Gilgamesh A Verse Translation Author:Herbert Mason, trans. The origins of the ancient Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh extend back to the third millennium BC, fifteen hundred years before Homer. This story of a great king and his doomed friend was passed on to the Babylonians, who made it their national epic, and its rediscovery in the 19th century sparked an interest that has steadily grown. A reading of Gil... more »gamesh swiftly demonstrates the reasons for its time-defying vitality. Its themes are love and death and man's attempt to reconcile himself to tragedy, conveyed with a wealth of imagination and an intensity of feeling unrivaled in the epic form. Now this work has been rendered into modern English by Herbert Mason. A triumph of scholarship, a masterpiece of style, a labor of love, this new version of Gilgamesh is one of the great experiences of literature.