Marcus Aurelius

Roman emperor, Politician

0121 – 0180

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Who was Marcus Aurelius?

Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor from 161 to 180. He ruled with Lucius Verus as co-emperor from 161 until Verus' death in 169. He was the last of the Five Good Emperors, and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers.

During his reign, the Empire defeated a revitalized Parthian Empire in the East; Aurelius' general Avidius Cassius sacked the capital Ctesiphon in 164. In central Europe, Aurelius fought the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatians with success during the Marcomannic Wars, with the threat of the Germanic tribes beginning to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. A revolt in the East led by Avidius Cassius failed to gain momentum and was suppressed immediately.

Marcus Aurelius' Stoic tome Meditations, written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration.

Famous Quotes:

  • Observe constantly that all things take place by change, and accustom thyself to consider that the nature of the Universe loves nothing so much as to change the things which are, and to make new things like them.
  • Remember that what pulls the strings is the force hidden within; there lies the power to persuade, there the life -- there, if one must speak out, the real man.
  • Live not as though there were a thousand years ahead of you. Fate is at your elbow; make yourself good while life and power are still yours.
  • The art of living is more like that of wrestling than of dancing; the main thing is to stand firm and be ready for an unseen attack.
  • If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
  • Let not your mind run on what you lack as much as on what you have already.
  • I have often wondered how it is everyone loves himself more than the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinions of himself than the opinions of others.
  • If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.
  • Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.
  • Despise not death, but welcome it, for nature wills it like all else.

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Born
Apr 26, 0121
Rome
Also known as
  • Marcus Annius Verus
  • Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus
  • Marc Aurèle
  • Marcus Ælius Aurelius Verus
  • Marcus Catilius Severus
Parents
Siblings
Spouses
Children
Religion
  • Pantheism
Profession
Lived in
  • Rome
Died
Mar 17, 0180
Vindobona
Resting place
Castel Sant'Angelo

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Marcus Aurelius." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 28 Oct. 2021. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/marcus_aurelius>.

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