OLLI instructor Spencer Allen and longtime OLLI member John King discuss how God ties into different faiths throughout history at Drake Field.


By Strohmann Breeding

The two-hour class titled “Babylonian Mythology and the Bible” provided OLLI members and class enrollees with a unique opportunity to connect different parts of history.

OLLI-instructor, Spencer Allen did not waste time, jumping into one of the world’s oldest legends, The Epic of Gilgamesh. Allen spoke of how Gilgamesh, a demi-god figure, befriended his created enemy-Inkidu. Allen went into great detail about Gilgamesh and Inkidu’s relationship and the feats they achieved and battles they won.

Inkidu and Gilgamesh were destined to destroy each other after the gods send Inkidu to kill Gilgamesh. After fighting to a draw, Gilgamesh and Inkidu became good friends. Later on, Inkidu and Gilgamesh would fight a bull sent from heaven to kill them, and destroy the bull.

Allen teaches a unique course, offering an insight into not only Babylon and the ways in which they wrote, but the bible as well. Allen used the second half of the lecture to connect the Utnapishtim legend created in Babylon to the flood of Noah’s Ark described in the Old Testament.

Spencer Allen has enjoyed teaching for OLLI and has always enjoyed the attentiveness of his pupils, learning just as much from them as he hopes they learn from him.

“They want to be here, whereas a student in college, they need the credit…so that excitement just helps keep the hours going.”

OLLI continues to dive into the Babylonian Myths this week as this is a 3-session class. Be sure to stay on the lookout for Spencer Allen the next time he instructs an OLLI course!