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663 GILGAMESH’S DREAMS OF ENKIDU 664 *) Review article of Scott B. Noegel, Nocturnal�Ciphers:�The�Allusive� Language�of�Dreams�in�the�Ancient�Near�East, American Oriental Series 89, New Haven 2007. ISBN 978-0-940490-20-8. GILGAMESH’S DREAMS OF ENKIDU*) Barbara BÖCK, CSIC Madrid Introduction Scott B. Noegel has undertaken the complex task of stud- ying the language and the cultural as well as religious con- text of dreams in the Ancient Near East. What are the criteria for the inner dependence between a dream or any other omi- nous sign and its meaning? If dreams are regarded as divine, hidden messages, who interprets them? Are the different types of punning rooted in the magical power of words? Do the dreams and dream omens, once written down, serve to memorize speech acts? And if this applies, should the act of dream interpretation not be connected with rituals of trans- formation or crisis management? These issues are discussed in the insightful introductory part of the book (p. 1-55). The following chapters serve as illustrations of how the different forms of punning — homon- ymy, paronomasy, polysemy, paragrams, anagrams, and the semantic wordplay of Janus parallelism — can be detected und used to explain the ancient Near Eastern technique of dream interpretation. The only reservation one might make is the question of how to vindicate a suspected pundit. Noegel expertly demonstrates the manifold layering of mean- ings that can be deduced from speculative etymology prem- ised on the written word and the script. However, he does not seek to corroborate his interpretations or provides evidence 97795.indb 333 97795.indb 333 20/02/15 09:32 20/02/15 09:32 665 BIBLIOTHECA ORIENTALIS LXXI N° 5-6, september-december 2014 666 2) For the different framework of the SB version and the effect of the introduction or prologue see J.H. Tigay, The�Evolution�of�the�Gilgamesh� Epic, Philadelphia 1982, 140-158; for further case studies of the evolution of the epic see A.R. George, The�Babylonian�Gilgamesh�Epic, Oxford 2003, vol. I 39-47. 3) As is well-known Enkidu and Šamḫat spent six days and seven nights together. For the interpretation of this span of time as period of transforma- tion from live to death see Sh. Izre’el, “The Initiation of Adapa in Heaven,” in: J. Prosecky (ed.), Intellectual�Life�of�the�Ancient�Near�East, Prague 1998, 185. Concerning the present case he suggests that it needed seven nights to alienate Enkidu from his former life in the wilderness. For a study of two different phases of the sexual encounter see T. Abusch, “The Cour- tesan, the Wild Man, and the Hunter,” in: Y. Sefati, P. Artzi, Ch. Cohen, B.L. Eichler & V.A. Hurowitz (eds.); “An� Experienced� Scribe� Who� Neglects�Nothing”.�Ancient�Near�Eastern�Studies�in�Honor�of�Jacob�Klein, Bethesda 2005, 413-433. 4) See recently I. Márquez Rowe, “Pain, bière et la culture d’Uruk. De Gilgamesh au bol à bord biseauté,” in: D.A. Barreyra Fracaroli & G. del Olmo Lete (eds.), Reconstruyendo�el�Pasado�Remoto�–�Reconstructing�a� Distant Past,�Sabadell 2009, 133-141. 5) W.L. Moran suggests that Enkidu reaches full humanity only when he has accepted Gilgamesh’s kingship, “Ovid’s Blanda�Voluptas and the Humanization of Enkidu,” JNES 50 (1991) 121-127. 6) See J.H. Tigay, The�Evolution�of�the�Gilgamesh�Epic, 149. 7) See especially the studies of J.H. Tigay, The� Evolution� of� the� �Gilgamesh�Epic, 82-90, and J.S. Cooper, “Gilgamesh Dreams of Enkidu: The Evolution and Dilution of Narrative,” in: M. deJong Ellis (ed.), Essays� in�the�Ancient�Near�East�in�Memory�of�Jacob�Joel�Finkelstein, Hamden 1977, 39-44. 8) For a re-evaluation of his previous reading š[i]-˹e˺-rum in OB “P” i: 7 (The�Babylonian�Gilgamesh�Epic, vol. I 182) see now the commentary of A.R. George, “The Civilizing of Ea-Enkidu: An Unusual Tablet of the Babylonian Gilgameš Epic,” RA 101 (2007) 73. However, N. Wasserman accepts George’s older suggestion šīrum�ša�Anim “flesh of Anu”, “The Distant Voice of Gilgamesh: The Circulation and Reception of the Baby- lonian Gilgameš Epic in Ancient Mesopotamia,” AfO 52 (2011) 9. 9) Note that N. Wasserman, “‘Sweeter Than Honey and Wine …’. Semantic Domains and Old-Babylonian Imagery,” in: L. Milano, S. de Martino, F.M. Fales & G.B. Lanfranchi (eds.) Landscapes.�Territories,� Frontiers�and�Horizons�in�the�Ancient�Near�East, Padova 2000, Part III 192, emphasizes the uniqueness of this comparison “for it is, thus far, the sole comparison of an item from the domain of fabricated objects to a human being.” 1) Conspicuously, as M.P. Streck, Die�Bildersprache�der�akkadischen� Epik, Münster 1999, 214 explains, Enkidu is the character in Babylonian literature who attracts most images of comparison, namely a total of 30. sion incorporates the dreams at a later point, after Gilgamesh himself has been introduced2) and after Enkidu’s process of humanization has been set in motion, first through the sexual contact with Šamḫat,3) then by eating bread and drinking beer,4) and last by recognizing Gilgamesh as king.5) In con- trast to the OB version, which lays its initial emphasis on Enkidu, the attention in the SB version has been shifted to Gilgamesh himself.6) Both the dreams envisioning Enkidu and the differences in language between the OB and SB ver- sions have long attracted scholars.7) In the first account Gil- gamesh sees how something coming from Anu’s sky falls down towards him. In the standard version this object is described as “falling down time and again like meteorites/ lumps (kiṣrū) of Anu” (SB I: 248), the OB version uses the term kiṣrum in singular (k[i-i]ṣ!-rum�OB II “P” i: 7).8) Both versions lay emphasis on the fact that this object was too heavy for Gilgamesh to lift or even push it. Only with the help of the young men from Uruk he is able to lift it. In the second dream an axe (haṣṣinnu(m))�appears;9) its appearance is strange and Gilgamesh feels immediately attracted by it, kissing and embracing it. The scholarly discussion has focused around two different approaches of how to relate “Anu’s lump, meteorite” with “axe”, and both with Enkidu: One interpretation departs from the assumption that these connections are based on whether the ancient audience would have been able to rec- ognize these hidden connotations and appreciated the word- plays. Based on wide research and reading he discusses in Chapter II (p. 57-88) Akkadian text examples including two dreams from the Epic�of�Gilgamesh that foretell the arrival of Enkidu, two further text passages from the same epic, a letter from Mari in which the diviner Addu-duri narrates her dream to king Zimri-Lim, and an ambiguous oracle text from Ishchali. As for the Egyptian material, he analyses in Chap- ter III (p. 89-106) a passage from the Pyramid Texts (Utter- ance 580), a section from the Egyptian manual of dreams, and the Dream Stele of Tantamani. A Ugaritic example from the Ba’al cycle, namely El’s dream, is found in Chapter IV (p. 107-112). The main emphasis of the book is placed on enigmatic dreams in Israel (p. 113-182); here and in the fol- lowing Chapter VI (p. 183-189) Noegel shows his expertise in the interpretation and identification of wordplays in bibli- cal passages examining their cultural setting. Chapter V focuses on sections from Jeremiah, Joseph’s interpretation of Pharao’s dreams, Gideon’s capacities as dream interpreter, and more particularly on Daniel; and Chapter VI includes pericopes from Job and Jeremiah. Noegel also ventures into the Greek world analyzing Homer and Artemidorus’ Oneiro- critica (Chapter VII, p. 191-233). Finally, the role of oneiro- mancy in Rabbinic culture is discussed in Chapter VIII (p. 235-251) Noegel concludes that dream interpretation is not univer- sal but is grounded in and determined by the cultural specific framework of the respective interpreters. In Mesopotamia and Egypt punning served to validate dreams as a form of communication with the divine, which explains the impor- tance of the profession of the diviner. Paramount is the con- ception and formative role of the script in dream interpreta- tion. Interestingly Noegel succeeds in tracing a reciprocal influence between Assyrian and Egyptian oneiromantic tech- niques in Neo-Assyrian times. Similarly to the Mesopota- mian and Egyptian materials, the biblical contexts feature questions of divine justice, which require professional mantic knowledge. He observes that the Mesopotamian evidence possibly influenced the interpretation of enigmatic dreams in Greek and Talmudic texts, though they contain distinctive features which go back to a different attitude towards writ- ing. Scott B. Noegel has produced an impressive account of the manifold ways of how to interpret dreams in the ancient Near Eastern world by bringing the topic of punning into the fore. The following remarks grew out of a reflection on Noegel’s discussion of two dreams in the Babylonian Gilgamesh epic, viz. Gilgamesh’s dreams of Enkidu. Gilgamesh’s�dreams Among the many fascinating features of the Gilgamesh Epic are the dreams of Gilgamesh that foretell the arrival of Enkidu, his dear fellow and beloved friend. Apparently, also the narrator of the Old Babylonian version of the epic con- sidered the dreams extraordinary and uncommon since they are placed at the beginning of the story as if to arrest the attention.1) Differently, the epic’s Standard Babylonian ver- 97795.indb 334 97795.indb 334 20/02/15 09:32 20/02/15 09:32 667 GILGAMESH’S DREAMS OF ENKIDU 668 OrNS 44 (1975) 62-65, and for translations see W.H.Ph. Römer, “Geburts- beschwörung (Marduk-Ea-Typ),” TUAT�II/2, Gütersloh 1987, 204-207, and G. Cunnigham, ‘Deliver�Me�From�Evil’.�Mesopotamian�Incantations�2500- 1500�BC, Roma 1997, 69-75. 19) For a brief discussion see K. van der Toorn, Van�haar�wieg�tot�haar� graf, Baarn, Ten Have 1987, 16-19, and M. Stol, Birth�in�Babylonia�and� the�Bible.�Its�Mediterranean�Setting, Groningen 2000, 61, 63. 20) See CAD E 157a s.v. emūqu bil. section; see also lex. section and CAD Q 144a s.v. qarrādūtu lex.sec. Note the alternative Akkadian expres- sion idī�qarrādūti. 21) Another word which repeatedly appears describing Enkidu is danānu “to be strong”; see J.H. Tigay, The�Evolution�of�the�Gilgamesh�Epic,� 87-88. 22) This translation of ūm�libbīšu follows CAD L s.v. libbu�170b; rather poetical translations have been proposed “storminess of his (Gilgamesh’s) heart” (J.H. Tigay, The�Evolution�of�the�Gilgamesh�Epic, 192) “storm of the heart” (George, The�Babylonian�Gilgamesh�Epic, vol. II 545, and ibid.� note 13 with the variant translation derived from MS n “let his heart be a [match for the storm],” “stormy heart” (B.R. Foster, The�Epic�of�Gil- gamesh, New York – London 2000,�6), “the ardour (?) of his energies” (S. Dalley, Myths�From�Mesopotamia, Oxford 2000, 52), “Herzensungestüm” (W. von Soden, Das�Gilgamesch-Epos, Stuttgart 1988, 18 II: 31), “Sturm seines Herzens” (S.M. Maul, Das�Gilgamesch-Epos, München 2005, 49), “[le patron] de l’Ouragan” (J. Bottéro, L’Épopée�de�Gilgameš, Paris 1992, 69), “la fougue de son coeur” (R.J. Tournay & A. Schaffer, L’Épopée�de� Gilgamesh, Paris 2003, 49). 23) “Mesopotamian Mythology II,” OrNS 17 (1948) 24. 10) For a critical view of the alleged plain homosexual relationship see J.H. Tigay, The�Evolution�of�the�Gilgamesh�Epic, 184 note 22, and J.S. Cooper with reference to previous discussions, “Buddies in Babylonia. Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and Mesopotamian Homosexuality,” in: T. Abusch (ed.) Riches�Hidden�in�Secret�Places.�Ancient�Near�Eastern�Studies�in� Memory�of�Thorkild�Jacobsen, Winona Lake 2002, 73-85. 11) A.D. Kilmer, “A Note on an Overlooked Wordplay in the Akkadian Gilgamesh,” in: G. van Driel, Th.J.H. Krispijn, M. Stol & K.R. Veenhof (eds.), Zikir�Šumim.�Assyriological�Studies�Presented�to�F.R.�Kraus�on�the� Occasion�of�His�Seventieth�Birthday, Leiden 1982, 128-132. 12) Nocturnal�Ciphers:�The�Allusive�Language�of�Dreams�in�the�Ancient� Near�East, 64-65. 13) The�Babylonian�Gilgamesh�Epic, 454. 14) Ibid. vol. II 793. 15) Ibid. vol. II 793 commentary to ll. 124-125 // 151-152. 16) Principles�of�Akkadian�Textual�Criticism, Boston – Berlin 2012, 206. 17) Principles�of�Akkadian�Textual�Criticism, 208; and see M.P. Streck, Die�Bildersprache�der�akkadischen�Epik,�186 ( who understands the axe as “Bild der Stärke und des Schutzes”. 18) UM 29-15-367 with the duplicate VAS 17 33. For the edition and study see J.J.A. van Dijk, “Incantations accompagnant de l’homme,” child was a baby girl, she was given a spindle and a hair- clasp as symbols of her womanhood; in contrast, a baby boy would hold in his hand a weapon and an axe as an image of manhood.19) The incantation further specifies the axe (urudaḫa. zi) as a symbol for the “strength of heroism” (a2 nam. ur.saĝ .ĝ a2). Accordingly, the axe in Gilgamesh’s dream could well be interpreted as a sign for the birth of a little boy who is endowed with the physical power of a hero proper. The Akkadian counterpart of the Sumerian expression a2 nam.ur.saĝ .ĝ a2 is emūqān� qarrādūti.20) Both terms emūqu(m) “strength” and qurādu(m) “hero, warrior” are closely associated with Enkidu and serve as leitmotifs.21) Indeed, Enkidu is said to be the “mightiest in the land”�(māti� dān) and the one who “possesses strength” (emūqīšu�išû SB I: 124-125 passim). Both Enkidu and Gilgamesh are strong and very similar in stature. Enkidu is of wide heavy build, although not as tall as Gilgamesh (anami�gilgameš�mašil�padattam�lānam�šapil� eṣemtam�pukkul, “compared to Gilgamesh himself his phy- sique is similar, he is shorter in stature (and) heavier of bone” OB II “P” v: 183-184). While Gilgamesh is “perfect in mightiness” (gitmālu�emūqi SB I: 211, 218), Enkidu is said to be “the mightiest in the land, he has strength, his strength is as mighty as the kiṣru of Anu” (ina�māti�dān� emūqīšu�išû kīma�kiṣri�ša�anim�dunnunā�emūqāšu SB I: 124- 125, 151-152, 269-270, 292-293; II: 162-163). According to Šamḫat’s description of Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk is stronger than Enkidu, “he has a strength mightier than yours” (danna�emūqa�elīka�išî SB I: 238). However, when Aruru decides to create a counterpart to Gilgamesh the women of Uruk ask her: “May he counteract his (Gilgamesh’s) emo- tions,22) may they vie with each other time and again so that Uruk may come to peace!” (ana� ūm� libbīšu� lū� maḫ[ir]� lištannanūma�urukki lištapš[iḫ] SB I: 97-98). A.L. Oppen- heim understood the concept behind the creation as “means of cleverly balancing antagonistic powers”.23) Both aspects pinpoint the main layers of their strong bond — emotional (as well as homoerotic) and pitting their strength against each other. When Ninsun explains Gilgamesh his dreams, she punning. Influenced by the idea of the homoerotic friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu,10) A. Kilmer put forward that kiṣru(m) could be understood as a wordplay on kezru(m), a specific hairdo (lit. “curly”) distinct for a type of male cultic personnel of Ištar in first-millennium Assyria, and haṣṣinnu(m), in turn, would recall the term assinnu,�a male prostitute related to the cult of Ištar, too.11) According to this view both dreams would foretell not only the arrival of Enkidu as friend but also as sexual partner. S.B. Noegel fol- lows this approach in his discussion of the dreams.12) Reflecting on the plausibility and common comprehensibil- ity of world-plays George seeks to corroborate this interpre- tation and comes to the conclusion “that Kilmer was right”.13) However, in his commentary on the expression kīma�kiṣri�ša�anim�dunnunā�emūqāšu�(SB I 125, 137, 152, 270, 293; II: 43, 163) “his strength is as mighty as a lump of rock from the sky”, he proposes a symbolic meaning of kiṣru(m) as referring to someone “endowed with superhu- man strength”14). I shall come back later to still another nuance of the term kiṣru(m). In the following discussion George associates kiṣru(m) with meteoric iron as a source to manufacture weapons such as the mighty axe of Lugal- banda.15) Recently, M. Worthington questioned the interpre- tation of punning and argued for a symbolic interpretation of “meteorite” and “axe”.16) Very much in the line of George he favors the association of kiṣru(m) with strength. Elaborat- ing further George’s discussion of meteorites as source for weapons he brings both dreams together and suggests to understand them as an illustration of Enkidu’s transforma- tion from beast to man. According to Worthington, Enkidu as a creature living among wild animals is in a pre-human stage comparable to a raw meteorite and once humanized he is like an axe skillfully manufactured from the meteorite. Recalling Tablet VIII in which Gilgamesh mourns Enkidu and speaks of him as an “axe at my side”, Worthington points out, following M.P. Streck, that the axe “symbolises Enkidu’s role as protector of Gilgamesh”.17) The alternative interpretation proposed here, also based on associative automatism, is equally probable. I shall start with the axe that appears in Gilgamesh’s second dream. We know from a Sumerian birth incantation that newborn babies received gender or role specific emblems.18) If the newborn 97795.indb 335 97795.indb 335 20/02/15 09:32 20/02/15 09:32 669 BIBLIOTHECA ORIENTALIS LXXI N° 5-6, september-december 2014 670 31) See J.S. Cooper, The�Return�of�Ninurta�to�Nippur.�an-gim�dím-ma, Roma 1978,�58-59. Note that e.g. the Early Dynastic ruler Eanatum whom Ningirsu himself begot, is called by his divine father “the one with strength” (a2 tuku.e) which fits well into the context of war as described and depicted in the Vultures Stele; for the passage see C. Wilcke, “Fami- liengründung im alten Babylonian,” in: E.W. Müller (ed.), Geschlechtsreife� und�Legitimation�zur�Zeugung, Freiburg – München 1985, 298-303. 32) See George, ibid. vol. II 789, commentary to l. 104, and N. Wasser- man, “Offspring of Silence, Spawn of a Fish, Son of a Gazelle …: Enkidu’s Different Origins in the Epic of Gilgamesh,” “An�Experienced�Scribe�Who� Neglects�Nothing”.�Ancient�Near�Eastern�Studies�in�Honor�of�Jacob�Klein, Bethesda 2005, 594. 33) I have quoted the Old Babylonian version, VAS 17 33 obv. 4. The first seven lines of the text have been discussed by T. Jacobsen, “Notes on Nintur,” OrNS 42 (1973) 279-280; for a complete edition see J.J.A. van Dijk, “Incantations accompagnant de l’homme,” OrNS 44 (1975) 62-65. The Ur III text, UM 29-15-367 obv. 4 is slightly different: [a ša3].ga ri.a ka.keš2.re lu2.ra dumu šum2.mu; for the edition see J.J.A. van Dijk, ibid. 53-62. My reading dumu follows Th. Jacobsen, ibid., and H. Behrens, Enlil� and�Ninlil.�Ein�sumerischer�Mythos�aus�Nippur, Rome 1978,�133-134. Note that J.J.A. van Dijk, ibid. 53 note 7 insists “le signe est clairement: i et non pas: dumu. J’ai marqué le signe sur ma copie de VAT 8381, VAS 17, 33, l. 4 avec un signe d’exclamation, parce que là aussi le signe me paraissat être plutôt: i.” He suggests a reading isim3 “offshoot, fruit” which is followed by W.H.Ph. Römer, “Geburtsbeschwörung (Marduk-Ea-Typ),” TUAT�II/2, Gütersloh 1987, 205, and G. Cunnigham, ‘Deliver� Me� From� Evil’.� �Mesopotamian�Incantations�2500-1500�BC, Roma 1997, 70-71. However, on the basis of the photo van Dijk provides ibid., tab. V the the sign seems to be a clear dumu. Note that van Dijk did not copy the small vertical wedge. As for the Old Babylonian copy, see the variants of dumu given by C. Mittermayer, Altbabylonische�Zeichenliste�der�sumerisch-literari- schen�Texte, Fribourg – Göttingen 2006, no. 393 (on p. 155) which agree well with the sign that appears in VAS 17 33 obv. l. 4. 34) For the meaning of ka keš2 as clumping together referring to the growth of the fetus see K. Volk “Vom Dunkel in die Helligkeit,” in: V. Dasen (ed.), Naissance�et�petite�enfance�dans�l’Antiquité, Fribourg – Göttingen 2004,�81 with note 69 referring to the Ur III incantation. See also the discussion of M. Stol, Birth�in�Babylonia�and�the�Bible, 9-11. 35) I follow George’s interpretation that the kissing is a sign of fondling; differently, J. Keetman interprets kissing the feet as a gesture of submis- sion. “Der Kampf im Haustor. Eine der Schlüsselszenen zum Verständnis des Gilgameš-Epos,” JNES 67 (2008) 166 with note 28. See also M.P. Streck, Die�Bildersprache�der�akkadischen�Epik, 74 who interprets the kissing as an act of obeisance. Yet he does not exclude the alternative interpretation of fondling. 24) See A.R. George, “The Civilizing of Ea-Enkidu: An Unusual Tablet of the Babylonian Gilgameš Epic,” 64 ll. 24, 41. 25) See A.L. Oppenheim, “Mesopotamian Mythology II,” 29-30; cf. also J. Keetman, “Der Kampf im Haustor,” 166 (see note 35). 26) See S.M. Maul, Das�Gilgamesch-Epos, 60. 27) The phrase has been differently interpreted. A.R. George, The�Bab- ylonian�Gilgamesh�Epic, vol. II 789 note 104, emphasizes that Enkidu was not born by a human mother, which is the reason why there were no screams at his birth but silence. Also, he remarks that there should be a closer connection between the expression ilitti�qūlti and kiṣir�dninurta�since they appear in parallel representing a “nearly synonymous relation”. N. Wasserman focuses on the aspect of name giving. The silence alludes to the circumstance of Enkidu’s birth: his name could not be pronounced in the wilderness, see “Offspring of Silence, Spawn of a Fish, Son of a Gazelle …: Enkidu’s Different Origins in the Epic of Gilgameš,” 595. Similar to George, St. Anthonioz, L’eau,�enjeux�politiques�et�théologique,� de�Sumer�à�la�Bible, Leiden – Boston 2009, 421, underlines that the “off- spring of silence” should allude to the fact that Enkidu is not born by a woman and proposes that the expression refers to his animal stage. The fact that he is considered an animal is stressed by the description that he lives, eats and drinks with the wild beasts in the steppe. M.P. Streck suggests that qūltu should refer to the terrifying aspect of silence and interprets ilitti�qūlti as “jemand, vor dem man vor Schreck verstummt”, “Beiträge zum akka- dischen Gilgameš-Epos,” Or NS 76 (2007) 411 (note to l. 104). S.B. Noegel, Nocturnal�Ciphers:�The�Allusive�Language�of�Dreams�in� the�Ancient�Near�East, 64, suggests a multiple wordplay; however, his interpretation of zir-ti (read instead of qul-ti) as serdû “lament” should be rejected on grounds of spelling and meaning (see CAD�S 312b s.v. sirdû�A “pole of a chariot, of a sedan chair”, AHw 1037b s.v. serdû “eine Art v Vertrag; Sänftenträgerstange”). Also the idea of a paronomastic play between zir-ti�with zīru which Noegel understands as “magic” alluding to the supernatural power of the divine is less likely since the term classifies rather the evil machinations of witches and wizards (see CAD Z 136b s.v. zīru A mng. 2); see further D. Schwemer’s discussion of the word, Abwehr- zauber�und�Behexung:�Studien�zum�Schadenzauberglauben�im�alten�Meso- potamien, Wiesbaden 2007, 14, 151 with note 8. 28) See George, ibid.�vol. I 544-545. 29) For Šamaš see e.g. VII 148, X 81, XII 81, and for Enlil see e.g. XI 16. 30) See CAD K 436b, AHw�488b. dninurta gains an added richness from ambiguity. It refers to Enkidu as someone endowed with the strength specific of Ninurta — the force of battle and power. This energy is one of the god’s characteristics in the praise song Ninurta’s� Return�to�Nippur where it is stated that “you, Ninurta, are perfect in (your) strength of heroism” (a2 nam.ur.saĝ .ĝ a2 šu du7.a).31) On the other hand, kiṣir� dninurta anticipates the vision of “lump(s) (falling) from the sky” (kiṣru�ša�anim) in Gilgamesh’s first dream.32) Note that in the passage quoted above Enkidu’s strength is said to be “as mighty as the kiṣru of Anu” (kīma�kiṣri�ša�anim�dunnunā�emūqāšu SB I: 125, 152, 270, 293, II: 163). Finally, because the Sumerian equiv- alent of kiṣru(m) corresponds to the prenatal stage of an unborn baby, it could also allude to the birth of Enkidu.� According to the birth incantation quoted above procreation is imagined as follows: a ša3.ge ri.a ka keš3ki.ši.ra2 lu2.ra dumu sumšu.mu, “the semen which has been poured into the womb (and) clumped together giving a son to the man.”33) The term used in Sumerian is ka keš2 which Akkadian ren- ders kiṣru(m)�(and�kaṣāru(m)).34) This interpretation would fit the fact that the young people of Uruk gathered around the “lump” and kissed its feet like the feet of a baby (eṭlūtum� unaššaqū�šēpīšu “the young men kissed its feet” OB II “P” i: 11;�[kī�šerri�la]᾿i�unaššaqū�šēpīšu “they (the young men) kissed its feet like a baby’s” SB I: 255).35) emphasizes that he will enjoy the company of Enkidu, be happy and laughing (ittašqūma� īpušū� rū᾿ūtam “they exchanged kisses and formed a friendship”�OB III “Yale” i: 18-19; taḫaddu�atta “you will rejoice” OB II “P” 20; cf. libbaka�iṣâk “your heart will laugh” MB Priv1 24) i: 24). As we learn from the first fight, Gilgamesh has found in Enkidu also someone to vent his anger (ipšiḫ�uzzašūma “his anger stilled” OB II “P” vi: 229). There is disagreement about the winner of the fight since the SB version does not preserve its course and outcome. According to the OB version the fight was decided for Gilgamesh.25) Yet, when the text in the SB version begins again (II: 162, after gap of 49 lines) Gilgamesh introduces Enkidu to his mother with the words “he is the mightiest in the land, he has strength” which sug- gests that the fight ended in a draw.26) When the goddess Aruru brings Enkidu into being by throwing a pinch of clay down into the wild we learn: “In the wild she (Aruru) created Enkidu, the hero, an offspring of silence,27) knit strong by Ninurta” (ina�ṣēri�enkidu�ibtani� qurādu�ilitti�qūlti�kiṣir� dninurta SB I: 103-104).28) The line summarizes the outstanding features of Enkidu, viz. his role as qurādu, the particular circumstances of his birth, and, essentially of his character in the plot, his vigor. Note that Gilgamesh is not addressed as qurādu “hero” in the epic, only the gods Šamaš and Enlil share this epithet with Enkidu.29) Taking into account the semantic field of kiṣru(m), which ranges from reinforcement and knot to node, clot and lump,30) we could assume here the meaning “concentration of power” in figurative and material(ized) sense. The phrase kiṣir� 97795.indb 336 97795.indb 336 20/02/15 09:32 20/02/15 09:32 671 A FLASH OF UNDERSTANDING 672 257).37) Only when Enkidu has reached his height in power, symbolized by the axe, Gilgamesh takes him as his life part- ner which is anticipated in his dream by kissing the axe as if it would be a wife37A). It appears that kiṣru(m) in Gilgamesh’s first dream refers to Enkidu’s creation and birth, while ḫaṣinnu(m) in the second vision forebodes the meeting of Gil- gamesh and Enkidu. Both terms have the connotation of power, might and physical energy, which is precisely the aspect of Enkidu for which he will be remembered: indeed, in The� Ballad� of� Early� Rulers he is depicted as the one “whose strength was not defeated (?) in the land” or “who made (his) strength in the land …”.38) The interpretation of Gilgamesh’s dreams and the relation between the two visions and Enkidu, as suggested here, is based on the cultural context in which the terms kiṣru(m) and ḫaṣinnu(m) appear. Both words are used as a metonymy for strength; the former possibly also alludes to the prenatal stage of unborn babies and the latter is the symbol of the manhood of a baby boy. Ancient Babylonians associated masculinity with the “strength of heroisms”. Consequently, Gilgamesh’s vision of a kiṣru would refer to the making of Enkidu. As stated in the birth incantation UM 29-15-367, procreation is structured in three phases: Conception by pouring semen into the womb of a woman, forming a “lump” or “clumping together” (ka keš2), and birth. The creation of Enkidu parallels this tripartite process: unlike a human being he is not conceived by pouring semen into the womb of a woman but created within Aruru at the behest of Anu (SB I 100 zikru�ša�anim�ibtani�ina�libbīša “he fashioned within her Anu’s command”). Once conceived, Aruru forms him by pinching off a lump of clay, which corresponds to the moment of “clumping together”. Following this scheme, throwing the clay into the wild (SB I 102) should be equivalent to giving birth. The kiṣru(m) is said to be too heavy for Gilgamesh alone to lift (OB II “P” i: 8-9; SB I 249-250). The weight signifies in all likelihood might and strength which resists Gilgamesh’s power since he cannot move it by pressing his front against it (OB II “P” i: 12). This image agrees well with the petition of the young women from Uruk to Aruru, namely that the counterpart of Gilgamesh should be strong enough to with- stand him (SB I 98). Indeed, Gilgamesh alone is unable to overpower the kiṣru as he will be unable to beat Enkidu. The element of strength is central to Gilgamesh’s second dream, too. Here it is the axe, which symbolizes the gender and power of the companion-to-be. The dream is more straight- forward: the axe signifies the birth of a boy as someone endowed with the “strength of heroism.” It also implies that the first meeting of Enkidu and Gilgamesh is imminent because Gilgamesh makes contact with the axe and puts it on his side (OB P “P” i: 33-35). The OB version still distin- guishes between the difference in affection Gilgamesh dis- plays towards kiṣrum and ḫaṣinnum. The people of Uruk kiss the “lump’s” feet; only the axe receives Gilgamesh’s caresses and is loved like a wife (arāmšūma�kīma�aššatim�aḫabbub� elšu OB II “P” i: 33; [arāmšūma�kīm]a�aššati�elīšu�aḫbub SB I: 256).36) Although when Gilgamesh and Enkidu meet their initial encounter is not dominated by tender affection but driven by strife and vying, they become intimate and insepa- rable friends who love each other. In the SB version this dif- ference is blurred; in both dreams Gilgamesh exchanges kisses with the object and embraces it (SB I 256, 284). The making and birth of Enkidu and his meeting with Gilgamesh are set on the same emotional level. According to the OB version Gilgamesh behaves emotionally rather indif- ferently towards the kiṣrum, though not unconcerned because he carries the “lump” to his mother (OB II “P” i: 14; SB I 37) Differently, J. Keetman, “Der Kampf im Haustor,” 166 note 28, interprets the first dream as a nightmare and the second as positive. 37A) W.G. Lambert reminds that when loving for sexual pleasure is meant Babylonians would “love a woman” but not necessarily “love a wife”; see “Prostitution,” in V. Haas (ed.), Aussenseiter und Randgruppen, Xenia 32, Konstanz 1992, 156. 38) For the text edition and study see B. Alster, Wisdom�of�Ancient� Sumer, Bethesda 2005, 288-322, (quoted is l. 13 on 302). 36) M.P. Streck brings into consideration that the comparison kīma� aššatim does not necessarily need to belong to the verbal form arāmšūma but could refer to the expression in the second meter, aḫabbub/aḫbub�elšu, “Beiträge zum akkadischen Gilgameš-Epos,” OrNS 76 (2007) 406. Accordingly, we could translate “I loved it (and) caressed it as if it would be a wife”. 97795.indb 337 97795.indb 337 20/02/15 09:32 20/02/15 09:32

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