Who is Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Biography

Marcus Aurelius (born April 26, 121 AD; died March 17, 180 AD) was a Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher. He was born into a Roman equestrian family and was educated in rhetoric and philosophy. He served as a consul and a governor before becoming emperor in 161 AD.

During his reign, Marcus Aurelius faced several challenges, including invasions by Germanic tribes and a series of plagues that decimated the population. Despite these difficulties, he is remembered for his efforts to maintain the stability and integrity of the Roman Empire, as well as for his personal philosophy and writings.


One of his most famous works is "Meditations," which is a series of personal writings in which he reflects on his own thoughts and beliefs. The book is considered a masterpiece of Stoic philosophy and is still widely read today.

As a philosopher emperor, Marcus Aurelius believed that the best way to live was to focus on virtue and duty, rather than pleasure and personal gain. He was also a proponent of stoicism which is a philosophy that emphasizes the development of self-control and resilience in the face of adversity. He believed that the key to a good life was to live in accordance with nature, and to develop wisdom and inner strength through self-reflection and contemplation.

Marcus Aurelius died in 180 AD, and his ashes were placed in the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome. He is remembered as one of the "Five Good Emperors" of Rome, and his legacy continues to be celebrated to this day.

Marcus Aurelius Facts

  • Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD and a Stoic philosopher. He is considered one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy.
  • He is best known for his book "Meditations," which is a series of personal writings in which he reflects on his own beliefs and philosophy.
  • Marcus Aurelius was born in Rome in 121 AD and was adopted by the Emperor Antoninus Pius, who made him his heir.
  • He became emperor in 161 AD and ruled jointly with Lucius Verus until Verus' death in 169 AD.
  • Marcus Aurelius is known for his military campaigns against the Germanic tribes and the Parthian Empire, which he conducted while also dealing with internal conflicts and plagues.
  • He is considered one of the Five Good Emperors and was known for his wisdom, fairness, and concern for the welfare of his people.
  • He was a student of Stoic philosophy, which teaches that individuals should focus on what they can control and accept what they cannot control.
  • "Meditations" is considered one of the greatest works of philosophy in the Western tradition and continues to be widely read and studied today.
  • Marcus Aurelius died in 180 AD while on campaign in Vindobona (modern Vienna, Austria)
  • He was deified by the Roman Senate after his death and his ashes were placed in Hadrian's mausoleum (now the Castel Sant'Angelo) in Rome.

Marcus Aurelius Top Quotes

"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love." (Meaning)

"You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength." (Meaning)

"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." (Meaning)

"The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts." (Meaning)

"It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live." (Meaning)

"A man's worth is no greater than his ambitions." (Meaning)

"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." (Meaning)

"If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it." (Meaning)

"Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears." (Meaning)

"Nothing happens to any man that he is not formed by nature to bear." (Meaning)

"Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking." (Meaning)

"Our life is what our thoughts make it." (Meaning)

"Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one." (Meaning)

"Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life." (Meaning)

"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." (Meaning)

"That which is not good for the bee-hive cannot be good for the bees." (Meaning)

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." (Meaning)

"The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury." (Meaning)

"Do every act of your life as if it were your last." (Meaning)

"Poverty is the mother of crime." (Meaning)

"Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature's delight." (Meaning)

"The universe is transformation: life is opinion." (Meaning)

"Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away." (Meaning)

"The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away." (Meaning)

- Marcus Aurelius Quotes


* The editor of this short biography made every effort to maintain information accuracy, including any quotes, facts, or key life events. If you're looking to expand your personal development, I recommend exploring other people's life stories and gaining inspiration from my collection of inspiring quotes. Exposing yourself to different perspectives can broaden your worldview and help you with your personal growth.

Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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