Greatest epic of world literature: '1001 Nights' or 'Epic of Gilgamesh'? | The Tylt

Greatest epic of world literature: '1001 Nights' or 'Epic of Gilgamesh'?

The word epic refers to both a story of adventure and danger and also a story full of grandeur and meaning. In this series, we’re looking at some of the greatest epics of world literature. Some you’ll know and some you might not, but they’re all crucial works. In the semi-finals, we’re facing off the world's oldest work of fiction—"Epic of Gilgamesh"—the mystical magic stories in "1001 Nights." Which is the greatest epic?

FINAL RESULTS
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Greatest epic of world literature: '1001 Nights' or 'Epic of Gilgamesh'?
#Read1001Nights
A festive crown for the winner
#ReadGilgamesh
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Greatest epic of world literature: '1001 Nights' or 'Epic of Gilgamesh'?
#Read1001Nights
#ReadGilgamesh

In the semi-finals, we’re facing off the mystical magic stories in "1001 Nights" and the world's oldest work of fiction—"Epic of Gilgamesh." Which is the greatest epic?

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Cast your vote in our other "greatest epic of world literature" matchup below.

#Read1001Nights

“Alf layla wa layla” or literally “a thousand and nights and one night” is best known as the “Arabian Nights.” It’s a compilation of fantasy stories spanning India, Persia and Arabic countries, under the frame narrative of the wise and clever Shahrazad, who protects her life by virtue of her storytelling ability and her skill in crafting cliffhanger endings. Aladdin, Sinbad, Ali Baba and others have become instantly recognizable figures worldwide, and Sir Richard Francis Burton’s ribald translation caused a sensation throughout Europe.

Hear Oum Kalthoum, arguably the greatest Arabic singer of all time, singing "Alf layla wa layla" below.

#Read1001Nights
#ReadGilgamesh

Dating back to around 4,000 years ago, the Sumerian “Epic of Gilgamesh” is the oldest known work of fiction. The modern version derives from one found in the library of King Ashurbanipal, and tells the story of the heroism and battle prowess of King Gilgamesh of Uruk—two-thirds god and one-third human—and his rival turned best friend, the beast-man Enkidu. Elements of the story may have later influenced scenes in the "Odyssey" and, depending on who you ask, the Old Testament. And the influence of those books is pretty massive, safe to say. Hear a Sumerian recital below. 

#ReadGilgamesh
FINAL RESULTS
Entertainment
Greatest epic of world literature: '1001 Nights' or 'Epic of Gilgamesh'?
#Read1001Nights
A festive crown for the winner
#ReadGilgamesh