Aurelius Marcus 121 - 180 (59)

Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good.



Tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own—not of the same blood or birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work to together… To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are obstructions.

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus August (26 April 121 to 17 Μαρτίου 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to 180, the last of the "Five Good Emperors", one of the most important Stoic philosophers. His father was a Roman - Spanish descent , served as a praetor and died when his son was three years old. His mother was of Italian descent and came from a wealthy family. His aunt was the wife of Emperor Hadrian and the sister of his father, was empress , wife of Antoninus Pius. Marcus was taught by the best scholars of his era , literature, drama, geometry , Greek rhetoric, Greek language, Latin. From letters we learn that he was smart, serious and hardworking, he showed great interest in philosophy and became a supporter of Ierapoliti Epictetus, an important moral philosopher of the Stoic School. From a young age he took part in public life by Augustine, he was consul in 140 and 145 and in 161 , when Augustine died, Marcus Aurelius accepted the throne with co-emperor Lucius Vero, both they named August. His reign marked by wars in Asia as opposed to recurrent Parthian Empire and the German tribes in Gaul and Danube, while there was one uprising in the East which he suppressed .

While he was in the campaigns between 170 and 180, Marcus Aurelius wrote in Greek " The unto itself " as a source for improving the character and spirit, which is considered an excellent job, a classic example of the Stoic philosophy. The book was printed in 1558 in Zurich, from a manuscript now lost. The importance of death was very basic in philosophy of Marcus Aurelius. He did not believe in life after death . He married Faustina the younger in 145 , daughter of Antoninus and his own cousin, in the thirty years of their marriage they had 13 children, only one son and four daughters lived after his death. The son who survived, Commodus, was appointed his successor, probably due to the absence of capable successors and to avoid civil war of succession. The choice was extremely unfortunate. The Commodus was a bad emperor, selfish with psychiatric problem, he started the fall of the Roman Empire.