The goddess Irnina (a form of Ishtar, q.v.) in revenge kills Eabani, and the balance of the epic is taken up with Gilgamesh's lament for his friend, his wanderings in quest of a remote ancestor, Ut-Napishtim, from whom he hopes to learn how he may escape the fate of Eabani, and his finally learning from his friend of the sad fate in store for all mortals except the favourites of the god, like Ut-Napishtim, to whom immortal life is vouchsafed as a special boon.
Another stratum is represented by the story of a favourite of the gods known as Ut-Napishtim, who is saved from a destructive storm and flood that destroys 1 The name of the hero, written always ideographically, was for a long time provisionally read Izdubar; but a tablet discovered by T.
Gilgamesh is artificially brought into contact with Ut-Napishtim, to whom he pays a visit for the purpose of learning the secret of immortal life and perpetual youth which he enjoys.
During the visit Ut-Napishtim tells Gilgamesh the story of the flood and of his miraculous escape.
The 9th and 10th tablets, exclusively devoted to Gilgamesh, describe his wanderings in quest of Ut-Napishtim, from whom he hopes to learn how he may escape the fate that has overtaken his friend Eabani.
The ferry-man of Ut-Napishtim brings him safely through these waters, despite the difficulties and dangers of the voyage, and at last the hero finds himself face to face with Ut-Napishtim.
In the r i th tablet, Ut-Napishtim tells the famous story of the Babylonian flood, which is so patently attached to Gilgamesh in a most artificial manner.
Ut-Napishtim and his wife are anxious to help Gilgamesh to new life.
The portion of the story covered by the text relates to the warning given by Ea to Ut-napishtim, the Babylonian equivalent of the Hebrew Noah.
The god here states that he is about to send a deluge, which will cause destruction to all mankind, and he gives directions for the building of a great ship in which "the beasts of the field and the birds of heaven" may be saved, along with Ut-napishtim and his family; he fixes the size of the ship and directs that it should be covered with a strong roof or deck.