The original mythical image of the WiLDM an in the Middle East, from the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh. Enkidu was a wild warrior and companion to Gilgamesh, the king of the city-state of Uruk (Erech in modern Iraq) who lived around 2800 b.c

Etymology: Sumerian word, possibly meaning "created by Ea," "Lord of the Good Place," or "wild one."

Variant name: Ea-bani.

Physical description: Covered with hair. Long head-hair.

Behavior: Swift runner. Eats wild plants. Drinks from a water hole. Becomes civilized when he is seduced by a sacred temple girl.

Possible explanation: Ancient tradition of Wildmen in the mountains of West Asia.

Sources: The Epic of Gilgamesh, trans. N. K. Sandars (Baltimore, Md.: Penguin, 1970); The Epic of Gilgamesh, trans. Danny P. Jackson (Wauconda, Ill.: Bolchazy-Carducci, 1993).

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