Memoirs of Hadrian Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Why was Hermogenes so worried when he finished his examination of Hadrian?

When Hermogenes finished his examination of Hadrian, he was very concerned because he believed Hadrian's heart condition to be worsening. Hermogenes had been away on a trip to Asia, and his assistant Iollas was left in charge of the Emperor's care. Hermogenes is tempted to place the blame for Hadrian's downward spiral on Iollas. Hadrian further notes that it is difficult to remain an Emperor in the presence of a physician.

2. As Hadrian discusses his medical condition, what attitude does he seem to have toward his mortality?

While Hadrian discusses his medical problems, readers begin to see that he is resigned to his mortality. He does not worry excessively about it, but he simply recognizes that he is a sick man and not likely to see another year of life. Oddly enough, he seems to take some comfort in the knowledge that he will not die in battle or any violent sort of death similar to that, simply because he is already too ill to participate in such activities.

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