Gilgamesh was probably an historical king of Uruk (Iraq), in Babylonia, who lived c. 2700 B.C. Many stories were written about Gilgamesh, but the fullest surviving version of the story of the king was written by Shin-eqi-unninni (perhaps the earliest named author
), in Akkadian, on 12 tablets and was found in the ruins of the library of Ashurbanipal of Assyria (669-633 B.C.). The library was destroyed in 612 B.C. and the tablets damaged. These tablets contain what is known as the Epic of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh is described as partly divine and partly human. When he oppresses his people, they ask the sky god Anu for help. He creates for them a wild man named Enkidu who serves as a rival and later friend to Gilgamesh. Later, the gods cause a Babylonian flood similar to the flood in Genesis.