Marts, 2008

Gilgamesh epos

I det berømte mesopotamiske epos Gilgamesh (ca. 2800 år før vor tidsregning) beskrives øl som civilisations drik. Kort fortalt er historien, at indbyggerne i byen Uruk klager til guderne over Gilgamesh’ seksuelle appetit, og over de mange mænd, der må lade livet i hans krige. Guderne beslutter at bønhøre de fortvivlede undersåtter og skaber kongen en noget nær uovervindelig modstander i ”den vilde mand”, Enkidu, der levede et primitivt, men lykkeligt liv udenfor civilisationen. Men Enkidus møde med civilisationen i form af den prostituerede Shamkhat, sendt ud af Gilgamesh for at stække ham, ændrer hans sind. Shamkhats rolle var ikke bare at forføre ham, hun skulle også »civilisere« ham for derigennem at forårsage hans syndefald. Udover en uges elskov bliver Enkidu også introduceret til civilisationens mad og drikke.

They placed food in front of him, they placed beer in front of him; Enkidu knew nothing about eating bread for food, and of drinking beer he had not been taught. The harlot spoke to Enkidu, saying: "Eat the food, Enkidu, it is the way one lives. Drink the beer, as is the custom of the land."

Enkidu ate the food until he was sated; he drank the beer-seven jugs1! - and became expansive and sang with joy!´ He was elated and his face glowed. He splashed his shaggy body with water, and rubbed himself with oil, and turned into a human. He put on some clothing and became like a warrior (!). He took up his weapon and chased lions so that the shepherds could eat He routed the wolves, and chased the lions.

With Enkidu as their guard, the herders could lie down. A wakeful man, a singular youth, he was twice as tall (?) (as normal men)


Moralen I fortællingen er selvfølgelig, at mødet med civilisationen eller det jordiske liv er fuld af fristelser, som uundgåeligt medfører syndefald.
En anden morale, i relation til øl, er at man bliver opstemt af at drikke øl, men fuld og dum af at drikke for meget øl. Enkidu drak syv
Jugs (en lerkrukke).

1 Seven cups or seven jugs (see 1988 fragment) are symbolic, representing the sacred number of the seven initiatory planets, i.e. the Moon (Nanna/Sin), Sun (Utu/Shamash), Venus (Inanna/Ishtar), Mars (Nergal), Earth, Saturn (Ninurta), Mercuri (Nabu) and Jupiter (Marduk).