Is Per. Jamsheed and Gil-gamesh related?

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by mojobadshah, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. mojobadshah Senior Member

    First off what does Gilgamesh mean? Secondly, there are significant parallels between Gilgamesh and Jamsheed. Both were architects, Jamsheed was a ship builder, Upnatshim was built an ark, Jamsheed also built a Var. Both structures were meant to protect life from the coming of the deluge. So could the names Jamsheed and the affix -gamesh be related?
  2. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    Gilgamesh is a very, very ancient Sumerian king's name. We know virtually nothing about possible relations of Sumerian to other languages of the region. Sumerian is considered a language isolate.
  3. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    New Persian Jamšēδ comes from Avestan Yima- xšaēta- “powerful Yima”. Yima- is the same as Sanskrit Yama-, originally meaning “twin”. Not much in common with Gilgameš.
  4. Cilquiestsuens Senior Member

    Gilgameš is the Akkadian name, in Sumerian versions the hero is called Bilgameš.

    Well, of course I don't see any connections, but as far as the story is concerned Gilgameš and Enkidu are pretty much like twins.
  5. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    It is the Akkadian rendering of the Sumerian name. But it is no doubt that the name was originally Sumerian. How in turn the Sumerian name developed is unknown.
  6. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Actually, Gilgameš and Bilgameš both occur in Sumerian texts. (Not that anyone really knows how exactly Sumerian was pronounced.)
  7. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    It's possible that the Avestan legend about Jamsheed was influenced by the Mesopotamian narrative or that both are independent recollections of an actual flood that had destroyed various parts of the Near East and Asia.
  8. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    It is indeed possible that the Avestan story of Yima and his var was influenced by the Babylonian flood story. But do bear in mind that Gilgameš was not involved in the flood and did not build an ark. The Babylonian flood story is about Utnapištim, who is an entirely different person.
  9. mojobadshah Senior Member

    But in the Avestan story the deluge comes in the form of a great Ice Age. Whereas in Sumerian and Hebrew it is a great flood. The parallel is there, it doesn't make a difference exactly who it was but Utnapishtim was immortal and in the Avestan story those who lived in the Var lived forever. It's my contention that Yima is akin to the word gemini and means "twin" and the fact that Gilgamesh had a twin also is another parallel.

    Wouldn't it be more likely that the deluge in a form of a great Ice Age would give rise to a deluge in the form of a Great Flood? Scientists are indeed aware of the last great Ice Age and that at the end of this Ice Age the ice sheets melted which in turn caused a great flood.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
  10. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    Again, we have no idea of Sumerian etymology. This cannot be compensated by lively imagination.
  11. Treaty Senior Member

    As far as I know there is no parallel story of Yima's flood/winter in Vedas' Yama, while Gathic Yima and Vedic Yama are obviously the same person. Therefore, we may assume that the Avestan flood myth was developed after Indo-Iranian division which is probably around 2500-2000BCE. On the other hand, we know that the name and myth of Gilgamesh is older than this date. So, we may conclude that it was likely that the characters Yima and Gilgamesh existed before 2500BCE without any mutual flood myth. In this case, any etymological conclusion based on the flood myth would probably be inaccurate.

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