Gilgamesh Kingship

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Divinely chosen, though not divine themselves, the kings of ancient Mesopotamia acted as earthly representatives of the gods. The traits that are attributed to Gilgamesh represent some of the main ideas about kingship in ancient Mesopotamia. The main duties of ancient sumerian kings involved participating in religious rituals, managing the affairs of the state in war and peace, writing laws and guiding the administration and execution of justice. In ancient Mesopotamia it was believed that the higher power was the gods, while a human steward was divinely chosen to enact the gods wishes. The king was believed to be personally chosen by said high power and, although his actions manifested the will of the gods, he himself was not deemed to be godly. In this way, his primary role was to be a messenger of their bidding.…show more content…
After Gilgamesh suggested that he and Enkidu go to the Cedar Forest to fight with Humbaba, and Enkidu presented a few objections, and Gilgamesh says "I will go in front of you, and your mouth can cry out: "Go on closer, do not be afraid!" Should I fall, I will have established my fame. (They will say:) "It was Gilgamesh who locked in battle with Humbaba the Terrible!" (Tablet II, 228-237). In this instance, Gilgamesh thinks that death is inevitable, so the best thing to do is to do participate in dangerous tasks and win undying fame. War and conquest were considered to be the divine mission of the ancient Mesopotamian kings. It was their duty to draw more resources and people under their domain. They believed that in order to protect themselves and their kingdoms they would need to expand and conquer areas of perceived threat. Therefore, ancient Sumerian society idealized extreme acts of bravery in battle or war in order to gain a strong reputation and
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