Gilgamesh and Huwawa

1 One day Gilgamesh's thoughts came to be focused upon the living one's mountain. He was thinking of death and the legacy that he would leave the world when his time finally came.

2 "Enkidu, we know that none can escape death. Since this is so, I will enter the mountain and set my name in the place of names." Gilgamesh was also a pious man and so added, "Where there are no names I will set up a place for the names of the gods."

3 "Gilgamesh," Enkidu replied easily, "if you are going to go to the mountain you should inform the god Utu. Things to do with the mountain where cedar is cut are his concern."

4 Gilgamesh took the counsel of his servant and friend. He had a white kid brought to him. He held the young sacrificial goat close to him and placed the holy staff before its nose.

5 "Lord Utu, I am going to the mountains. Will you help me in this task?" He offered the sacrifice to Utu and read the result.

6 "You are noble enough as it is." Utu replied. "Why would you want to go to the mountain?"

7 "Utu, please hear what I have to say." Gilgamesh pleaded with tears in his eyes. "In my city I see people dying. The people are distressed. I looked beyond the city's walls and saw a number of corpses in the water ways. This is what I see happening to me. I am not great enough to reach the heavens or pass beyond the mountains. Since man cannot defeat death, I want to go up to the mountain and set up my fame where I can. Where I can't I will set up the fame of the gods."

8 Utu accepted Gilgamesh's tears as a worthy sacrifice. He knew Gilgamesh was a compasionate man and decided to have compassion upon him as well. He decided to give the lord gilgamesh a group of powerful heroes to help and guide him in his task.

9 "There are seven young warrior brothers. They all have the same mother. The eldest and chief among them has lion's paws and eagle talons. The second is a cobra with fangs and venom. The third is a dragon who hurtles his wrath at his enemies. The fourth spits fire. The fifth is a snake with a powerful tongue to match. The sixth is a torrent who batters the mountains with the force of a flood. Finally, the seventh hurtles flashes of lightning that none can deflect. In addition, Nisaba has given you an escort who knows the way. They will guide you to the place in the mountains where the boats will need to be taken from the water."

10 The lord Gilgamesh, the one who fells cedars, was pleased with those who were to accompany him. Gilgamesh accepted the escort graciously. He knew the importance of setting off with skilled companions.

11 Gilgamesh sounded his great horn like a man alone, but he did it with the force of two men. When he had gotten the attention of his people he called to them. "Let he who has a family go to his family. Let those with mothers go to them. To the rest, bachelors like myself, let fifty join me at my side!"

12 With fifty men at his side he went to the blacksmith's place and had axes and other weapons made to increase the strength of his warriors. He then went to the dark grove just outside of the city to cut trees to make the shafts of his weapons.

13 He and his army then set out into the mountains with the seven brothers leading the way. Gilgamesh's intuition was not enough to lead him to the cedar that he sought and so he was forced to cross six mountains until his prise was finally revealed to him after the seventh. Once over the seventh mountain his intuition led him to where the cedars were to be found.

14 He immediately began to hack into the cedar forest with the terrors of his mighty Ax of the Road. Enkidu began stripping the trees of branches. His fellow citizens did the same. The branches were bundles and the trees were prepared to be moved.

15 Huwawa, awoke from within his lair. The commotion from all of the chopping and hacking had wakened him. Huwawa took his auras

16 Gilgamesh immediately began to grow sluggish as though he were falling asleep. His friend and adviser Enkidu grew confused as though he had just been struck hard upon the head. As for the young men that Gilgamesh had brought with him from his city, they cowered at the feet of their leaders like frightened puppies.

17 Enkidu was the first to wake. He shuddered from his dream and rubbed his eyes. At first he thought that what had happened had all been part of his dream, but there was silence all around him.

18 "You have fallen asleep. Gilgamesh, lord of Kulab how long will you sleep?" He attempted to wake his master, but he could not rouse the great warrior. He attempted to shake him and call to him in order to wake him. "It is getting late. The mountains are becoming harder to see as the shadows cover them."

19 When this did not work, Enkidu yelled into his master's ear. "Utu has already gone to rest at his mother's breast. The young men of your city should not have to wait at the foothills for you! Their own mothers shouldn't have to worry about them!"

20 Enkidu rubbed oil on his companion's chest, and this along with the rest roused him. Gilgamesh got up and swore by his mother Ninsun and his father Lugalbanda. "Have I become like a baby on my mother's lap?" After Gilgamesh had gathered his senses a little more he swore once again. "I will not return to Uruk until I find out if that person was a human or a god!"

21 "Master, you haven't even set eyes on that person, but I have. You should have a care for your life. He had the teeth of a dragon and the eyes of a lion. He had a chest as broad as the raging flood. His brow was so great that it could devour a bed of reeds. He was like a man eating lion that never cleaned the human blood from his mouth." Enkidu, ever the dutiful servant, did not want his master to put himself in such danger. "Continue up the mountain if you must, but I will return to the city. I will tell your mother that you live, but she will laugh at me knowing better. When I then tell her that you are dead she will weep bitter tears over you."

22 "Perhaps, but together we can survive. If you help me, and I help you, then what can stand against us? Come now, as you said I have yet to see him. Let us see if we can catch sight of him." Gilgamesh's confidence was unshakable.

23 "If we go after him then he will unleash his terror upon us and there will be blood!" Enkidu was not going to be convinced so easily by his master's confidence.

24 "Believe what you will." The lord was tiered of arguing, but didn't want to give up any point. "Come though, let us pursue him." They went, but before they could approach sixty poll lengths Huwawa was already in his lair somewhere within the cedar forest.

25 There was no doubt that Huwawa was powerful. He could strike a man dead with his eyes. He could pronounce judgment upon someone simply by shaking his head at them. When adressing his opponents he did not speak overly long.

26 "You are capable people," declared Huwawa, lord of the living one's mountain, "but you will never return home." The monster let his aura of power flow into him and Gilgamesh found himself paralyzed where he stood.

27 When he saw that the great warrior had been stopped easily the monster addressed him. "You are a hero and a king. Your mother bore you expertly, and your nurse nourished you well. Place your hand upon the ground and don't be afraid."

28 Gilgamesh, approaching cautiously, put his hand upon the ground to show his good intentions. This strategy had been given to him by Enki himself, and was designed to calm the wild beast.

29 "I swear by my mother Ninsun and by my father Lugalbanda that none know where your home in the mountains is, but they would like to," The lord of Kullab began cautiously. "I have brought you my big sister Enmebaragesi. She can be your wife in the mountains."

30 Huwawa wouldn't be convinced by this, so Gilgamesh continued. "I have also brought Matur, my little sister to you. She is to be your concubine here in the mountains. All that I ask of you is that you hand over your auras to me. If you do this we can be kinsmen."

31 This convinced him. Huwawa handed over his first aura. As he did this Gilgamesh's kinsmen began to lop off of branches and bundle them together for transport. Gilgamesh and Enkidu were now able to move closer safely.

32 This happened seven times. After each time the pair were able to move closer. The lord Gilgamesh and his servant were able to move ever closer each time. As they did this their kinsmen were hard at work gathering limbs, logs, and branches. They bundled them at the foot of the mountain so that they could be transported back home.

33 As he approached he offered gifts such as flour, water skins, and the food of the gods. Each time he also offered his sisters as wives for Huwawa. They were being offered to live in the mountains with Huwawa. Gilgamesh himself spoke of how he wished to become closer to Huwawa's family.

34 When Huwawa finally handed over his seventh and final aura, Gilgamesh was quite near the great monster. Huwawa led Gilgamesh to his lair following slowly behind like a snake. He made as to kiss him, as was the custom, but instead he struck him with his mighty fist.

35 "You call yourself a hero and you have lied to me so wickedly." Huwawa bared his teeth at him, but it was already too late.

36 The pair dragged him out of his home bound and with a rope around his neck. They commanded him to sit and he did. All the while Huwawa was crying and begging for his life. He knew that he had lost and was hoping for some measure of mercy.

37 "Please Gilgamesh, let me have my freedom. Let me say a word to the sun god." The lord of the living one's mountain turned his attention upwards to the sun god. "Utu, please hear me. I never knew my parents. I was born here on this mountain, and it was you who raised me. Gilgamesh swore by the realms of An, Ki, and the Kur."

38 The lord of the living one's mountain reached out to take the hand of the lord of Kullab and king of Uruk. He prostrated himself upon the ground before his captor and pleaded tearfully for his life.

39 "Enkidu, we should take pity upon him. He is like a captured bird who only wishes to fly home to his mother's embrace. We should let him go."

40 "As this creature just said, you are a hero and a king. You have the strength of a bull ready to fight and with the glory of the gods. You are loved well in the city of Uruk. Your mother did know how to bear sons, and your nurse did know how to nourish them. How can one so great be so lacking in common sense?" Enkidu asked bluntly. He knew full well that Huwawa was a monster who had killed before. He was like a wild animal in some respects. He would simply do what was natural for him to do. "If you let him go then fate will devour you without you ever knowing why. If you let him go what do you think he would do? If this captured bird runs away home than you never will."

41 "Enkidu, you are telling him terrible things about me. What right have you, a mere servant, to say these things?" Huwawa grew angry at Enkidu for daring pass judgement over him.

42 This in turn fueled Enkidu's anger. Gilgamesh's servant took his weapon and cut the throat of the monster. Once he was dead they removed the head and placed it in a leather bag.

43 The pair went to the temple where Enlil and his wife Ninlil could be presented with their trophy. They kissed the ground before Enlil showing respect to the lord of the gods. They then took the bag and presented it to the gods. Oppening it they removed the head and placed it on the floor in front of Enlil.

44 "Why have you done this? Were you ordered to kill him?" Enlil was not pleased. "He should have become your kinsman. You should have taken him into your household as you had promised."

45 Enlil then took the powerful auras from Gilgamesh and began distributing their power. The lord of the gods gave Huwawa's first aura to the fields as this would bring fruitfulness to the lands. He gave his second aura to the rivers to feed those fields. The third he gave reed beds and another to the lions to compliment the power they already had. He gave Huwawa's next aura to the forests and hills. He gave another aura to the debt slaves as he was a great lord of wealth and prosperity. This proved him to be great among masters.

46 Finally, in memory of Huwawa, gave his seventh aura to Nungal, the goddess of prisoners.