(said to him), ‘Kiss me, Gilgamesh: and would that thou wert my bridegroom. Give me thy fruit as a gift. And would that thou were my husband, and would that I were thy wife! Then (shouldest thou) drive forth in a chariot of lapis lazuli and gold, the wheels of which are of gold, and both its shafts are of diamond. Then wouldst thou every day yoke the great mules. Enter into our house with perfume of cedarwood 1.’"

But when Gilgamesh refused to receive her as his wife and taunted her by mentioning some of the many husbands she had had, who had come to a bad end, then, as the tale goes on to tell us:—

"The goddess Ishtar became angry, and went up to the heavens, and the goddess Ishtar (came) before the face of the god Anu." Anu was the Heaven and the god of Heaven of the oldest Babylonian mythology, and Ishtar was his daughter. Here we see her ascent to heaven mentioned, just as in the Muhammadan legend. In the latter she tempts the angels to sin, just as in the Babylonian tale she tempted Gilgamesh.

In Sanskrit literature also we find a very remarkable parallel to the story that is related in the Qur'an and the Traditions. This is the episode of Sunda and Upasunda 2 in the Mahabharata. There

1 Translated from the original, which is printed and incorrectly translated in Trans. Soc. Bibl. Archaeology, vol. II., pt. 1., pp. 104, 105, 115.
2 Sundopasundopakhyanam.

we are told that once upon a time two brothers Sunda and Upasunda practised such austerities that they acquired much merit for themselves — so much in fact that they ultimately obtained sovereignty over both earth and heaven. Then the god Brahma began to fear lest he should in this way lose all his dominions. In order to prevent this he decided to destroy his two rivals. The method which he adopted was to tempt them by sending them one of the maidens of Paradise, called Huris by the Muhammadans and Apsarasas by the ancient Hindus. He therefore created a most lovely Apsaras named Tilottama, whom he sent as a gift to the brothers. On beholding her, Sunda seized her right hand and Upasunda her left, each desiring to have her as his wife. Jealousy caused hatred and enmity to spring up in the hearts of the brothers, and the result was that they slew each other. Tilottama then returned to Brahma, who, delighted at her having thus enabled him to rid himself of both his rivals blessed her and said, "In all the world that the sun shines upon thou shalt circle around, and no one shall be able to gaze directly at thee, because of the brilliancy of thy adornment and the excellence of thy beauty."

In this fable we find mention of the nymph's ascent to the sky, though the Hindu story agrees with the Babylonian and differs from the Muhammadan one in representing her as having from the