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Document Details :
Title: Der altsumerische Name /pa-gbilga-mes/ = Gilgameš
Author(s): KEETMAN, Jan
Journal: Bibliotheca Orientalis
Volume: 71 Issue: 1-2 Date: 2014
The reading and understanding of the name Gilgamesh has some bearing on the history of literature. Does it conceal a hidden message? Is it a foreign name or is it just a normal Sumerian name from the brink of history? This article tries to answer this by comparing the first attestation with Sumerian names of the same time. The use and identity of signs is not taken from sign lists but by using synchronic texts wherever possible. It becomes clear that Gilgamesh was a name within the pattern of Early Dynastic Sumerian names, meaning roughly 'the forebear (was) a prince(?)'. Concerning the pronunciation a new argument for the existence of a velar-labial explosive in Sumerian is found. The name may be pronounced like /pa-gbilga-mes/ but a shortened form like /gbilga-mes/ may be as old as the first attestation in ED IIIa Fāra. The article is closing with a few words about the name Enkidu.