review Mémoires d'Hadrien Õ eBook or Kindle ePUB

free download Mémoires d'Hadrien

review Mémoires d'Hadrien Õ eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Hadrian's Memoirs is described by its author as a psychological novel and a meditation on history In the form the narrative is a fictional autobiography written by the Roman Emperor Hadrian 76 138 AD to his seventeen year old grandson Marcus Aurelius who eventually becomes emperorEstored order on the Danube and achieved diplomatic triumphs in the Near East Hadrian the man was uninhibited even according to the freer standards of his time a lover of life whose enjoyments ranged from hunts in barbaric lands to the most sophisticated experiments in love religion art and literature in the great urban centers of Syria and Egypt and in his cherished Athens. This ought not to work on a number of levels and ought not to be as good as it is A historical novel about the Romans there is so much temptation to go into Life of Brian mode at this point indeed about one of their emperors Hadrian dominated Marguerite Yourcenar’s life for many years with rewrites abandonments acres of notes and thoughts and an immense amount of research including travel to places Hadrian had been The novel is in the form of a letter from Hadrian to his adopted grandson Marcus Aurelius It is in the first person Hadrian is in his final illness and is looking back over his life If you are looking for snappy dialogue then this is not the book for you nor is there any “action” It is a series of musings reflections philosophizing and making comment as Hadrian works through his life The novel is essentially interior and Yourcenar does say why she selected this particular interior to focus on It stems from a uote she found by Flaubert;“Just when the gods had ceased to be and the Christ had not yet come there was a uniue moment in history between Cicero and Marcus Aurelius when man stood alone”This seems to have been the attraction of Hadrian The novel was published in 1951 and there may also be some connection between the post Second World War situation and Hadrian’s timeHadrian’s musings are wide ranging and cover love especially Antinous his teenage lover administration managing and empire war religion philosophy especially Greek food marriage pastimes hunting et al politics friends and enemies travel and much Hadrian is a great liker of things and generally uite positive not afraid to compromise to get things done Yourcenar puts into Hadrian’s mouth all sorts of aphorisms and wise words For example;Men adore and venerate me far too much to love meMeditation upon death does not teach one how to die“Our great mistake is to try to exact from each person virtues which he does not possess and to neglect the cultivation of those which he has”“I am not sure that the discovery of love is necessarily exuisite than the discovery of poetry”“The techniue of a great seducer reuires a facility and an indifference in passing from one object of affection to another which I could never have; however that may be my loves have left me often than I have left them for I have never been able to understand how one could have enough of any beloved The desire to count up exactly the riches which each new love brings us and to see it change and perhaps watch it grow old accords ill with multiplicity of conuests”There are dozens like that usually making the book a joy to read occasionally irritating or provoking You can tell this novel has really been polished and honed worked on over and over again This is so good a novel that it is easy to forget this isn’t real history Mary Beard’s Guardian article explodes some of those myths; is fiction but its great stuff and a great novel I am also interested in reading by Yourcenar her life was also very interesting

Marguerite Yourcenar ´ 3 review

Historians friends and enemies the memoirs reconstruct Hadrian's complex incandescent character his cultivated mind the news events that studded his dramatic career and his thirty years of travel over the Roman Empire then at its vastest extent Missions of both war and peace took him to the furthest outposts; he reorganized Roman Britain and the frontier of the Rhine; he r. This is a gorgeous book by Marguerite Yourcenar with the emperor writing to future emperor philosopher Marcus Aurelius about his life and the burdens of leadership Its tone is a perfect balance of nostalgia regret and pride all mixed together A true masterpiece that took her ten years to write it is also very short and a magnificent read I found that it was very inspirational and was amazed in how this period of Roman history comes alive under Yourcenar's able pen An incredible readIt is rather unfortunate that few current political leaders give off such a breath of humanity and maturity

free read ë eBook or Kindle ePUB ´ Marguerite Yourcenar

Mémoires d'HadrienHadrian's Memoirs is described by its author as a psychological novel and a meditation on history In the form the narrative is a fictional autobiography written by the Roman Emperor Hadrian 76 138 AD to his seventeen year old grandson Marcus Aurelius who eventually becomes emperor In a tour de force of scholarship which uses Hadrian's extant writings and the writings of his. ”I was beginning to find it natural if not just that we must perish Our literature is nearing exhaustion our arts are falling asleep; Pancrates is not Homer nor is Arrian a Xenophon; when I have tried to immortalize Antinous in stone no Praxiteles has come to hand Our sciences have been at a standstill from the times of Aristotle and Archimedes; our technical development is inadeuate to the strain of a long war; our technical development is inadeuate to the strain of a long war; even our pleasure lovers grow weary of delight More civilized ways of living and liberal thinking in the course of the last century are the work of a very small minority of good minds; the masses remain wholly ignorant fierce and cruel when they can be so and in any case limited and selfish; it is safe to wager that they will never change” HadrianHadrian ruled from 117 138 and was the 14th Emperor of the Roman Empire He was the third of five emperors that are referred to as the good emperors He had good men to follow and also provided a good example of leadership to those that followed in his footsteps He was the adopted son of Trajan Roman Emperors seemed to routinely struggle to produce offspring and the first controversy of his ascension to power was that Trajan had never officially named him as his successor but on a deathbed edict signed by Plotina the wife of Trajan not by the Emperor Hadrian was named to succeed He was uniuely ualified to lead Rome As a soldier he was able to view the empire from a different perspective than any of the leadership in Rome He fought courageously but was discomforted from all the killing that was necessary to put down rebellions or conuer new territory To Hadrian the warriors women and children they were killing were people that could have made good Roman citizens This experience convinced him to change the policies of his predecessors As Emperor he stopped the expansion of the empire and spent his time shoring up the relationship of Rome with the people of all the nations that composed the Roman Empire He wanted everyone to have skin in the game ”I was determined that even the most wretched from the slaves who clean the city sewers to the famished barbarians who hover along the frontiers should have an interest in seeing Rome endure” PantheonHe rebuilt the Pantheon ”I myself had revised its architectural plans drawn with too little daring by Apollodorus utilizing the arts of Greece only as ornamentation like an added luxury I had gone back for the basic form of the structure to the primitive fabled times of Rome and to the round temples of ancient Etruria” Hadrian was enad with Greece and brought their philosophies and focus on art back to prominence in Roman thought He built cities repaired sculptures and ancient architecture not just in Italy but throughout the territories He wanted his thinking his beliefs to be felt everywhere He was the first Emperor to travel to all of the geography of the Roman Empire Instead of conuest he built walls most famously in England to keep out nations hostile to Rome He spent time away from Rome than he did in Rome and improved the feeling towards Rome just by being a presence in areas most disaffected and disenchanted with being part of the Empire Hadrian's WallHadrian loved meeting people from different cultures and as a good Roman always wanted to assimilate the best of all humanity He was a deep thinker who had a broad understanding of philosophies and religions He liked to take time to think to fantasize about a new life a new world but at the same time found that even entertaining such ideas he was alone among men of his class ”I played with the ideaTo be alone without possessions without renown with none of the advantages of a civilization to expose oneself among new men and amid fresh hazardsNeedless to say it was only a dream and the briefest dream of all This liberty that I was inventing ceased to exist upon closer view; I should uickly have rebuilt for myself everything that I had renounced Further wherever I went I should only have been a Roman away from Rome A kind of umbilical cord attached me to the City Perhaps at that time in my rank of tribune I felt still closely bound to the empire than later as emperor for the same reason that the thumb joint is less free than the brain Nevertheless I did have that outlandish dream at which our ancestors soberly confined with the Latian fields would have shuddered; to have harbored the thought even for a moment makes me forever different from them” Even Emperor’s dream of being someone else Marguerite YourcenarYourcenar as you can tell from the uotes I have shared tells this story from the first person narrative in the form of a letter to Marcus Aurelius We are in the mind of Hadrian We experience the building of his philosophies the implementation of change he had envisioned while only a tribune and the compassion and retribution he shows his enemies We feel the grief on par with Alexander for Hephaestion when Hadrian’s very close lover a Greek youth named Antinous drowns Rome was lucky to have him as Emperor during a time when they were struggling to maintain control of an empire that had grown too large He certainly extended the life of the Roman Empire and put forward concepts in particular to euality that were far ahead of their time This novel is considered a classic of historical fiction and like all good literature I know I will be thinking about it for a long long time Highly RecommendedIf you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at