Marcus Aurelius Meditations

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Marcus Aurelius and His Meditations Marcus Aurelius (121 A.D to 180 A.D.) , Emperor of Rome (r. 161 A.D. to 180 A.D.), wrote all his deepest insights and strategic plans in a personal diary, which was later published. He was very focused on his philosophy and his Stoic lifestyle, which was also included in his Meditations. His journal also contained lessons from Epictetus and his principles of life. Although Marcus wrote Meditations as a personal keepsake with all his private thoughts, it still has many valuable lessons that could be useful to society.
One of the greatest emperors of Rome learned multitudes of lessons from his education. Marcus Aurelius’ early education was supervised by Emperor Hadrian, and he was later adopted by
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Although in Meditations Marcus never specifically calls himself a Stoic, he lived based on Stoic beliefs and philosophies. This is most likely because Marcus wrote the book for himself, not knowing his diary would someday be published (Sellars). What does it truly mean to live as a Stoic? It has been said that the Roman worldview varied between Epicureanism and Stoicism (Aurelius 121). As a Stoic, Marcus had a determined sense of duty to those beneath him in the hierarchy; he was a man of service and would do everything that was essential to see his purpose fulfilled (Umbrello). Like any good Stoic, Marcus lived according to his nature, meaning he lived according to his beliefs of good and bad (Kamtekar). Marcus lived his life the way he interpreted “good and bad.” Stoicism teaches that the only good is virtue and the only evil is vice. Everything else is indifferent. According to their teachings, the only thing that can contribute to our happiness is virtue and the only thing that can contribute to our unhappiness is vice. “Marcus says, for example, that if we believe that pleasure is good and pain evil, then we will be resentful of the pleasures enjoyed by the vicious and the pains suffered by the virtuous. And if we are resentful of what happens, we will be finding fault with Nature and will be impious (ix.1.3)” (Kamtekar). Epictetus was the most well-known Stoic during the time of Marcus Aurelius. “If Marcus felt…show more content…
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