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| Gilgamesh Comparison Essay

Natural calamities have come to be known as random, morally inert phenomena-chance occurrences that are beyond human control. (Brian 3). Certainly, natural disasters have had an essential role in the history of humans from the down of civilization to the present day. Floods have changed the course of history, while the fall of civilization has been attributed to volcanic eruptions. Natural disasters also affect history more indirectly by exerting a subtle influence over human culture and beliefs. The pessimistic minds of the ancient Mesopotamians, who worshiped temperamental and wrathful gods, may be a consequence of the frequent floods of Tigris and Euphrates Rivers (Bryant 3). Indeed, the biblical story of Noah and the ark, which nearly all mankind perishes as punishment for human wickedness, probably has Mesopotamian roots.

Seeing floods, storms, and earthquakes as signs of God’s displeasure is arguably one of the oldest ways of interpreting these events (Reilly 216). Even in the modern world, when a person thinks on the vast array of existing supernatural forces that conspire to cause such disasters, it may be surprising to learn that people see the deluge as an act of God, and as an indication of God’s judgment on the people for their sinful ways. While it is true that nature plays a significant role in causing calamities, acts of God is concerned instead with the human dimension of these events

Myths or traditional stories on heroes and gods deeds have time and again been used in explaining some natural occurrences. Legends have also been used to refer to some historic occurrence. In traditional societies, myths, legends and other traditional stories was handed down usually by word of mouth. Both myths and legends feature natural dangerous encounters. People in the past used to view natural catastrophe as a threat to their existence. All hazards in one way or another had to be explained and often the explanation was set from a world of animistic gods. Myths such as this remain a feature of believe systems for most of the people across the globe; from aborigines in Australia; to the indigenous inhabitants of the Americas and the Arctic Circle. With the development of the written language, many of the oral legends and myths were put into writings under great religions of the world.

Nowhere is this more evident than with stories about the great flood. In the flood story, the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh has significant similarities to the biblical account. In this epic, Utapishtim, who was actually the tenth king of Babylon, substitute Noah, who was the tenth descendant of Adam. The epic account parallels the biblical account, which narrates of the building of an ark, bringing two animals of each species on board, and finally the ark resting on a mountain top after the flood. The biblical and epic accounts are without doubt contemptuous and in addition, a parallel major flood is evident in the written accounts of all the civilized societies all over the Middle Eastern countries.

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