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Art, travels

Sumerian antiquities at the Louvre – 9

A statue of Gudea, Prince of Lagash. Having read about him in Sumerian history, it was a “little shiver down my spine” moment to see him face-to-face!

Gudea c 2120 BCE, Girsu

The epic of Gilgamesh is probably the oldest epic/fable/legend known to us. It’s unclear if Gilgamesh was an historical figure or not, though the current thought is that he was an actual king of Uruk somewhere between 2800-2500 BCE and was posthumuously deified. Lost in time the story of Gilgamesh was rediscovered in the 19th century, when its translation caused some controversy since it narrated the story of the “biblical” flood, centuries before the bible was written. There are other similarities between the Gilgamesh epic and the bible and even between it and the Homerian epics: Iliad and Odyssey.

Statues like the one below are usually used to depict Gilgamesh, though this is generally considered a false connection. This statute is usually called the “master of animals”, a symbol of royal power and a guardian deity as well, depending on the culture. This statue is from the same source as the Lamassi in my previous post. The sheer ease with which the man grasps a lion in his arm and a snake in his other hand represents man’s mastery over nature “red in tooth and claw”.


About hbhatnagar

I need to fill this up with much better content than I had populated it with earlier. Why I write a blog maybe? I started blogging in 2009 or thereabouts. I was a newly turned atheist and wanted to converse with others of the same persuasion. We're not exactly a big population group in India! It didn't go very well and I sort of lost interest, posting a few things now and then. I got a lot more regular over the last few months and have been posting almost daily since February '15. There were many reasons why I gradually became more regular in posting, but one way or the other, here I am! So this blog has taken shape, being at different points in time my showcase, my comedy club, my art gallery, my book club, my therapist, my close friend, my innermost self....but always my little corner of the world. You are all welcome to visit and I hope you stay awhile! A few points about me because I don't want to lead anyone on(and trust me this does become an issue more often than I'd care to admit). I'm Indian, the brown-skinned variety; if race, ethnicity or skin colour is an issue, you don't have to get to know me any more than what you see on my blog. I'm 40, so if age is an issue, please be informed accordingly. I was a doctor, an ophthalmic surgeon for 10 years before I quit practice.


4 thoughts on “Sumerian antiquities at the Louvre – 9

  1. Love your pictures and stories from the Louvre! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by inspiramble | 28/09/2020, 12:10 AM
  2. The first statue is stunning, especially the expression.
    Thank you for the series, Dr. Hb.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Amy | 21/06/2020, 5:54 PM

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