Macquarie University
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Voices from above and below: divine communication in the Epic of Gilgamesh

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posted on 2022-10-09, 22:36 authored by Paul Statheos

The Standard Babylonian Version of the Epic of Gilgamesh offers numerous examples of communication between mortals and divinities, including the marriage proposal of the goddess Ishtar, the counsel of the sage Siduri, and the words of Gilgamesh’s divine mother Ninsun. In addition, it depicts communication with a number of liminal beings on the fringes of the conceptual category of godhood, such as the forest guardian Humbaba, the immortal flood-hero Uta-napišti, and the semi-divine Gilgamesh himself. This thesis assesses the nature of these interactions to explore how the genre of the SBV and the unique social and liminal qualities of its protagonists have shaped the character of these depictions of divine communication within their cultural context.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Direct Communication -- 3. Communication by Dreams -- 4. Liminal Beings -- 5. Overall Conclusions – Abbreviations -- Bibliography


Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Research

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis (MRes), Department of Ancient History, Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University

Department, Centre or School

Department of Ancient History

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Kyle Keimer


Copyright: The Author Copyright disclaimer:




77 pages