BECKMAN, G. The Hittite Gilgamesh. Atlanta, GA: Lockwood Press, 2019, 112 p. – ISBN 9781948488068
A tradição de Gilgámesh foi importada para Hattusa, no império hitita, para uso na instrução dos escribas, e tem sido de particular importância para os estudiosos modernos na reconstrução da epopeia e na análise de seu desenvolvimento. Além dos textos na língua hitita que narram as aventuras de Gilgámesh, duas versões em acádico e fragmentos em hurrita foram encontrados na capital hitita Hattusa. Este livro oferece uma edição completa dos manuscritos de Hattusa em hitita, acádico e hurrita.
O autor explica na introdução do livro:
From the late third millennium BCE on, the adventures of Gilgamesh were well known throughout Babylonia and Assyria, and the discovery of fragmentary Akkadian-language fragments of versions of his tale at Boğazköy (edited here), Ugarit (Arnaud 2007: 130–38; George 2007), Emar (Arnaud 1985: 328; 1987: 383–84 n. 781), and Megiddo in Palestine (Goetze and Levy 1959) demonstrates that tales of the hero’s exploits had reached the periphery of the cuneiform world already in the Late Bronze Age.
In addition to the manuscripts in the Hittite language recounting Gilgamesh’s adventures, two Akkadian versions and fragmentary Hurrian renderings have turned up at the Hittite capital Hattusa. But there is absolutely no evidence that the hero of Uruk was familiar to the Hittite in the street. No representations of Gilgamesh are to be found in the corpus of Hittite art, nor are there allusions to him or his exploits in texts outside of the literary products just listed.
It seems, therefore, that the Gilgamesh tradition was imported to Hattusa solely for use in scribal instruction, although it cannot absolutely be excluded that the Hittite-language text was read aloud at court for the entertainment of the king and his associates. Nonetheless, as has long been recognized, the material from Boğazköy has been of particular importance to modern scholars in reconstructing the epic and analyzing its development, since it documents a period in the history of the narrative’s progressive restructuring and elaboration for which very few textual witnesses have yet been recovered from Mesopotamia itself. And it is this very Middle Babylonian or Kassite period to which scholarly consensus assigns the composition of the final, “canonical,” version of the epic.
Gary Beckman is George C. Cameron Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Cultures in the Department of Middle East Studies at the University of Michigan.