It can be argued that the Ancient Near Eastern people with the most lasting legacy is a people that had an idea. It was a new idea that broke with the ideas of its neighbors, and those people were the Israelites. And scholars have come to the realization that despite the Bible's pretensions to the contrary, the Israelites were a small, and I've actually overrepresented it here, I'm sure it should be much smaller, a small and...

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