Monday, 20 June 2022

Gilgamesh and hurling

Article about Gilgamesh. And hurling...

Pic: "Hurlers appearing through the icy mist" by John McIlwaine...

Hurling, Gaelic "game" described as a "cross between hockey and murder". Probably developed to train warriors in hand to hand combat, it could be thousands of years old...

Excerpt from "Gilgameš, Enkidu and the nether world": 

"...The tree [of life], he [Gilgamesh] uprooted it and stripped its branches...He gave it [wood] to his sister holy Inana for her chair. He gave it to her for her bed..."

So far so Mesopotamian...Now it turns very very Irish 🙂 Anyone from Ireland who ever played Hurling will know what I am talking about...For those not from Ireland, and not familiar with Hurling, check these articles about "Gaelic sports"...

"...As for himself, from its roots, he [Gilgamesh] manufactured his ball and, from its branches, he manufactured his mallet [or hurley stick?]..."

"...He played with the ball in the broad square, never wanting to stop playing it, and he praised himself in the broad square, never wanting to stop praising himself [🙂 see]..."

"...The young men of his city were playing with the ball. For him who made the team of the widows' children [basically they played the game so much their mothers never saw them], they lamented: "O my neck! O my hips!" [it's a tough game]..."

"...For those that had a mother, the mother brought bread for her son; for those that had a sister, the sister poured water for her brother..."

"...As the evening came, he marked the spot where the ball had been placed, and he picked up his ball from in front of him and took it home. But early in the morning as he …… the place marked..."

"...the widows' accusation and the young girls' complaint caused his ball and his mallet [hurley stick???] to fall down to the bottom of the nether world..."

"...He could not reach them...He tried with his hand but could not reach them, tried with his foot but could not reach them..."

"...At the gate of the nether world, he sat down. Gilgamesh wept, crying bitterly: "O my ball! O my mallet [hurley stick???]!...I am still not satiated with its charms, the game with it has not yet palled for me!..."

"...My ball has fallen down to the nether world -- who will retrieve it for me? My mallet [hurley stick???] has fallen down to the nether world -- who will retrieve it for me?..."

Oh, Enkidu, I see you have nothing better to do...Would you mind popping down to the nether world and getting my ball and mallet for me? Good lad...

Of course I am not saying that Sumerians played hurling...

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