The gods of nature are envious of Gilgamesh, the mythical builder-king of ancient Mesopotamia. He conquers the forests and transforms the holiest trees into valuable timbers for the first great cities. But the hero, for all his strength and skill, is still a mortal man and not a god. His triumph does not mean that he can escape the tragedy of death. Such is the price of civilization: the separation of men from gods, of men from nature, and of some men from others.