The longing stretch toward the infinite . . . the reluctant embrace of the temporal. . . . This is the eternal lot of mankind. This is The Epic of Gilgamesh. Literature's first chronicle of search for meaning was born in the Cradle of Civilization over 4,000 years ago. Jackson's poetic rendition of humanity's first epic captures the passion and pathos of the search for the province and parameters of human existence, including an account of a great flood, paradise lost, man's relationship with gods and goddesses, and the inevitability of mortality. The universal themes explored in Gilgamesh continue to intrigue us in the 20th century.