The Multi-faceted Personality of Hadrian

  British writer Avery Special new book “Hadrian: The Glory of Rome” chronicles the life of the ancient Roman emperor Hadrian from birth to death.
  The general tone of “The Story of Hadrian” is not to punish and punish, but to praise, praising the virtue and glory of the late Roman emperor Hadrian. Everett’s biography, Hadrian, has a peculiar five senses, a versed knowledge, and a good emperor with outstanding political, military and diplomatic talents.
  Even the biggest stain in Hadrian’s life, namely the political erasure of Jews, is excusable, because the Jews rose up to oppose Hadrian’s pan-Hellenic policy, which was aimed at consolidating the ancient Roman Empire. Rule. In addition, at the beginning of his reign, Hadrian broke his words and killed political opponents, but that was because political opponents still broke their words and defected after obtaining the promise of exemption from death. He was unpredictable and would become a hidden danger to the empire if he did not get rid of it. In the last years of his reign, Hadrian dismissed or even killed some heroes, apparently aimed at clearing the obstacles to the rule of the chosen heir to the throne. In short, what Hadrian did is right, and he has made immortal feats for the peace and development of the ancient Roman Empire, which can be called the glory of Rome.
  It needs to be pointed out that biographies are different from historical records.
  The writers of historical records-such as Thucydides-strived for the master’s way: “report without writing”, while biographers pursued to write. Everett’s “Hadrian’s Biography” is relatively literary and therefore unreliable.
  The unreliability of biography is first reflected in anecdotes. Anecdotes are not necessarily fictitious. Its authenticity is rather vague. However, because it is difficult to distinguish between true and false, biography has its fascinating and unique charm. As an indispensable biographical element, anecdotes are used to define the genre characteristics of life, thought and style.
  Anecdotes generally focus on the private life of the master. For example, Hadrian’s relationship with his wife Sabina is not good. It may be because of his “very close” scandal with his mother-in-law, or even more likely because he blatantly compares himself with the young Antinous. Be gay.
  In the case that some historical facts cannot be confirmed due to the lack of information, the biographer must juxtapose various known possibilities. For example, the cause of death of Hadrian’s beloved Antinous may be due to the beard of the beautiful young man. The fall from grace may also be due to the fact that Alchtis died for the sick Hadrian, just like Alchtis died for his husband; or it can only be logically inferred, so some speculative words such as “may” and “should” are used. , Making the narrative of the biography unreliable. These narratives will increase the uncertainty of the biography, arouse unlimited reveries of the readers, and stimulate the imagination of the readers, thereby greatly enhancing the interaction between the author and the readers.
  In addition, some biographers even use some unreliable information, such as the “Memoirs of Hadrian” by the French writer Usernal, to portray Hadrian himself as a “romantic rationalist”, “a dictator who sees through the world” “Connoisseurs of life” has greatly compromised the authenticity of the biography and has become suspicious. However, this kind of literary character enhances the readability of the biography.
  In fact, generalized biographies write not only real historical figures, but also legendary figures, such as Aeneas in Varro’s “Seven Statues”, or even gods, including definite gods and uncertain gods. , Such as Varro’s “The System of Humans and Gods Jigululu”.
  Because Hadrian is a political figure, “The Biography of Hadrian” not only describes the life of the master (76-138 AD), but also the great era of his life, which has a certain historical color. The book tells about major events in the turbulent and thrilling Hadrian era, such as the Jewish uprising. Just like Nicholas’ Augustus wrote a dynasty biography, focusing on Octavian’s love and nostalgia for his adoptive father Caesar, Hadrian also wrote a dynasty biography, focusing on Hadrian’s true love and nostalgia for his adoptive father Tula. . The writer Everett cleverly avoided the dispute between ancient and modern about the distinction between biography and history books.
  In fact, biographies and historical books have one important thing in common: incompleteness. The biographies and history books are based on “selective” materials. Since they are selected, the materials are not all or the whole, but parts. It is necessary to summarize the context of historical development from numerous historical events, and the generalization is not complete.
  In addition, “The Story of Hadrian” has the characteristics of travel notes. The author seems to regard himself as a tour guide, the reader as a tourist, and the time (such as the early days of the Flavian and Anthony dynasties) and space (such as the locations of historical figures and historical sites) of Hadrian’s life as the purpose of tourism The place, fascinating, brings readers into the historical scene of the life of the master Hadrian, giving people an immersive sense of travel. In order to attract readers, he described a lot of knowledge of geography, local customs and anecdotes.
  In this first biography of Hadrian translated and introduced in China, the author combines multiple literary forms and systematically reveals the multi-faceted personality of the famous ancient Roman “sage” Hadrian.