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Marcus Aurelius quotes

Considered the last of the Five Good Emperors, Marcus Aurelius was born April 26th 121 ACE. As history has it, he was one of the co-emperors of Rome. Marcus continued to rule Rome, until his demise, around March 17th 180 ACE. Marcus was known as an ardent, benevolent and loyal ruler who was committed to the Roman Empire above everything else. His Stoicism most likely contributed to his sense of good and duty. Marcus, in his early life, attended the Stoic school of philosophy. Later in life, he chose to put his philosophy into practice, and started living his life through this interpretation and understanding of Stoicism. Aside from being the Emperor of Rome, he is also well-known for his Greek writings. He was born to Marcus Annius Verus III and Domitia Lucilla, and grew up in the region of Caelian Hillwith with Annia Cornificia Faustina, his younger sister. Although his father died when he was just three years old, he was well cared for through the family inheritance of his mother. Later in life, his education continued in Latin and Greek, and rhetoric and philosophy. His commitment to philosophy progressed with the Stoics Quintus Junius Rusticus and Apollonius of Chalcedon. Marcus's love of Stoicism likely came from Epictetus' writings. Many scholars are of the view that Marcus's most known text, the Meditations, are just that – a lengthy and in-depth philosophical exercise in the form of writing. Some believe that the three "rules" Aurelius talks about –practicing discernment in your judgment, being content no matter your circumstances and being just towards others – all correlate to Epictetus' disciplines. Marcus was made consul and brought into the state affairs in 140, and later in 145 under Antonius Pius. His marriage was also arranged under Pius to his adopted father's daughter. They were married for thirty years and had thirteen children. In 161, Marcus was chosen as the emperor of Rome, but he only accepted the offer on the condition that his adopted brother, Lucius Versus, was made his co-emperor. This was the first time in the history that Rome would see two governing emperors. A lot of scholars think that Marcus was first in command; however they paired up perfectly, to the delight of the people of Rome. The biggest challenge that Marcus had to face in life was to sustain borders, while keeping at the expansion plans set up by Hadrian. Later, Marcus appointed another co-emperor, his son Commodus, which proved to be a bad decision in the end. Marcus died in Vindobona, a city on the northern fringes of modern Austria. Even before his death, he was glorified as a philosopher-king. He will be remembered for his campaigns against the Germanic tribes for a long, long time.

The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.
Marcus Aurelius

Without a purpose nothing should be done.
Marcus Aurelius

Everything - a horse, a vine - is created for some duty... For what task, then, were you
yourself created?
Marcus Aurelius

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: Therefore, guard
accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable
nature.
Marcus Aurelius

I seek the truth. It is only persistence in self-delusion and ignorance that does harm.
Marcus Aurelius

Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.
Marcus Aurelius

Our life is what our thoughts make it.
Marcus Aurelius

Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the
blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if
they were not yours.
Marcus Aurelius

The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.
Marcus Aurelius

Begin - to begin is half the work, let half still remain; again begin this, and thou wilt have
finished.
Marcus Aurelius

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you
have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods,
but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. 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.
Marcus Aurelius

Be like the promotory against which the waves continually break, but it stands firm and tames
the fury of the water around it.
Marcus Aurelius

A man's true delight is to do the things he was made for.
Marcus Aurelius

Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose
your self-respect.
Marcus Aurelius

How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.
Marcus Aurelius

Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the
powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is
within your own compass also.
Marcus Aurelius

Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.
Marcus Aurelius

Such as are your habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul
is dyed by the thoughts.
Marcus Aurelius

Where a man can live, he can also live well.
Marcus Aurelius

You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
Marcus Aurelius

When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to
love.
Marcus Aurelius

Let men see, let them know, a real man, who lives as he was meant to live.
Marcus Aurelius

Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee
the future too.
Marcus Aurelius

Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you
together, but do so with all your heart.
Marcus Aurelius

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.
Marcus Aurelius

Men exist for the sake of one another.
Marcus Aurelius

If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I
seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his
self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.
Marcus Aurelius

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.
Marcus Aurelius

A man's worth is no greater than his ambitions.
Marcus Aurelius

Execute every act of thy life as though it were thy last.
Marcus Aurelius

Very little is needed to make a happy life.
Marcus Aurelius

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your
own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
Marcus Aurelius

Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.
Marcus Aurelius

Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.
Marcus Aurelius

Everything that happens happens as it should, and if you observe carefully, you will find this
to be so.
Marcus Aurelius

Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of
reason which today arm you against the present.
Marcus Aurelius

If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.
Marcus Aurelius

You are a little soul carrying about a corpse, as Epictetus used to say.
Marcus Aurelius

Confine yourself to the present.
Marcus Aurelius

The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.
Marcus Aurelius

The only wealth you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away.
Marcus Aurelius