The Epic of Gilgamesh: Selected Readings from its Original Early Arabic Language: Including a New Translation of the Flood Story

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Saad D. Abulhab
Blautopf Publishing, Oct 27, 2016 - Literary Collections - 387 pages

The pioneering work presented in this book introduces the earliest known literary and mythology work in the world, the Epic of Gilgamesh, in its actual language: early Classical Arabic. It provides a more accurate translation and understanding of the important story of the flood, one of the key stories of the monotheistic religions. In this book, the author, a known Arabic type designer and an independent scholar of Nabataean, Musnad, and early Arabic scripts, was able to decipher the actual meanings and pronunciations of several important names of ancient Mesopotamian gods, persons, cities, mountains, and other entities. He was able to uncover the evolution path of the concept of god and the background themes behind the rise of the monotheistic religions. Utilizing a generous text sample from the Akkadian and Sumerian languages, this book is an excellent reference textbook for scholars and students of Arabic and Assyriology who are interested in translating these ancient languages through both, the historical Arabic etymological references and the deciphering tools of Assyriology. To illustrate his breakthrough Arabic-based deciphering methodology, the author used a sample text consisting of more than 900 lines from three tablets of the Standard and Old Babylonian editions of the Epic of Gilgamesh. By “digging out” the actual language of the epic, he was not only able to resurrect the actual word soundings and linguistic literary style of its original text, but also to provide more accurate and coherent translations. Following his three years of research, he was able to demonstrate through undisputed linguistic evidence that the epic was in fact written in a beautiful, powerful early Classical Arabic language! And the so-called Sumerian and Akkadian languages that the epic was recorded with, which we are told today are unrelated languages, were in fact one evolving early Arabic language, written with one evolving writing system, passing through two major time periods. Although this book is primarily written as a reference textbook for scholars, it is equally suitable for anyone interested in reading the translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh, a fascinating Mesopotamian Arab mythology work documenting eloquently some of the most important and lasting ancient myths invented by humankind.


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About the author (2016)

Saad D Abulhab is a known Arabic type designer, librarian, systems engineer, and independent scholar. Born 1958 in Sacramento, California, and grew up in Karbala and Baghdad, Iraq. He moved in 1979 to New York, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science. Prior to his breakthrough reading of the Epic of Gilgamesh, he offered equally significant new readings of several major Nabataean and early Arabic inscriptions. Mr. Abulhab is also an expert in the pre-Islamic Arabic Musnad script, and the early Quranic Arabic Kufic script.

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