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Discovering Gilgamesh – Geology, narrative and the historical sublime in Victorian culture - Manchester Scholarship Online
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Discovering Gilgamesh: Geology, narrative and the historical sublime in Victorian culture

Vybarr Cregan-Reid


In 1872, a young archaeologist at the British Museum made a tremendous discovery. While he was working his way through a Mesopotamian ‘slush pile’, George Smith, a self-taught expert in ancient languages, happened upon a Babylonian version of Noah’s Flood. His research suggested this ‘Deluge Tablet’ pre-dated the writing of Genesis by a millennium or more. Smith went on to translate what later became The Epic of Gilgamesh, perhaps the oldest and most complete work of literature from any culture. Against the backdrop of innovative readings of a range of paintings, novels, histories and photogra ... More

Keywords: Gilgamesh, Victorian geology, sublime, George Smith, narrative, time

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780719090516
Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2015 DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719090516.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Vybarr Cregan-Reid, author

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Part I: Gilgamesh

Part II – Narrative and the historical sublime

Part III: Geology, Gilgamesh, and the historical sublime