13 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2022
    1. 5in the midst of omens. 6ib-ba-šu-nim-ma ka-ka-’a[2] ša-ma-i 6And there came out stars in the heavens, 7ki-?-?-rum[3] ša a-nim im-ku-ut a-na ṣi-ri-i̭a 7Like a … of heaven he fell upon me. 8áš-ši-šu-ma ik-ta-bi-it[4] e-li-i̭a 8I bore him but he was too heavy for me. 9ilam[5] iš-šu-ma nu-uš-ša-šu[6] u-ul el-ti-’i̭ 9He bore a net but I was not able to bear it. 10ad-ki ma-tum pa-ḫi-ir[7] e-li-šu 10I summoned the land to assemble unto him, 11id-lu-tum ú-na-ša-ku ši-pi-šu 11that heroes might kiss his feet.

      Here Gilgamesh evokes the land as an element to be gathered, which refers to an idea of nation building above all as a spiritual and territorial idea, he wants to be the king of a territory and not of a people. To put it more simply, there was no king of the French people, but a king of France, which is not quite the same thing. Here nation building is divine.

    2. he had not been taught. 10ḫa-ri-im-lum pi-ša i-pu-ša-am- ma 10The hierodule opened her mouth 11iz-za-kar-am a-na iluEn-ki-dû 11and said unto Enkidu:— 12a-ku-ul ⁠ak-lam dEn-ki-dû 12“Eat bread, oh Enkidu! 13zi-ma-at ⁠ba-la-ṭi-im 13It is the conformity of life, 14bi-ši-ti ⁠ši-im-ti ma-ti 14of the conditions and the fate of the land.”

      Here the "fate of the land" is evoked as passing through "a conformity of life", the fate of the land being linked to its own fate. Here a notion that was not present in the old translations of this passage. The notion of collective responsibility. Because compliance is a collective human phenomenon, it is peace and stability that come first. It is through the establishment and normalization of norms and traditions that the nation can be built, attachment to the land, is moreover something quite old, under the Roman Empire, the gods of the house, the Penates linked the land to a religious aspect, of memory. Here it is indeed the memory, which now separates Enkidu from the animals, it no longer reacts only by instinct as before.

    3. At home with a family [to dwell??] 15ši-ma-a-at ⁠ni-ši-i- ⁠ma 15is the fate of mankind. 16tu-ṣa[30]-ar pa-a-ta-tim[31] 16Thou shouldest design boundaries(??) 17a-na âli dup-šak-ki-i e ṣi-en 17for a city. The trencher-basket put (upon thy head).

      Here we come back to a Greek conception of the city, as being a set clearly defined within its limits, the walls designating the boundaries of the city. The boundaries here are enunciated so that Enkidu can understand how humans differ from animals. Moreover, the notion of a fate of humanity as the courtesan states is interesting, since it assumes that everyone in his "collective unconscious" as Jung would say, would have this tendency to seek a membership greater than his own person within a larger group, in order why not build a nation.

    1. She looks and longs for Ráma's face, But sees a crowd of demon race, And guarded by the giant's train Pines for her lord and weeps in vain, But Lanká founded on a steep Is girdled by the mighty deep, And how will Ráma know his fair And blameless wife is prisoned there? She on her woe will sadly brood And pine away in solitude, And heedless of herself, will cease To live, despairing of release. Yes, pondering on her fate, I see Her gentle life in jeopardy. Go, Indra, swiftly seek the place, And look upon her lovely face. Within the city make thy way: Let heavenly food her spirit stay.'    Thus Brahma, spake: and He who slew The cruel demon Páka, flew Where Lanká's royal city lay, And Sleep went with him on his way. 'Sleep,' cried the heavenly Monarch, 'close Each giant's eye in deep repose.'

      What is interesting about Sita and Rama is that they are in their configuration in a rather Manichaean story, which opposes the forces of good and evil. The term demon refers in all cultures to what absolute evil is, must be. They want to be good, nothing else, evil wants to be evil, the forces of evil do evil for evil. It is a rather religious construction of the characters, who are engaged in the struggle for an ideal.

    1. Submit thee to the hermit's vow, The noblest gain from virtue springs, And virtue joy unending brings. All earthly blessings virtue sends: On virtue all the world depends. Those who with vow and fasting tame To due restraint the mind and frame, Win by their labour, nobly wise, The highest virtue for their prize. Pure in the hermit's grove remain, True to thy duty, free from stain. But the three worlds are open thrown To thee, by whom all things are known. Who gave me power that I should dare

      I think that the notion of virtue is also important, because is it not what drives us every day? Here, when we talk about virtue, we are talking about a certain form of moderation, of nobility. What distinguishes the main character Rama from other characters he meets is his willingness to embody this ideal. On the other hand, there is no virtue without bad deeds, there is no good without evil, good only exists because there is evil.

    1. It taints a monarch's son with shame, Ne'er to be heard from those who know The science of the sword and bow. My lord, the mother, sire, and son, Receive their lots by merit won; The brother and the daughter find The portions to their deeds aligned. The wife alone, whate'er await, Must share on earth her husband's fate. So now the king's command which sends Thee to the wild, to me extends. The wife can find no refuge, none, In father, mother, self, or son: Both here, and when they vanish hence, Her husband is her sole defence. If, Raghu's son, thy steps are led Where Dandak's pathless wilds are spread, My foot before thine own shall pass Through tangled thorn and matted grass. Dismiss thine anger and thy doubt: Like refuse water cast them out, And lead me, O my hero, hence-- I know not sin--with confidence. Whate'er his lot,'tis far more sweet To follow still a husband's feet Than in rich palaces to lie, Or roam at pleasure through the sky. My mother and my sire have taught What duty bids, and trained each thought, Nor have I now mine ear to turn The duties of a wife to learn, I'll seek with thee the woodland dell And pathless wild where no men dwell, Where tribes of silvan creatures roam, And many a tiger makes his home. My life shall pass as pleasant there As in my father's palace fair. The worlds shall wake no care in me; My only care be truth to thee. There while thy wish I still obey, True to my vows with thee I'll stray, And there shall blissful hours be spent In woods with honey redolent. In forest shades thy mighty arm Would keep a stranger's life from harm, And how shall Sitá think of fear When thou, O glorious lord, art near? Heir of high bliss, my choice is made, Nor can I from my will be stayed. Doubt not; the earth will yield me roots, These will I eat, and woodland fruits; And as with thee I wander there I will not bring thee grief or care. I long, when thou, wise lord, art nigh, All fearless, with delighted eye To gaze upon the rocky hill, The lake, the fountain, and the hill; To sport with thee, my limbs to cool, In some pure lily-covered pool, While the white swan's and mallard's wings

      The notion of responsibility is important in both individual and collective construction, here Sita says her fate will not be different from that of her husband. The construction of Sita as a person is therefore partly through her husband Rama, whom she presents as her protector. Rama is almost mentioned as a Christian figure in this passage, since he defends the innocent, the notion of innocence being represented by Sita. Moreover, the notion of otherness designates for Sita everything that Rama will defend me, without any differentiation. Her devotion is important because she makes a profound difference between her husband and the other people she meets, systematically putting Rama on a pedestal, even if he would have been contemptuous.

    1. But touching now the safe return⁠Of King and gold-trickt host, My heart within me, doleful seer Of mischief, harrow'd is by fear,—⁠10 For all the martial strength is gone, Nurtured in Asia,—and doth yearn For our young hero; news is none; Nor horseman reacheth yet nor post⁠Our Persia's central home. But they forsaking Susa's walls, Agbatana and Kissia's hold, Right ancient, forth to battle sped, Some borne on steeds, in galleys some, Others in march, with measured tread,⁠War's serried ranks displayed

      In the Persians, the notion of the homeland and nation is strong, not as a unitary and indivisible thing like a modern nation-state, but as two blocs. The martial forces are those of the Persian Empire as a whole. The various nations present in the Persian Empire are disregarded, as are the various nations present in Greece. There is a territorial idea before the idea of nation.

    2. In olden time by Heaven's decree Fixed was the Persians' destiny;— Tower-battering war was theirs by Fate, The turmoil when steed-mounted foes In shock of battle fiercely close, And cities to make desolate. ⁠

      I think this quote is important to really show that the nation is a fairly secular notion in its purpose. Modern nation-states in France and England emerged after the cleric’s influence in politics waned.

    3. O faithful of the faithful, ye whilome My youth's compeers, elders of Persia, say With what sore travail travaileth the state? The land, breast-smitten and with furrowed cheek,[25] Moaneth, and I, beholding near my tomb ⁠680 My consort, troubled am, but graciously Her offrings I received; ye also stand Lifting the dirge beside my sepulchre, And, shouting loud with shade-evoking strains, Piteously call me: but the upward path Lies not too open; for the gods below More ready are to seize than to let loose. Yet, rank among them holding, I am come; But haste, that time rebuke not my delay. What this new ill that weighs the Persians down?

      This passage is rather evocative of the idea that a "providential man" would have built the nation, here Darius complains about the state of the state and the new laws of his son Xerxes.

      The notion of finitude is also evoked when Darius evokes gods that take more than they let go. The nation is above all an idea that crosses time, moreover, the idea of nation and state must be separated. Darius evokes a state and inappropriate laws, but not the nations that make up his empire. The nation is something that lasts, laws do not last forever. Darius the king of kings during the Ionian revolt had lost, but he had kept his face.

    1. Seven goblets. it-tap-šar kab-ta-tum i-na-an-gu His spirit was loosened, he became hilarious. 100i-li-iṣ libba-šú-ma His heart became glad and pa-nu-šú [it]-tam-ru His face shone. ul-tap-pi-it [lùŠÚ]-I [The barber(?)] removed šú-ḫu-ra-am pa-ga-ar-šú The hair on his body. šá-am-nam ip-ta-šá-áš-ma He was anointed with oil. 105a-we-li-iš i-we He became manlike. il-ba-áš li-ib-šá-am He put on a garment, ki-ma mu-ti i-ba-áš-ši He was like a man. il-ki ka-ak-ka-šú He took his weapon; la-bi ú-gi-ir-ri Lions he attacked, 110uš-sa-ak-pu re’ûti mu-ši-a-tim (so that) the night shepherds could res

      Enkidu will evolve here as an individual, through the resumption of human uses thanks to the action of the courtesan, through the wine he drinks, the food, the clothes he wears, he separates from his old identity. The lion protection he gives to the herbivores is significant because, previously hunted, it is now he who hunts.

      A nation is built from an identity, that's what Enkidu acquires here, the possibility of being part of a nation.

    2. The heroes rejoiced. šá-ki-in ur-šá-nu He became a leader. a-na itli šá i-šá-ru zi-mu-šú To the hero of fine appearance, 190a-na dGiš ki-ma i-li-im To Gish, like a god, šá-ki-iš-šum me-iḫ-rù He became a rival to him.[7] a-na dIš-ḫa-ra ma-a-a-lum For Ishḫara a couch na-di-i-ma Was stretched, and dGiš it-[ti-il-ma wa-ar-ka-tim] Gish [lay down, and afterwards(?)] 195i-na mu-ši in-ni-[ib-bi]-it In the night he fled. i-na-ag-šá-am-ma He approaches and it-ta-[zi-iz dEn-ki-dũ] i-na sûḳim [Enkidu stood] in the streets. ip-ta-ra-[aṣ a-la]-ak-tam He blocked the path šá dGiš of Gish. 200[a-na e-pi-iš] da-na-ni-iš-šú At the exhibit of his power,

      One interesting thing here is the rivalry between Gilgamesh and Enkidu. What is interesting about this rivalry is that it's not just a personal rivalry. Enkidu is first mentioned as the child of nature, where gazelles are mentioned, but also threatening lions. In this passage, one can also see Gilgamesh in what he represents, the city. The terms "squares", "districts", "walls" are mentioned.

      This first contact between Enkidu and Gilgamesh is a social moment, since it is on the main square that the story takes place.

    3. Like [a god(?)] she brought him a-na gu-up-ri šá-ri-i-im To the fertile meadow, a-šar tar-ba-ṣi-im The place of the sheepfolds. 75i-na [áš]-ri-šú [im]-ḫu-ruri-ia-ú In that place they received food; [ù šú-u dEn-ki-dũ i-lit-ta-šú šá-du-um-ma] [For he, Enkidu, whose birthplace was the mountain,] [it-ti ṣabâti-ma ik-ka-la šam-ma] [With the gazelles he was accustomed to eat herbs,] [it-ti bu-lim maš-ḳa-a i-šat-ti] [With the cattle to drink water,] [it-ti na-ma-áš-te-e mê i-ṭab lib-ba-šú] [With the water beings he was happy.]

      Here is presented an important notion of building Enkidu as a person. Still in a rather primitive state, it seems quite close to animals, with which it eats the same food. His behavior is close to animal instinct, however not completely since he distinguishes himself from animals, by saying he is happy.

  2. Apr 2022
    1. XERXES. Alas, the triple banks of oars and those who died thereby! CHORUS. Pass! I will lead you, bring you home, with many a broken sigh!

      Xerxes sees the impact of his hubris, religion and fate are used as aids to feel better about mortal actions.