Posts Tagged ‘history book club’
  • This is part three of my notes on the Epic of Gilgamesh.  Part one can be found here and part two, here. Synopsis: Tablet VIII Enkidu is dead, and Gilgamesh is devastated.  He laments him, ripping his hair and clothes.  He commissions a statue for him, immortalizing him in the only way he can.  He also takes responsibility for providing for Enkidu in the underworld.  He sets aside gold and slaughtered animals to give as gifts to important people in the underworld, people who can he... more »
  • I wrote a synopsis and my thoughts on Tablets I and II of the Gilgamesh Epic here. This post will cover Tablets III through VII. Tablet III Gilgamesh, along with Enkidu, starts off on his manly quest to kill the monster, Humbaba, and chop down some cedars in the forest he guards.  Before they leave, a divination is read, which is unfavorable.  Gilgamesh ignores the prophecy and final plans are made.  The two are sent off by dignitaries. Tablet IV On the way, Gilgamesh has a se... more »
  • There are epics, and then there are Epics. The Gilgamesh epic is in the latter category. It is the earliest surviving story of its kind. Written over 4,000 years ago, the epic is a cautionary tale of wisdom on the subject of life, death, and the folly of trying to outrun death, of seeking immortality. First, a little background on Gilgamesh (I am trying to refrain from referring to him affectionately as Gilgy). Gilgamesh was a king of Uruk, an early Mesopotamian city, and according to tra... more »
  • The Babylonian flood story dates to 1600 BC.  The version that I read is a compilation of several different versions, which have been pieced together to form a more cohesive narrative. The story is more about the background of the gods' decision to bring about the flood rather than the flood itself.  And it brings a lot of light to the view that Mesopotamians held of their deities: that they considered humans a necessary nuisance.  They were necessary because they kept them fed and labored fo... more »
  • Mesopotamian literature is an interesting beast.  I'm not completely sure how to describe it.  It's the opposite of hopeful and uplifting, but at the same time it's too outlandish to take at face value so it ends up being kind of humorous in a depressing sort of way.    Even the gods (the heroes, if you can call them that) come across as whiny, immoral, and at times just....dense.  Only Ea, the god of wisdom, seems to have much sense at all, and he is mostly painted as a sneaky guy who is a... more »
  • So.....sorry for the long absence.  It's been a busy couple of months for this little pilgrim.  And wow, do  I have a lot to catch up on!  The first thing I want to do is finish writing up my notes and thoughts on my ancient history reading.  So, following is part two of my notes from The History of the Ancient World, covering the remainder of Mesopotamian history before Epoch 2 and the call of Abraham around 2000 BC: After Sargon's death, his son Manishtushu reigned.  He loved war, ju... more »
  • I read through Epoch 1 of my Chronological bible a while back as part of my ancient history book club reading.  Epoch 1 consists of Genesis 1-11 and includes the creation account, the fall, and the stories of Cain and Abel, Noah and the flood, and the Tower of Babel.  A lot of time is covered here in a few short chapters. This is the first time I have read through this section of the Bible from a historical standpoint, and the first time I've read it since reading other historical creation ... more »
  • [caption id="attachment_171" align="alignleft" width="153" caption="Sargon, creator of the first empire"][/caption] I took a lot of notes when I read through Susan Wise Bauer's book, The History of the Ancient World (HOTAW), and I am revisiting them as my little ancient history book club goes chronologically through other sources of ancient history and literature.  First I am focusing on Mesopotamia up to the year 2000 BC; this time period is covered in HOTAW in chapters 1-3, 7-8, 10, 12-13,... more »
  • My review of The History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer Completed September, 2010 This book took me quite a while to get through, but reading it was most definitely worth the time spent. Bauer is skilled at turning the facts of history into a compelling story. It is very easy to get bogged down in ancient history, with the rises and falls of kings and empires that seem to rarely learn from each other but rather get stuck on repeat. Truly there is nothing new under the sun. ... more »
  • I am on a mission to give myself a classical education.  I'm chronologically working my way through written history, starting at the very beginning in ancient Mesopotamia.  I am hoping to make it to modern history by the time my oldest daughter is in high school so we can actually have intelligent conversations about the "great books" that she will be reading by then.  That gives me less than eight years to read through approximately 5,000 years of history and literature.  :-o The ver... more »