An ancient Mesopotamian epic poem, The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the oldest pieces of literature still in existence. Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk, is part god and part man and a cruel leader. At the request of the king's subjects, the gods create Enkidu, who becomes a close friend to Gilgamesh. The two share adventures together, until the gods kill Enkidu. The poem explores the strength and role of the gods in determining people's fates, the unavoidable nature of death and the power of friendship.