Epic of Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh, Epic of, earliest known epic poem, written in the Akkadian language and originating in Mesopotamia in the 3rd millennium B.C. The fullest surviving text, preserved on clay tablets, was found in 1872 in a library at Nineveh from the 7th century B.C. The poem tells of the semidivine Gilgamesh (a historical 3rd-millennium king of Uruk), who seeks the secret of eternal life after the death of his friend Enkidu. At the end of his quest he hears the story of an ancient worldwide flood that closely parallels the story of Noah.
See also: Epic.