Marcus Aurelius

Born: April 29, 0121

Died: March 25, 0180

Ethnicity: Roman

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (often referred to as 'the wise') was Emperor of the Roman Empire from 161 to his death in 180. He was the last of the 'Five Good Emperors', and is also considered one of the more important Stoic philosophers. His two decades as emperor were marked by near continual warfare. He was faced with a series of invasions from German tribes, and by conflicts with the Parthian Empire in the east. His reign also had to deal with an internal revolt in the east, led by Avidius Cassius. Marcus Aurelius' work Meditations, written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a government of service and duty and has been praised for its 'exquisite accent and its infinite tenderness.'

Occupy yourself with few things...

Occupy yourself with few things, says the philosopher, if you would be tranquil.

The soul of a man does violence to itself...

The soul of a man does violence to itself, first of all, when it becomes an abscess and, as it were, a tumor on the universe. For to be vexed at anything that happens is a separation of ourselves from nature, in some part of which the natures of all other things are contained. In the next place, the soul does violence to itself when it turns away from any man, or even moves toward him with the intention of injuring, as happens when people are angry.

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