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January 1st, 2019

Yuletide reveal -- I wrote She Who Saw the Deep for [archiveofourown.org profile] Rubynye for the Epic of Gilgamesh, featuring Gilgamesh/Enkidu/Shamhat. If you're scratching your head over that last name,* she's the woman who "civilized" the wild man Enkidu with six days and seven nights of continuous sex. This is a story of their next meeting, after Gilgamesh and Enkidu have one of those off-stage adventures that happen between the Cedar Raid and the Bull-slaying, showing the reward Shamhat received for introducing the king to a blood brother who embraces him as a wife.

Tags include Unexpected Visitors, Poetry, Ritual Sex, Okay So They Skip the Ritual Part of the Sex, Theophany, Everyone's Hot for Enkidu, and Thick Beer. You shouldn't need deep canon knowledge, beyond who the main characters are.

The detail I'm most pleased with is that every sentence spoken** by Enkidu longer than four words is a Sumerian proverb. The detail I most regret is that I didn't manage to rationalize and include a hierarchy, with distinct roles, for priestly titles of qadishtu, naditu, entu, harmitu, et cetera -- nor work out plausibly which actually had ritual duties that include sex. There is, to put it mildly, too much we don't know. My handwave is that this is a branch temple in a small village that cannot support all of them (especially any known-to-be high-ranked qadishtu).

(I am also tickled at the idea of claiming yet another of Heracles's adventures is an echo of a Mesopotamian original.)

It was fun to write and the recipient seems pleased, so I call it a success.


* No shame in this -- some translations don't even name her.

** As opposed to sung, natch.


---L.

Subject quote from Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802, William Wordsworth.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/710093.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.