Who Was Marcus Aurelius?

Very little is needed to make a happy life

- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, VII, 67

Podcast of the Day

The life and thought of Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and author of the classic text of Stoic self-examination, the Meditations.

Listen to the History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps episode on Marcus Aurelius

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Short Article of the Day

Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations is a remarkable phenomenon, a philosophical diary written by a Roman emperor, probably in 168-80 AD, and intended simply for his own use. It offers exceptional insights into the private thoughts of someone who had a very weighty public role, and may well have been composed when he was leading a military campaign in Germany. What features might strike us today as being especially valuable, bearing in mind our contemporary concerns?...

Continue reading Christopher Gill's article: Reading Marcus Aurelius' Meditations with a modern perspective

Further Reading

The second century CE Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius was also a Stoic philosopher, and his Meditations, which he wrote to and for himself, offers readers a unique opportunity to see how an ancient person (indeed an emperor) might try to live a Stoic life, according to which only virtue is good, only vice is bad, and the things which we normally busy ourselves with are all indifferent to our happiness (for our lives are not made good or bad by our having or lacking them). The difficulties Marcus faces putting Stoicism into practice are philosophical as well as practical, and understanding his efforts increases our philosophical appreciation of Stoicism...

Continue reading the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Marcus Aurelius by Rachana Kamtekar

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Related Topics

If you’re interested in Marcus Aurelius, check out some of the following related topics for more resources:

 Cicero | EpictetusSelf-control | Stoicism

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