vendredi 30 mai 2008

The more things change, the more they stay the same

From the introduction of "The Gilgamesh Epic: A New Translation":

"The purpose of the human race is to service the gods. Before mankind's creation, the ancient cities of the Earth were inhabited by the gods alone and they had to feed and clothe themselves by their own efforts.

The god ENKI devised the technology to produce a substitute worker from raw clay, and then organized the world to ensure the gods' comfort in their houses. He created the KING, a new being having the blood of a god, for the task of provisioning, fighting the gods' battles for them, maintaining law and order in the land and subduing internal revolt, and he created common men to be the unknowing workforce.

Just as the moon and constellations mark the passage of months and years, so the king must ensure the delivery of regular offerings required by the gods' temples.

The kings have become presidents and prime ministers, but we the people are still carrying the yoke and tilling the soil, and the offerings are becoming more and more massive and frequent.

"See the tablet-box of cedar, release its clasp of bronze! Lift the lid of its secret, pick up the tablet of lapis lazuli and read out the travails of Gilgamesh, all that he went through."

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