Friday, March 29, 2013


Time travel offers the genealogist a chance to view the world as it existed.  One's ancestors help provide a window to the understanding of who we are, and from where did we [our family] begin this life process.  The Celtic gene pool begins the roots of my own family tree, and it is the Romans who were the first to write down what they saw.   Getting to know one of those "Romans" has been a special treat among my own JONES surname tree climbing.

Hadrian was his name.  He wrote an account of his life and travels in a series called "memoirs".  I had to chuckle many times because he seemed to express many of the same thoughts I share.  The text is:

                                      "Memoirs of Hadrian" by Marguerite Yourcenar.

This translation was first published in French 1951, and first translated into English 1954.  Hadrian begins his life story visiting his doctor. [Being a physician perked my attention.]  He states:

        "It is difficult to remain an emperor in presence of a physician, and difficult even to keep one's essential quality as man." (p.3)  What a thought it is.

He goes on to say:

      "This morning it occurred to me for the first time that my body, my faithful companion and friend, truer and better known to me than my own soul, may be after all only a sly beast who will end by devouring his master." (p.3)  Wow, lots of truth here I thought.

My favorite words are:

     "One part of our ills comes from the fact that too many men are shamefully rich and too many desperately poor." (p. 119)  [Not much has changed here!]

The following is a picture of two of my daughters standing on a section of what remains of Hadrian's Wall.

Built in or about 122 AD, a Roman biographer states: "{Hadrian} reformed many things, and, the first [to do so], erected a wall over a length of 80 miles, which was to force apart the Romans and barbarians".*  Well are some of those "barbarians" standing upon your wall.  Getting to know you a little bit, I thought you might get a chuckle out of this picture.

* The notes are taken from "Hadrian's Wall History & Guide" by Guy de la Bedoyere, p. 13.

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