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Mircea Eliade discusses the Epic of Gilgamesh



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Patterns in Comparative Religion – Mircea Eliade

Gilgamesh comes upon a miraculous tree in a garden, and near it the divinity Siduri – the maiden – described as sabitu, that is the 'woman with the wine'.  Autran indeed explains this as meaning that Gilgamesh meets her beside a vine; in the near East, the vine was identified with the 'herb of life' and the Sumerian sign for life was originally a vine leaf.  This wonderful plant was sacred to the Great Goddesses.  The Mother Goddess was at first called 'the mother vine', or the 'goddess vine'.  Albright has proved that in primitive versions of the Gilgamesh legend, Siduri held a more important place.  Gilgamesh asks immortality of her directly.  …..Siduri had the appearance of a young girl, wore a veil, carried bunches of grapes and dwelt in the place from whence the four springs came;

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Epic of Gilgamesh, the

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