Letter:Boat rage

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The Independent Online
Sir: I suspect that the earliest example of road rage is in fact that displayed by the Sumerian hero Gilgamesh, who predates Greek and Biblical offenders by hundreds of years.

Just before the famous account of the flood, we read that as he is walking down the road towards the sea, looking for eternal life, a young woman tells him he cannot go on. "Seized with anger", he snatches an axe and a dagger, rushes down and damages the boat.

After "talking it over" with the boatman, however, he calms down and agrees to build a replacement craft. Is this the earliest reference to road rage counselling and community service for offenders?

STEPHEN BAX

Department of Language Studies

Canterbury Christ Church College

Canterbury

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