And it is in your power to wipe out this judgment now. A man should be upright, not be kept upright. The abyss of endless time that swallows it all. With what are you discontented? Independence and unvarying reliability, and to pay attention to nothing, no matter how fleetingly, except the logos. Death, like birth, is a secret of Nature.
Receive wealth or prosperity without arrogance; and be ready to let it go. Scholar Gregory Hays comments: The questions that the Meditations tries to answer are primarily metaphysical and ethical ones: Why are we here? With this particular Emperor Marcus Aurelius Quotes said before that? He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe. As an antidote to battle unkindness we were given kindness. Now it is in my power to let no badness be in this soul, nor desire nor any perturbation at all; but looking at all things, I see their true nature, and I use each according to its value. If you are a council member, consider what a council member should do.
If any man is able to convince me and show me that I do not think or act right, I will gladly change; for I seek the truth by which no man was ever injured. Why do you not rather act than complain? Turn your desire to stone. Thus, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Aurelius Verus were adopted by Anoninus Pius when he became Emperor in A. Each thing is of like form from everlasting and comes round again in its cycle. Many things have fallen only to rise to more exalted heights. This also gives us an argument against desiring the things that befall one.
For Marcus, human well-being or happiness eudaimonia is entirely dependent upon correctly examining one's impressions and judgements. Take away then, when you choose, your opinion, and like a mariner who has rounded the headland, you will find calm, everything stable, and a waveless bay. There is no major historian. Those of humble birth could make a good career; such a one was 126-193 , a gifted general, who in early 193 became emperor for a space of less than three months. Constantly recall those who have complained greatly about anything, those who have been most conspicuous by the greatest fame or misfortunes or enmities or fortunes of any kind: then think, where are they all now? The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. Remember this, that there is a proper dignity and proportion to be observed in the performance of every act of life.
If you shall be afraid not because you must some time cease to live, but if you shall fear never to have begun to live according to nature — then you will be a man worthy of the universe that has produced you, and you will cease to be a stranger in your native land. The Roman Stoics: Self, Responsibility and Affection, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Tomorrow is nothing, today is too late; the good lived yesterday. Or that everything was born to die. Antoninus agreed and young Marcus took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and was groomed as the next emperor. Bear in mind that everything that exists is already fraying at the edges, and in transition, subject to fragmentation and to rot.
The philosophy of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius can be found in a collection of personal writings known as the Meditations. You can discard most of the junk that clutters your mind — things that exist only there — and clear out space for yourself. The work of philosophy is simple and modest. No more can a human being wholly efface his native disposition. You have leisure or ability to check arrogance: you have leisure to be superior to pleasure and pain: you have leisure to be superior to love of fame, and not to be vexed at stupid and ungrateful people, nay even to care for them. It includes what seem to be rhetorical exercises for example, pieces in praise of sleep, and smoke and dust written when Marcus was still in his 20s, an exchange about the value or disvalue of rhetoric to philosophy written soon after Marcus became Emperor, and throughout, personal information, frequently concerning illnesses, births, and deaths in his own family. Marcus rose steadily through the cursus honorum, holding consulates in 140 and 145, combining magistracies with priesthoods.
Either all things proceed from one intelligent source and come together as in one body, and the part ought not to find fault with what is done for the benefit of the whole; or there are only atoms, and nothing else than mixture and dispersion. As if you had died and your life had extended only to this present moment, use the surplus that is left to you to live from this time onward according to nature. Maximus: Caesar, your life… Marcus Aurelius: Please. The state cult received full honor, and he recognized the validity of other people's beliefs, so that the variety of religions in the vast extent of the empire caused no difficulties for inhabitants or government, with one significant exception. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.
What Marcus learned from Maximus No matter what anyone says or does, my task is to be good. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. Although he acknowledges that he struggles to live as a philosopher, Marcus urges himself to that life, spelling out what it involves in Stoic terms: …you are no longer able to have lived your whole life as a philosopher since youth; and it is clear to many others and to you yourself that you are far from philosophy. His closest contacts were with Fronto c. Nothing important comes into being overnight; even grapes or figs need time to ripen. Even the smallest thing should be done with reference to an end. But this is going to take some sweat to accomplish.
During his reign, Marcus Aurelius was almost constantly at war with various peoples outside the empire, and having joint emperorship was probably a practical boon as well: Verus was authoritative enough to command the full loyalty of the troops, but already powerful enough that he had little incentive to try to overthrow Marcus Aurelius, and he remained loyal until his death during a pandemic of smallpox or measles while on campaign in A. It will even do to socialize with men of good character, in order to model your life on theirs, whether you choose someone living or someone from the past. Enough of this miserable, whining life. And is this your life ambition, then — to win the approval of lunatics? What springs from earth dissolves to earth again, and heaven-born things fly to their native seat. The mind maintains its own tranquillity by retiring into itself, and the ruling faculty is not made worse.
More You may also like Inspirational Marcus Aurelius Quotes Dwell on the beauty of life. As it is with a play, so it is with life — what matters is not how long the acting lasts, but how good it is. Do that, and be free of pain and stress, free of all calculation and pretention. If you are pained by external things, it is not they that disturb you, but your own judgement of them. Maximus: There is no one left to fight, sire. They were married in 145; the marriage endured for thirty years. However, in order to assess the philosophical qualities that Marcus does have and that are displayed in the Meditations it is necessary to emphasize that in antiquity philosophy was not conceived merely as a matter of theoretical arguments.