Friday, 3 May 2013

when we went to Rome


A month ago I took the night train to Rome. What I liked best: climbing over a fence to enjoy a perfect view of St. Peter's, excellent ice cream flavours (rice! rosemary! sage! basil!), speaking Italian, ancient sculpture, aimless walks, you know the deal. It was good. 
I started reading Memoirs of Hadrian after observing (and laughing at) other tourists who took pictures with a giant statue of Antinous.* I wouldn't say that I like historical novels per se - in fact, I hardly ever read any - but I love fake autobiographies, especially fake autobiographies by Roman emperors. They just have so much potential to make the reader relate to the past. Years ago I read Julian by Gore Vidal, and that was the first time I actually realised that maybe one doesn't have to be an academic, a historian, to make the past come to live. That writers might actually be better at that.

*Note: in Roman museums Antinous is described as 'Hadrian's favourite', whereas in the British Museum in London he is 'the great love of his (Hadrian's) life'.

1 comment:

  1. That first photo is amazing. Looks like a hidden oasis