The Epic of Gilgamesh (Carmina de Gilgamo) appears to have been translated into many languages but I didn't find a Latin translation, does it exist?

  • 2
    No, there isn't any.
    – fdb
    Oct 16 at 9:00

As fdb says, there is not, to my knowledge, a proper Latin translation of The Epic of Gilgamesh. Any efforts to do so would have been a 20th or 21st century affair, as the text was lost in antiquity and no one in the late Classical or Medieval world knew Akkadian. The last dated Akkadian text comes from 1st first century CE.

You do see his name survive a bit outside Sumero-Akkadian literature, but those places seem to lack knowledge of the actual epic. Gilgamesh and Humbaba were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Book of Giants, but their roles there are just names of ancient giants. Giglamos is mentioned in Aelian, who records his birth. The story actually looks more like that of Sargon, though. What exactly happened there is anybody's guess.

What you do see with the first four lines of Latin Wikipedia's Carmina de Gilgamo is just some random person's attempt, which actually speaks to the dilettantish and unencyclopedic nature of the "Latin Wikipedia." You can tell it's not a proper Latin translation because while cano takes an accusative, therein it is taking a genitive (eius...canere volo).

  • 2
    This is a great answer, thank you very much
    – Laravel
    Oct 16 at 15:04
  • Might you elaborate on "the dilettantish and unencyclopedic nature of the Latin Wikipedia", just out of curiosity
    – Laravel
    Oct 16 at 18:50
  • 7
    @Laravel The purpose of Wikipedia was to gather what is known and accepted. Someone's amateur translation of the Gilgamesh epic into Latin doesn't fit those criteria. Much of Latin wiki feels like that - people who don't know Latin that well trying their hand at translating, but inevitably reproducing their own native speech patterns instead.
    – cmw
    Oct 16 at 18:52
  • I better understand what you meant, thank you
    – Laravel
    Oct 17 at 9:16
  • 1
    @Laravel, it could be worse :) theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/aug/26/…
    – Carsten S
    Oct 17 at 17:12

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