"the theories of Heraclitus"

Heraclitus (c535-475 BC) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher who believed in the unity of opposites, and used the strung bow as a metaphor for this theory, an object whose form and function depends on an equilibrium between the tension of the string and the natural tendency of the wood. Stoic philosophers, including Marcus Aurelius, acknowledged his influence on their own work, and Yourcenar here explores the possibility that Hadrian, who was known to be a Hellenophile, may have influenced the younger man with his meditation on victory and defeat.