Marcus Aurelius

1 December 2023

Introduction to Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius, born in 121 AD, was the Roman Emperor from 161 to 180. His reign was marked by wars, political unrest, and the challenges of governing a vast empire. In addition to his political responsibilities, Marcus Aurelius was also a dedicated scholar and a practitioner of Stoic philosophy.

Stoicism and 'Meditations'

Marcus Aurelius' most famous work, 'Meditations', is a collection of personal writings and reflections on Stoic philosophy. In this philosophical masterpiece, he explores the concepts of self-discipline, resilience, and the acceptance of the natural order of the universe. 'Meditations' continues to inspire and guide individuals seeking wisdom and inner peace.

From Apollonius I learned freedom of will and undeviating steadiness of purpose; and to look to nothing else, not even for a moment, except to reason; and to be always the same, in sharp pains, on the occasion of the loss of a child, and in long illness; and to see clearly in a living example that the same man can be both most resolute and yielding, and not peevish in giving his instruction; and to have had before my eyes a man who clearly considered his experience and his skill in expounding philosophical principles as the smallest of his merits; and from him I learned how to receive from friends what are esteemed favours, without being either humbled by them or letting them pass unnoticed.

  • Marcus Aurelius

Legacy and Influence

Marcus Aurelius' legacy extends far beyond his role as an emperor. His writings have had a profound impact on Western philosophy and continue to be studied and revered by scholars, thinkers, and leaders. His insights into human nature, ethics, and the pursuit of virtue remain relevant and influential in the modern world.

Stoic Principles and Virtues

Central to Marcus Aurelius' philosophy are the Stoic principles of living in accordance with nature, practicing self-control, and maintaining a sense of inner tranquility amidst external challenges. His emphasis on virtues such as wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance serves as a timeless guide for ethical living and personal development.

Quotes and Reflections

Marcus Aurelius' profound and thought-provoking quotes offer valuable insights into the human condition and the pursuit of moral excellence. His reflections on the ephemeral nature of life, the importance of integrity, and the power of the mind to shape one's reality continue to resonate with individuals seeking wisdom and guidance.

Exploring Marcus Aurelius' Philosophy

Delve deeper into Marcus Aurelius' philosophy by reading 'Meditations' and exploring scholarly interpretations of his work. Consider how his teachings can be applied to contemporary challenges and the pursuit of a meaningful and virtuous life in the modern world.

Written by


Max Thiell

Max writes is a online stoicism content writer. He is passionate about making stoicism accessible for everyone.