Date of Award

Summer 2008

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Schmitt, John J.

Second Advisor

Pace, Sharon

Third Advisor

Dempsey, Deirdre A.


According to the Epic of Gilgamesh, King Gilgamesh sets out on a journey to find immortality and thus end the pain of loss and death in his life. This journey was in response to the death of his best friend Enkidu caused by the gods as punishment for Gilgamesh's and Enkidu's killing of the beast Huwawa. Some time later on his journey in search of immortality, Gilgamesh becomes depressed at his inability to stave off death and forsakes humanity. Instead, he lives as an animal with a lion skin as his only clothing. In time he rouses himself from his depression and continues on in his quest for immortality. Depending on the version of the story one reads (either the Old Babylonian or the Standard Babylonian), Gilgamesh seeks either Siduri, the celestial bar-keeper, or Utnapishtim, the hero of the flood story, respectively. In either version, Gilgamesh encounters Siduri to whom he looks for some comfort...



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