Explore Digital Artwork of Ancient Figures

Who is Marcus Aurelius?

Table of Contents


        Marcus Aurelius, born on April 26, 121 AD, in Rome, was a Roman emperor and philosopher, renowned for his rule guided by Stoic philosophy. He became emperor in 161 AD, co-ruling with Lucius Verus until 169 AD, and then as the sole ruler after Verus’s death. His reign is marked by military conflict, including wars against the Parthian Empire and various Germanic tribes. Despite these challenges, Marcus Aurelius is often remembered for his philosophical temperament and the internal stability he maintained within the empire. His death in 180 AD marked the end of the Pax Romana, an era of relative peace and stability for the Roman Empire

His Works and Writings

           Marcus Aurelius is best known for his work “Meditations,” a series of personal writings that record his private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy. This work was not intended for publication but serves as a significant literary monument to the Stoic lifestyle and the duty-bound life Marcus led. It is composed of 12 books, each a collection of philosophical thoughts ranging from the discipline of judgment to the acceptance of fate, offering insight into the private thoughts of a Roman emperor and his philosophy

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

His Philosophy and Beliefs

    Stoicism forms the backbone of Marcus Aurelius’s philosophical outlook, focusing on logic, ethics, and the natural world’s interconnectedness. He emphasized duty, rationality, and self-control, advocating for personal improvement and the idea that one should accept without complaint whatever happens in the natural order of things. His writings elaborate on the Stoic virtues of wisdom, justice, courage, and moderation, exploring the notion that one’s mind can be a fortress, and within it, one can find refuge and strength.

***  Explore other Stoics  – their biography, works, and beliefs.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

FREE weekly practical tips, reflections and key takeaways from the works of the stoics

Leave a Reply