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The Epic of Gilgamesh is an important Middle Eastern literary work written in cuneiform on 12 clay tablets about 2000BC This heroic poem is named for its hero Gilgamesh a tyrannical Babylonian king who ruled the city of Uruk Achilles in The Iliad is the greatest of the Greek warriors in the Trojan War Both of these great warriors have one sole purpose in life to die heroically in battle These people lived with the Heroic or Warrior Code they were very literal very practical people The way they thought is you are going to die thats a given there are two ways to die one is to die of old age or illness but this is dying in shame as we have seen Enkidu depict to us The other way to die is gloriously as a hero the only way to die a hero is to do something heroic for that you need a war so war is not only a fact of life its a necessity Perhaps the idea of heroism comes from making a virtue of a necessity their motto is we have to fight so lets make the best of it lets die like heroes Before you die they way you know youre doing a good job as a hero is from the respect of your peers this respect is very literally it comes in the form of treasure like what Briseis means to Achilles and Chryseis to Agamemnon The Greeks would not have been happy with a slap on the back and a Well done No treasure was the measure of your success as a hero until you died of course and then the mark of your heroism was to become the subject of legends and songs Of course these heroes would not be around hearing the stories of how great they were when Humbaba was slayed but before they died they could fantasize about how great their stories
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