Greater than other kings, lofty in stature, a hero born in Uruk, a wild and rampaging bull was he. He leads forth at the front, the leader; he brings up the rear, a trusted companion. He is a great net who protects his men, a thrashing flood-wave capable of devastating even walls of stone. As son of Lugalbanda, Gilgamesh is perfection in his strength, son too of the august cow, Ninsun, the goddess. Gilgamesh is tall, glorious, and terrific. It was he who cut open the passes through the mountains, who dug the wells on the slopes of the mountainsides, and who crossed the ocean itself, the great sea, to meet the sunrise, exploring every part of the whole world for the secret of life. It was he who by his strength alone reached Utnapishtim, the distant, who restored the holy places that the Flood had destroyed, and who for the teeming masses instilled the rites of heaven.
Of Uruk, its great rampart he built, and the wall of the sacred Eanna temple, the holy sanctuary. Behold the outer walls which gleam with the brilliance of copper; see the inner wall which none might rival. Touch the threshold stone—it is from ancient days. Goest thou into the Eanna temple, yea, the dwelling place of Ishtar, the like of which no subsequent king or living man might equal. Ascend and walk about on the wall of Uruk, inspect the corner-stone, and examine its brick-work, whether its wall is not made of burned brick, and its foundation laid by the Seven Sages. One third for city, one third for garden, one third for field, and a precinct for the temple of Ishtar. These parts and the precinct comprise Uruk. Unveil the tablet box of copper. Unlatch the clasp of its brazen lock. Unbind the fastenings of the hidden opening. Bring forth and read out the lapis lazuli tablet that tells of the great hardships endured by Gilgamesh.
When the gods fashioned Gilgamesh, to him they gave a perfect form. The glorious sun Shamash bestowed upon him glory; Adad the terrible god of storms bestowed upon him courage. The great gods perfected his magnificence beyond all others, terrible like the great wild bull. Two thirds god they made him; one third man they made him.