Heru-ma-neter and the Queen of the North
A critical comparison of the Kolbrin and Sumerian versions of “Gilgamesh”
The provenance of the Epic of Gilgamesh in the form we think we know it today is from the story as told by the Babylonians, which was adapted into their language from the earlier Akkadian, which was a series of poems believed to have been inspired by oral legend about a Sumerian king by that name. Artfully poetic as it is, as a story it’s being told to the reader at third-hand. By contrast the version in the Kolbrin bible claims to be a translation from a work written by the main character himself, in Egyptian writing, and translated from Egyptian to Brythonic Welsh by Culdee scribes, and from thence into English by modern translators, so here too we have a third-hand translation, with the purported difference of the story having originated from the story’s own protagonist. The differences and similarities of these two versions of the story are fascinating enough to merit presentation and thought.
The identities of the characters in the two stories have similarities and key differences. The Gilgamesh epic is about Gilgamesh himself, and in the Kolbrin retelling, Hurmanetar is actually the son of Gilgamesh (Gilameshoar), product of the King having raped a priestess named Ninurtsu (which echoes the common Sumerian theme of gods raping goddesses to breed other gods). The Babylonian epithet of Gilgamesh being “two-thirds divine” may be a reference to the royal and priestly lineage of the main character.
The “problem of Enkidu” can be brought into common in the two tales by representing it as having been a series of bad dreams suffered by King Gilgamesh, and interpreted by his astrologers as a sign that there is one “out there” who is his equal if not his better, and that this extraordinary man will bring an end to his kingdom and/or the legacy his own legendary greatness. In the Kolbrin it’s a specific threat posed by the birth of his bastard son, to his continued rule. In the Babylonian Gilgamesh, Enkidu presents a problem to his kingdom by the nature of his wildness and disregard for civilized ways. The Kolbrin includes Enkidu as a character named Yadol, but he isn’t introduced until later. To confuse matters further, there are hints in the Kolbrin that Hurmanetar’s original name was “Ankidu” or “Hankadah”, which may have caused later Sumerian scribes to mix his character up with Yadol’s, and combine them into the same character.
Troubled by his astrologers’ warning about what this bastard son of his will do to his kingdom, the Kolbrin’s Gilameshoar sends out soldiers to seize the baby and have him killed. The astrologers warn that curses would befall any land that receives the blood of a baby born of a priestess, killed in that way, so he orders the soldiers to take the boy to the borders of Elam (a neighboring country in modern-day Iran), and sneak onto their land by night, and kill him there. Here the story brings an echo of the tale of Moses: in Elam, the soldiers become worried about curses that might befall them personally since the land where such a boy would be killed, would also be cursed, and so rather than risk that sort of fate, they decided to leave the killing up to Nature, by putting the baby in a reed basket and setting him off down a river in Elam. They journeyed back to Uruk and lied to Gilameshoar, claiming the boy was dead.
In Elam the Kolbrin tells briefly of his having been found by a sheep herding family, and raised as one of their own, but quickly Ankidu/Hurmanetar shows his prodigious nature by exceeding the wisdom of the priests in their temples, and at the age of 12 he devised a way to reroute a stream to enrich his adoptive family’s pasture land, making his step-mother wealthy. Echoes, here, of the things attributed to Jesus later on, in his childhood. Eventually he is forced to flee Elam when, during training apparently, he kills the King of Elam’s right-hand man. Here Hurmanetar becomes somewhat of the wild man, similar to the “Enkidu” described in the Babylonian epic, although there is another similar character, a more pacifistic echo of the same, in Yadol. Yadol similarly is a wild man in the mountains, the equal of Hurmanetar/Ankidu in wilderness survival abilities, but with an unwillingness to kill, and a wisdom that seems to have passed onto him from the ancients. These two characters cross paths when Hurmanetar’s attempts to trap animals are foiled by Yadol setting them free. Starving, Hurmanetar turns to wilderness banditry, but is wounded when attacking a group of travelers who outnumbered him and shot him with arrows. Yadol finds Hurmanetar and saves his life, and they become friends. Again, in the Babylonian version of this story, all we have is one “Enkidu”, one “wild man”, one “equal to King Gilgamesh”, and not two.
In both versions of the story, the news of a “wild man” reaches the King of Uruk, and he gives orders to entrap him with the use of a woman. He wants him taken alive out of curiosity—to see what he’s like. In both stories “Enkidu” (Hurmanetar) is brought into custody by way of the honeypot trap (although in the Kolbrin, Yadol remains at large—with hints that his sexual preference did not include women, due to him not having been tempted by the same honeypot trap). In both stories, Enkidu/Hurmanetar becomes a servant of the King, learning the ways of the palace.
What follows in the Kolbrin is another vignette missing from the Babylonian Gilgamesh: due to problems getting along with courtiers at the palace, Hurmanetar and the woman originally used to lure him out of the wild, decide to leave Uruk and go looking for Yadol, the quasi-Druidic wild sage. They wander throughout the land but fail to find him. Eventually they are taken in as a guest of a tribe called Hudashum, where they fall into a bit of trouble which gets the woman executed and puts Hurmanetar once again on the run. He spends two years living with his mother, Priestess of the Seven Illuminated Ones, but leaves again to go out and renew his search for Yadol.
Here an interesting mention was made of Ninurtsu, mother of Hurmanetar, and human origins in general: “Ninurtsu was the last of the line of Sisuda (Noah). Ten thousand generations had passed since the beginning, and a thousand generations since the recreation, and a hundred since the Great Flood.” If Hurmanetar’s time was about 2,700 BCE, as estimated by scholars of the Gilgamesh king, 1000*20 prior to that would be 22,700 BCE as the time of the “recreation”, approximately, and about another 200,000 years prior to as “the beginning”. It may be and mean nothing, but it’s just an interesting tid-bit of prehistoric timeline according to the Kolbrin.
Here the two stories cross again with a common theme: there is a wedding feast, and King Gilgamesh is about to enter the chamber to sleep with the bride, but his way is blocked by the mighty Enkidu/Ankidu/Hurmanetar. Both stories portray a fight between the two men, in which the Babylonian version has Gilgamesh narrowly defeating Enkidu and yet doing what Enkidu says in sparing the woman the humiliation of being taken by the king on her wedding night. The Kolbrin version has Ankidu/Hurmanetar defeating the king, and leaving Uruk once again, in the confusion that ensued after the king’s collar bone was broken and the scene was swarming with the king’s doctors and courtiers. (In that version, the King wouldn’t have been able to do much to the bride that night, with a broken collar bone!)
In the Babylonian version, Gilgamesh and Enkidu become friends, and Gilgamesh is transformed for the better by that friendship. In the Kolbrin version, the hero isn’t Gilgamesh after all, but Ankidu (Hurmanetar) himself, and Yadol, the other wild man, and they have both left Gilgamesh’s presence. Both stories tell of a journey by these characters to “the Cedar Forest”, which is probably Lebanon. The Babylonian tale tells of a quest by both men to kill the demon of that forest, Humwawa; the Kolbrin simply mentions that the forest has a shrine there to a minor god named “Humbanwara the Guardian”.
In the Kolbrin, Ankidu/Hurmanetar marries a princess whose mother is related to powerful tribes of the North (probably proto-Scythians or Hittites). Interestingly there is a parallel between Shamash, the Sumerian sun-god, and Samshu as father-in-law to Ankidu/Hurmanetar (probably a Hittite, Hurrian, or Scythian king). Here the Kolbrin disposes of Gilgamesh entirely, and shows the King dying “because of the thing hidden in an earthenware box” (and strangely enough, not from his injuries). He seems like a minor character, mentioned in passing. But a new king takes his place and due to the political situation at the time, sends his son to be the “guest” of a powerful queen named Daydee, of the great northern nation into which Ankidu/Hurmanetar had married. It gets complicated here, to be sure. The Babylonian story is much simpler.
The Kolbrin’s Hurmanetar/Ankidu ends up staying at the court of Daydee (of the “great northern nation”) and finding favor there, and he fathers one of her sons. Trouble brews, however when the northern nation falls into civil war of sorts, in what seems to be a dynastic struggle between Daydee and some other claimant to the throne, possibly her brother, and then came an invasion from some other tribe, apparently profiting off of the new weakness of this northern nation. Here the Kolbrin describes the Bull of Heaven as a military tactic, allegorizing the horns as the army’s flanks, the head as its front line, and the loins as its rear guard. This is similar to the Zulu war tactic simply called “the Bull”. Yadol is killed in battle throwing his body in front of a spear intended for Hurmanetar’s nephew Ancheti (purported scribe of the story as dictated to him by his uncle), saving his life. Daydee’s army wins the battle against enormous odds, but Hurmanetar is depressed by the loss of his friend.
The Babylonian version splits this event into two mythical combats with mythical monsters: one with the demon Humwawa in the Cedar Forest, and one with the Bull of Heaven. In the first battle, Shamash helps Gilgamesh defeat Humwawa by sending “13 winds”. This may be an echo of a tribal battle not included in the Kolbrin version (where Shamash the Sun God is Samshu of the great northern tribes—possibly a battle against some tribe in Lebanon).
There is direct conflict between the Babylonian and Kolbrin Gilgameshes, where the Babylonian hero rejects the sexual advances of the goddess Ishtar, and the Kolbrin’s hero seems unlikely to reject any pretty woman’s sexual advances, ever. (See above where Queen Daydee bears one of his sons.) The Bull of Heaven is sent in the Babylonian story as revenge for this rejection, while in the Kolbrin it’s a military tactic of some invading tribe that would have invaded the land whether Hurmanetar slept with their queen or not.
The Babylinian Enkidu, obviously correlating to the Kolbrin’s Yadol, dies of an illness due to a curse that came as a result of killing the Bull of Heaven. This may have been due to a poison in the spear the Kolbrin speaks of, or simply a made-up detail in one or both stories about the character’s death. The Babylonian Gilgamesh, correlating to the Kolbrin Hurmanetar/Ankidu, goes into a deep depression over this death, and both characters become obsessed with longevity and immortality. Both characters in both stories go off on a quest to find the secrets of eternal life, culminating in a journey to the Underworld, to speak with Noah/Utnapishtim in the Babylonian story, and the departed spirit of Yadol himself in the Kolbrin. Both tales imply a sort of psychic/astral journey rather than a physical one, which in turn implies a visit to a shaman with some sort of herbal/mushroom type aid in this quest. In the Babylonian story, Noah/Utnapishtim hands him a physical herb which is the Tree of Life, the herb that guarantees immortality, and in the Kolbrin, Yadol tells him of the Secret of Life, or rather the reality of life beyond death, in which the soul is immortal, and experiences the real life, of which physical existence is but a faint echo.
The Babylonian story has Gilgamesh passing on words of advice to Enkidu on how to behave in the Land of the Dead, in order to be able to come back to life. In the Kolbrin, Yadol (Enkidu) tells Hurmanetar (Gilgamesh) how to behave in order to have a better afterlife.
Other possible tie-ins: Hermes Trismegistus and Hiram Abiff
1. Heru-ma-neter (Horus Thrice Divine), close similarity to Hurmanetar
2. Location in Lebanon, similar to Hiram Abiff
3. Hiram Abiff was a master craftsman who built the Temple of Solomon; Gilgamesh was known as the “wall builder” in Uruk (mighty walls erected under his reign).
4. Abiff and Hurmanetar both “sons of a widow”.
5. Hermetic secrets possibly passed on via Ninurtsu of the Seven Illumined Ones, as well as Heru-ma-neter’s shamanic journey to the land of the dead.