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Gilgamesh
 
Glossary
   
  The following people, gods, goddesses and places are mentioned in this edition of The Epic of Gilgamesh. Since there is no scholarly certainty about the pronunciation of some of the terms, phonetic pronunciations assimilated from various sources are included here. These do not pretend to be the final word - merely a device to help the reader experience a fluid reading, unhampered by the other-wise inevitable stumbling over unfamiliar terms.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anu (ah' noo) father of the gods and sky god associated with all heavenly wonder, father of Ishtar. The city of Uruk was sacred to him.
Anunnaki (ah noo nah' kee) spirit gods of the underworld who judged and determined the fates of the dead.
Aruru (ah roo' roo) great mother goddess of creation who molds Enkidu from clay in the images of Anu and Ninurta. She is also called Mammetum in her role of decreeing destinies
Dilmun (deel'moon) paradise regained, land where the sun rises, where the deified Utnapishtim settled after surviving the great flood.
Ea (ay' ah) god of water and wisdom, protector of human beings, his breath-born words encourage hope. He is also called Enki
Eanna (ay ahn' ah) the sacred temple of Anu and Ishtar in the city of Uruk
Egalmah (ay' gahl mah) the sacred temple of Ninsun in the city of Uruk
Enkidu (en'kee doo) a "natural" man created by Aruru, modeled after Anu and Ninurta, to become a rival then friend/alter ego to Gilgamesh. He is introduced to civilization by his union with Shamhat, the sacred temple girl.
Enlil (en' lil) god of earth, wind and air associated with the savage arts of soldiers. He sent the great flood that drowned all but Utnapishtim and his family and sent Humbaba to guard the cedar forest.
Ennugi (en noo' gee) minor gods or demons.
Euphrates (you fray' teez) river originating in the mountains in the north of Turkey and emptying into the Persian Gulf after joining the Tigris. Ancient Mesopotamia, "The-land-between-two-rivers," derives its name from its location between the Euphrates on the west and the Tigris on the east and is believed to be the cradle of civilization.
Gilgamesh (gil'gah mesh) hero of the epic, son of the goddess Ninsun and possibly former king of Uruk, Lugalbanda. His insatiable appetites and unbridled behavior drive his subjects to seek help from the gods to divert his overabundant energies from their sons, daughters, and brides. Gilgamesh is an historic figure, as well as the legendary hero of a number of ancient tales.
Humbaba (hoom bah'bah) nature god, assigned by Enlil to oversee the cedar forest, slain by Gilgamesh and Enkidu. He is also called Huwawa.
lgigi (ee gee' gee) collective name for the great gods of heaven associated with blood, madness and revenge, often associated with the Anunnaki.
Irkalla (ear kahl' lah) a name for the underworld, also used in place of Ereshkigal, the queen of the underworld and wife of Nergal.
Ishara (ee shah' rah) see Ishtar.
Ishtar (cesh' tar) goddess of love and sexuality, also of war, patron of Uruk with her father Anu. She wrought deadly havoc after her rejection by Gilgamesh. She is called Ishara in her role during the sacred ritual of marriage, and is also called Inanna and Irnini.
Ishullanu (ee shoo lah' noo) gardener of Anu, one of the many discarded lovers of Ishtar.
Lugalbanda (loo gahl bahn'dah) shepherd and early king of Uruk, thought to be the father of Gilgamesh. He was later deified.
Mt. Mashu (mah' shoo) twin peaks representing the place where the sun would rise and fall.
Mt. Nimush (nee'moosh) peak on which Utnapishtim's ark came to rest, formerly called Nisir.
Namtar (nahm'tahr) underworld demon linked with fate as a negative destiny.
Nergal (near' gahl) chief god of the underworld responsible for plagues, chief enforcer and soldier-in-arms.
Ninsun (neen' soon) wise goddess, mother of Gilgamesh, wife of Lugalbanda. Her name means "lady wild cow."
Ninurta (neen oor'tah) god of war and agriculture, associated with the south wind. Enkidu is created partially in his image.
Nippur (nee poor') city sacred to Enlil, religious capital of ancient Mesopotamia.
Nisaba (nee sah'bah) goddess of grain, often depicted with hair of breeze-blown grain. Enkidu's hair resembled hers.
Shamash (shah' mahsh) sun god and god of justice who despises evil. He encourages Gilgamesh to destroy Humbaba and protects him in the endeavor.
Shamhat (shahm' haht) sacred girl most likely from the temple of Ishtar who brings civilization to Enkidu through her union with him.
Shuruppak (shoo' roo pahk) an ancient city of Sumer located north of Uruk, former home of Utnapishtim, from where the gods issued the great flood.
Siduri (see door' ee) barmaid who lives near the salvific shore. She advises Gilgamesh to abandon his quest for immortality and enjoy the temporal pleasures allotted to mortals while he may.
Sin (seen) moon god.
Tammuz (tahm'mooz) shepherd of Uruk, god of vegetation, virgin boy until his union with ishtar, then another of her discarded lovers. He is also called Dumuzi.
Ubaratutu (oo bahr ah too' too) god and father of Utnapishtim, former king of Shuruppak.
Ulay (oo lie') river where Gilgamesh and Enkidu rested.
Urshanabi (oor shah nah' bee) ferryman and sailor god whose boat crosses the waters separating the garden of the sun from the paradise where the deified Utnapishtim lives. He conveys Gilgamesh to Utnapishtim.
Uruk (oo' rook) ancient city on the Euphrates River, a center of Sumerian culture circa 3000 B.C., kingdom of Gilgamesh and sacred to Anu and Ishtar.
Utnapishtim (cot nah peesh' teem) legendary survivor of the great flood who was granted immortality. Gilgamesh seeks from him the secret of eternal life. He is also called Ziusudra.