The Babylonians were way superstitious peoples. They were solving quadratic equations and had 800 years’ of astronomical observations but they still went daily to the dream-interpreter. Most of the tablets that have been translated are dream interpretations.
I’m reading Gilgamesh now.
So far, Gilgamesh can’t turn around without needing to get his dreams interpreted by someone. I’m only about 1/3 of the way through, and we’ve already had four dream interpretations.
I think Enkidu lies to him about the dream Gilgamesh has the night before the do battle with Humbaba. “Oh, everything will be just hunky-dory, go get ‘im, Tiger!” he tells Gilgamesh, trembling in fear.
I like the translation I have. It’s Mariner Books, translation by Herbert Mason. In my Beth Retelling above, how do I know that Enkidu is startled and frightened by Gilgamesh’s dream?
“That you will be victorious against Humbaba, Enkidu said, or someone said through him because he could not hear his voice or move his limbs although he thought he spoke, and soon saw his friend asleep beside him.”
Enkidu isn’t frightened by this dream, he’s terrified!