I looked at a PDF of the Epic of Gilgamesh, and it was very pretty. Then, I decided that I wanted to purchase the physical copy of the book. While the version that I read online, which I thought was very thorough, was only of maybe 30 pages, the books to buy from Amazon were sometimes 130 pages, some well into the 200s, and none less than 50. I imagine that the version I read could not have been one in entirety, and I found it odd that these books had so many different lengths.

  • The Epic of Giglamesh is very old, and comes in different versions by different authors fro different time periods. The "standard" version (the one you most likely read) is but one poet's interpretation. It's "standard" because, when the poet assembled the epic, it became popular, was taught at schools, and as a result left behind many surviving copies. In my Penguin Classics edition (translated by Andrew George), the standard version takes 100 pages. The remaining ~100 pages are left for other tablets and annotations. – Gallifreyan Apr 16 '18 at 5:30
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    @Gallifreyan, this looks more like an answer than a comment. Why not upgrade? – Aethelbald Apr 16 '18 at 13:37
  • @Aethelbald it's based only on my instructor's words, I don't have any other reference. Besides, I'm not quite sure because OP says 30 pages, which seems a bit low, even for the standard version. – Gallifreyan Apr 16 '18 at 14:14
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    @Gallifreyan, it's a good answer. I read the Penguin Classics edition when it was new. Great read. At risk of the wrath of the Nice Police, please allow me to threaten you: if you don't post I'll steal it and post it myself :) It's that good. – Aethelbald Apr 16 '18 at 14:24
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    This lecture by Andrew George provides the most thorough review of the Epic of Gilgamesh and it's many variants. youtube.com/watch?v=Rd7MrGy_tEg – DJohnson Jun 5 '18 at 21:25

Assuming the online version you read was by AINA (the Assyrian International News Agency), which indeed sits at 27 pages (and is the third result when I Googled "Epic of Gilgamesh"), note that the PDF pages are US Letter-sized. Most print books would have pages with half those dimensions (well, not quite half, but ...) or a fourth of the area, and so around 4 times the page count (100+). This edition is by N. K. Sandars, who is also the editor of the 1972 Penguin Classics edition, which has 127 pages. (The one Gallifreyan talks about would be the 2003 edition, which has 228 pages.)

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