What is the understanding of the Bhagavad-Gita, Gilgamesh, and The Iliad, and how it is relevant to today?

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The Bhagavad-Gita, Gilgamesh, and The Iliad are all traditional oral-derived epics. This meant that rather than being individually authored at a single time, they evolved gradually in performance over a period of centuries, with different performers modifying sections, until the works were finally solidified in written form.

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The Bhagavad-Gita, Gilgamesh, and The Iliad are all traditional oral-derived epics. This meant that rather than being individually authored at a single time, they evolved gradually in performance over a period of centuries, with different performers modifying sections, until the works were finally solidified in written form.

All three works are culturally central to their respective traditions. Plato referred to Homer as the teacher of Greece and archaeological excavations have show copies works of Homer to outnumber those by other authors. These works serve as a storehouse of cultural information, describing the founding heroes of their respective traditions. In all three, the gods play important roles and the works provide guides for their listeners to appropriate behavioral and religious norms. Especially for the illiterate, they served as a way to pass down moral and religious values across generations. They also have in common with other heroic works a focus on kings and nobility, with the heroes exemplifying a link between kings, aristocrats, and the gods, thus giving theological justification for highly stratified societies.

The Bhagavad-Gita remains an important religious text for Hinduism which is still a dominant religion in one of the most populous countries of the world. Although Mesopotamian and Greek paganism are no longer thriving religions, both texts are important for understanding the histories of major civilizations.

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