< ^ txtWed Sep 30 07:04:34 EDT 2015 Went to bed around 10:30 and woke up around 5:30. Sixty-five and partly sunny today. Goals: Work: - Finish vlan tutorial Progress. Almost done. - Review more invoices Done. Home: - More zfs notes Done. Made a few notes about snapshots. - Shop at Meijer during lunch Done. Went to Target at lunch. Also bought gas. - Work on D&D stuff Took a walk after work. Still overwhelmingly green, with a handful of bright orange trees --- perhaps the ones that were conspicuously yellow last week (or week before last?). Still some flowers. Saw a bumblebee on one, but torporous; he didn't move when I blew on him. The squirrels, on the other hand, are quite busy. Read an article today about twenty newly found lines of Gilgamesh. Ordered a copy (Andrew George translation) from Amazon. The new fragments fill in some blanks about the encounter with Humbaba. http://www.thehistoryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/jcunestud.66.0069_w-footer.pdf From the paper: The most interesting addition to knowledge provided by the new source is the continuation of the description of the Cedar Forest, one of the very few episodes in Babylonian narrative poetry when attention is paid to land- scape. The cedars drip their aromatic sap in cascades (ll. 12--16), a trope that gains power from cedar incense's position in Babylonia as a rare luxury imported from afar. The abundance of exotic and costly materials in fabulous lands is a common literary motif. Perhaps more surprising is the revelation that the Cedar Forest was, in the Baby- lonian literary imagination, a dense jungle inhabited by exotic and noisy fauna (17--26). The chatter of monkeys, chorus of cicada, and squawking of many kinds of birds formed a symphony (or cacophony) that daily entertained the forest's guardian, Humbaba. The passage gives a context for the simile ``like musicians'' that occurs in very bro- ken context in the Hittite version's description of GilgameÅ¡ and Enkidu's arrival at the Cedar Forest.4 Humbaba's jungle orchestra evokes those images found in ancient Near Eastern art, of animals playing musical instruments.5 Humbaba emerges not as a barbarian ogre and but as a foreign ruler entertained with music at court in the manner of Babylonian kings, but music of a more exotic kind, played by a band of equally exotic musicians. Another passage (61--72), though consisting only of half lines, seems to confirm the point, already known from MS dd i 5 (formerly V 89, now V 119), that Enkidu had spent time with Humbaba in his youth. Humbaba, having become aware of the presence of intruders in his domain, appears to guess that it must be Enkidu returned home, perhaps even to be excited by the thought of the coming reunion. If it is right to read into these fragmentary lines a tender reference to their earlier life together, then Humbaba's subsequent betrayal by Enkidu, who has brought with him a hostile alien, the king GilgameÅ¡, becomes all the more poignant. The aftermath of the heroes' slaying of Humbaba is now better preserved (300--308). The previously available text made it clear that GilgameÅ¡ and Enkidu knew, even before they killed Humbaba, that what they were doing would anger the cosmic forces that governed the world, chiefly the god Enlil. Their reaction after the event is now tinged with a hint of guilty conscience, when Enkidu remarks ruefully that [ana] tuÅ¡Är niÅ¡takan qiÅ¡ta, ``we have reduced the forest [to] a wasteland'' (303). The anxiety about offending the gods seems to a modern reader compounded by ecological regret. Enkidu goes on to imagine the angry questions that Enlil will ask them when they arrive home: minÃ» uzzakunÅ«ma tarahÌ®hÌ®isï¤Ä qiÅ¡ta, ``what was this wrath of yours that you went trampling the forest?'' (306). In the theme of the angry gods, the poems about Humbaba in both Sumerian and Akkadian already displayed an ethical ambivalence toward the expedition to his Cedar Forest, arising from what one commentator has called the ``double nature'' of the forest's guardian as ogre and servant of Enlil (Forsyth 1981: 21). This newly recovered speech of Enkidu adds to the impression that, to the poets' minds, the destruction of Humbaba and his trees was morally wrong.
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