The Dream of Scipio

The Barnes Noble ReviewConfirming Ian Pears s prodigious talent, The Dream of Scipio is a stunning meditation on history and moral philosophy that rises to the standard established in his highly acclaimed 1998 novel An Instance of the Fingerpost, the massive, intricate historical mystery that evoked comparisons to Umberto Eco s The Name of the Rose.In The Dream of ScThe Barnes Noble ReviewConfirming Ian Pears s prodigious talent, The Dream of Scipio is a stunning meditation on history and moral philosophy that rises to the standard established in his highly acclaimed 1998 novel An Instance of the Fingerpost, the massive, intricate historical mystery that evoked comparisons to Umberto Eco s The Name of the Rose.In The Dream of Scipio, Pears sends his keen imagination through history, braiding together three narratives across three embattled centuries, each of which reflects the cyclical struggle to preserve civilized values in the face of impending catastrophe The earliest narrative thread takes place in the Proven al region of fifth century Gaul, when the Roman Empire is crumbling and barbarian hordes are pounding at the gates In the face of the escalating threat, philosopher aristocrat Manlius Hippomanes devises a scheme to preserve the essence of the Golden Age of Rome He also composes a document called The Dream of Scipio, which sets forth in detail his own flawed moral philosophy, a philosophy that resonates throughout the novel.The second thread is set at the height of the plague years in 14th century Provence, where Olivier de Noyen a poet and fanatical collector of ancient manuscripts one of which is Manlius s Dream of Scipio finds himself caught between the internecine rivalries of the Papacy and his obsessive love for an outcast woman The final thread takes place in Nazi occupied Provence, where scholar and historian Julien Barneuve becomes immersed in the intertwined histories of Manlius and de Noyen as he conducts a doomed love affair with a Jewish artist When he reluctantly serves as a censor and minor administrator for the Vichy government, Barneuve comes face to face with the human cost of moral corruption and compromised ideals.The Dream of Scipio is a beautifully constructed, rigorously intelligent novel that brings both the remote and recent past into sharp, precisely detailed focus Pears brilliantly evokes the politics, passions, and prejudices of three disparate eras and poses difficult questions about personal responsibility and the choices a man must make when his world and way of life come under siege Bill Sheehan
The Dream of Scipio The Barnes Noble ReviewConfirming Ian Pears s prodigious talent The Dream of Scipio is a stunning meditation on history and moral philosophy that rises to the standard established in his highly accla

  • Title: The Dream of Scipio
  • Author: Iain Pears
  • ISBN: 9780676972900
  • Page: 114
  • Format: Hardcover
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    1. Onvan : The Dream of Scipio - Nevisande : Iain Pears - ISBN : 1573229865 - ISBN13 : 9781573229869 - Dar 416 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2002

    2. Rating: 3.5* of fiveThe Publisher Says: In The Dream of Scipio, the acclaimed author of An Instance of the Fingerpost intertwines three intellectual mysteries, three love stories�and three of the darkest moments in human history. United by a classical text called "The Dream of Scipio," three men struggle to find refuge for their hearts and minds from the madness that surrounds them the final days of the Roman Empire, in the grim years of the Black Death, and in the direst hours of World War II [...]

    3. I bought and read The Dream of Scipio because I really enjoyed Pears's An Instance of the Fingerpost, which was a thoroughly engaging, immersive historical mystery. In comparison, The Dream of Scipio - while ambitious just like its predecessor - falls a little short.The Dream of Scipio follows the life of three very different men, all of whom lived in Provence in three different centuries, during various times of great and important historical change: Manlius Hippomanes, a wealthy Roman aristocr [...]

    4. This book tells the three most tragic and beautiful stories I have ever read. Each takes place in Avignon, but in a different era of crisis - the loss of Gaul from the Roman Empire, the Black Death arriving during the split in the Roman Church, and the Occupation in WWII. Each successive narrator is aware of his predecessor(s), respects them and wishes to understand them, to better handle themselves in their own time of crisis and to better serve the incredible women they love. I think only one [...]

    5. Some interesting facts concerning this booK:1- According to , "The Dream of Scipio (Latin, Somnium Scipionis), written by Cicero, is the sixth book of De re publica, and describes a fictional dream vision of the Roman general Scipio Aemilianus, set two years before he commanded at the destruction of Carthage in 146 BCE."2-Some critics consider Raphael's painting Vision of a Knight to be a depiction of Scipio's Dream.Themis-Athena wrote a great review about this book.

    6. Some books we read for pleasure, some for intrigue, some for thought-provoking stimulus. Given the nature of this book--three interwoven stories across three time periods--fall of the roman empire, the black plague in 1350s, and WWII France--I find it required a lot of concentration--especially during my early morning commute and late at night. Occasionally, I'd have to back track a few pages to figure out where some character or detail first appeared--not easy to do when the stories change ever [...]

    7. So the other day Yann and I were talking about food (as one does here) and the in-laws. The conversation centered around the kiwi question, which is as follows:I do not particularly like kiwis, but neither do I particularly dislike them. I am happy to eat a kiwi which is placed in front of me, without objection or disgust, but I do not necessarily take great pleasure in eating them either. They're fine. They're moyen. They're edible, but I wouldn't cross the street for one. I am unable to succes [...]

    8. This was one of the most remarkable novels I have ever read. The theme introduced is how one participates in epochs of change. Set in three different time periods in Provence, France, the novel explores how three different men make decisions about the preservation of culture. They are Manlius Hippomanes, living in the decline of the Roman empire; Olivier de Noyen living during the Italian Renaissance with the exiled papacy and Julien Barneuve a scholar during the Nazi occupation. I am familiar w [...]

    9. Beautiful book that deals mainly with the question of how to preserve civilisation set in various times of great trouble, disease, war and stress. The conclusion or essence of the book, and an excerpt that stuck with me, I found on page 370-371, when Julien talks to Marcel during WWII:I thought in this simple contrast between the civilised and the barbaric, but I was wrong. It is the civilised wo are truly barbaric, and the Germans are merely the supreme expression of it. They are our greatest a [...]

    10. This is that rare thing - a book I gave up on. I realised after 100 pages or so that I was actually dreading reading it. a disappointment, as I loved An Instance of the Fingerpost A Novelby the same author.

    11. Iain Pears is everybody's fantasy of the ultimate history teacher. (At least for people whose fantasies extend to history teachers.) His popular mysteries, so intricately woven from the threads of the past, have given the genre more class and intellectual depth than it's ever had. His latest novel, "The Dream of Scipio," is another category-buster, a work of such philosophical and cultural complexity that its greatest mystery is "How can Pears know so much?"Pears's canvas has never been larger ( [...]

    12. Some time ago I finished The Dream of Scipio by Iain Pears and it has continued to drift around my mind ever since. Simply put, it is a wonderful book that, if you are anything like me, you will savor as the rare delicacy that it is. I literally forced myself to put it down several times in order to prolong the pleasure of reading it. My first Pears novel and already I am in awe of the fellow.I cannot think of the last book I read where parallels among characters were drawn with such subtlety an [...]

    13. I loved this book. The three stories of a fifth century Roman bishop, a Medieval court person and a twentieth century historian blend nicely together and have a tension brought on by three turning points in world history: the fall of the Roman Empire, the plague and the Holocaust. Tied together is the will to survive and the scourge of collapse. The three stories are really one story as the more modern person looks back on the Medieval person, who in turn examines the Bishop and each tries to un [...]

    14. El sueño de Escipión trata el clásico y apasionante tema del papel de la cultura en tiempos de guerra. A partir de tres personajes similares, hombres de letras representativos de su tiempo, el autor desarrolla otras tantas historias paralelas ambientadas en Provenza durante momentos históricos de crisis de la civilización europea: caída del Imperio romano (siglo V); la peste negra durante el exilio de la sede pontificia en Aviñón (siglo XIV), y la segunda guerra mundial. A partir de su i [...]

    15. What a perfect book. The Dream of Scipio opens with the death of one of the main characters, Julien, an academic who has spent much of his life studying one of the other main characters, Oliverio, who in turn had during his life a hunger for learning which drew him to study the third main character, Manlius. Julien was a soldier in WWI and becomes a bureaucrat in occupied France during WWII. Oliverio is a poet and a secretery for a Cardinal in Avignon during the time of Pope Clement before and a [...]

    16. Pears delivered an excellent novel, but I expected this when I picked it up. The dream of Scipio is a novel about three men living in three separate times whose only connection to each other is a manuscript, that was written by a philosopher years before. The manuscript is inspired by a female philosopher, and in each subsequent time, each man is inspired to understand her teachings and the manuscript itself through their own work, their own love lives, and the political upheaval in each of thei [...]

    17. This book has an interesting premise. Three different characters who live in Provence at three different points in history, are faced with the same moral dilemna: in times of chaos and uncertainty, how much should a good man compromise with evil, in the attempt to protect something or someone that he values? Manlius Hippomanes lives at the time of the fall of the Roman Empire, and has to decide how much he will compromise with the barbarians and the rising Christian church, to protect the classi [...]

    18. I started my summer with the hugely distasteful, "Angels and Demons," by Dan Brown, his precursor to, "The Da Vinci Code;" and then, thankfully, strode into midsummer with the perfect antidote, "The Dream of Scipio," by Iain Pears. Where the former ripped through a fantasy-land of paranoia, the latter provides a deep exploration of wisdom, love, friendship, bigotry, betrayal, relative morality - and, well, a whole existential landscape.Mr. Pears uses the common literary device of telling three s [...]

    19. UNCLE. I give up. I love Iain Pears, and I can tell this is an interesting book, well-written with interesting characters. If I were on vacation and could read the whole thing with 100 percent concentration, in one or two sittings, I'm sure I would have finished it and loved it, which is why I gave it four stars. But I'm not on vacation and am reading it in little bits, at the end of the day, half asleep, in bed. I just can't follow the plot. There are three characters/story lines that each get [...]

    20. This is a book that I read slowly and carefully. I will most likely reread The Dream of Scipio, not so much because I feel that I missed something, although I probably did, but to revisit a perpetual dilemma well presented.Three stories overlap and intertwine, one set during the fall of the Roman Empire, the second during the years of the black plague and the removal of the papacy to Avignon and the third takes place in the years of the Second World War. The stories have in common the setting in [...]

    21. I can't remember the last time I was so happy to be finished reading a book! This took what felt like an eternity to read. The beginning is so slow, that I set it down and read two other books before picking it back up (which I did because I love the person that recommended it to me and respected that he wanted me to read it).About halfway through it did pick up, but with difficulty. It is a trio of interwoven stories following academic Julien in the 20th century (WWII) who is studying the poet [...]

    22. Reading Cicero's The Dream of Scipio (versions are on-line for the Google proficient) helped this half-blind reader better understand Pear's intent in his own recounting of The Dream of Scipio. Ciscero's DoS recounts a recognition that humans have been "given souls made out of the undying fire which make up stars and constellations." Each is "animated by the divine mind, each moving with marvelous speed, each in its own orbit and cycle. It is destined that you and other righteous men suffer your [...]

    23. Set in Provence at three different critical moments of Western Civilisation - the collapse of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, the Black Death in the fourteenth, and the Second World War in the twentieth - The Dream of Scipio follows the fortunes of three men: Manlius Hippomanes, a Gallic aristocrat obsessed with the preservation of Roman civilisation, Olivier de Noyen, a poet, and Julien Barneuve, an intellectual who joins the Vichy government. The story of each man is woven through the n [...]

    24. Here is another book passed on by my daughter and which I was very happy to receive, as I had very much enjoyed Iain Pears' The Instance of the Fingerpost a year or so ago. This novel is intriguing and makes a lot of demands on the reader, as it details a lot of philosophy, especially in relation to Platonic ideas and how they come to influence three men and their lives at three different periods of history: Manlius Hippomanes, who creates a manuscript in the 4th century which is the Dream of Sc [...]

    25. A moving work of historical fiction (pub. 2002) set in three time periods, viewed from a single setting -- Provence, France. All three plots consider the area around Avignon (and north, up to Lyon) during times of great historical stress: the fall of Roman Gaul to the Goths (late 5th century), the Black Death ( 1350), and World War II, from the Vichy regime through the Nazi takeover (up to 1943). In each of the three plots, Pears skillfully works in themes of love, anti-Semitism, religious fervo [...]

    26. Was this really only 396 pp? A heavy book, but I took this one home because the one I would really like to read, "instance of the fingerpost" was over 700 pp and too heavy for me to carry back to my loft. I admire this author's writing. Yes I do. This book is very heavy in a different way - weaving three stories together that have the common thread of what seems to be a man in love with a woman wherein the love is doomed. They also have the geographic center of Provence in common. How to describ [...]

    27. Everything a good historical novel should be. Ideas clothed in real people, real people clothed in the ideas of ancient Rome as perceived by three men who live at different times in Provence. Manlius is the 6th century heir of the dying Roman empire, Olivier a 14th century poet during the time of the plague, Julien an historian living under the Vichy government, who discovers the truth about Olivier's death and the key to his poetry. It's all strung together by a manuscript of Cicero's Dream of [...]

    28. The Dream of Scipio is an inventive, gloriously detailed historical novel told from multiple viewpoints. But Pears has set himself an additional challenge by spreading his narrators over several centuries: there's the fifth century French nobleman and bishop, Manlius, a civilized man who has embraced the uncouth Christian faith in order to protect what he holds dear; an 11th-century scholar and troubadour named Olivier de Noyen, the famously ill-fated admirer of a married girl; and Julien Barneu [...]

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