Glossary

Adad
The god of thunder, rain, and floods.

Anu
The sky god, chief god of Uruk.

Bull of Heaven
A beast sent, at Ishtar’s command, by Anu to destroy Uruk.

Ea
One of the gods who created humanity. Ea warns Utnapishtim that the flood is coming.

Enkidu
A wild man created by Anu.

Enlil
The most powerful god, ruling gods and humans from Earth; he caused the flood that destroyed almost all humankind.

Gilgamesh
King of Uruk and hero of the epic.

The Great Cedar Forest
A far-away paradise of scented trees that is guarded for the gods, but which Gilgamesh wants in order to use its timbers for his city gates.

Humbaba
The demon guardian of the Great Cedar Forest.

Ishtar
A goddess, daughter of Anu.

Mount Mashu
The mountain that guards the rising and setting of the sun.

Mount Nimush
The mountain where Utnapishtim’s boat lands after the flood.

Ninsun
A goddess, mother of Gilgamesh.

Shamesh
The sun god.

Shamhat
A temple harlot in Uruk, sent by the gods to tame Enkidu.

Shuruppak
Utnapishtim’s once great city, later destroyed by the flood.

Siduri
The tavern-keeper in the lands beyond Mount Mashu.

Uruk-the-Sheepfold
The home of Gilgamesh, and of all that is good and unique about Sumerian culture. Its protective wall is presented as a wonder of the world, and Gilgamesh’s story is literally embedded in its foundation.

Ur-Shanabi
The boatman who takes Gilgamesh over the waters to Utnapishtim, then home to Uruk.

Utnapishtim
Once a king of a teeming city, only he and his wife survived the great flood sent by the gods to destroy humanity. They now live eternally on an island at the source of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.