Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180) was a Roman emperor, ruling from 161 to 180 A.D., and Stoic philosopher. Marcus was the last of the rulers traditionally known as the “Five Good Emperors.” He is also seen as the last emperor of the “Pax Romana,” an age of relative peace and stability for the Roman Empire. His personal philosophical writings are a significant source of the modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy.
Quotes by Marcus Aurelius…
A cucumber is bitter? Throw it away. There are briars in the road? Turn aside from them. This is enough. Do not add, “Why were such things made in the world?”
Happiness is no other than soundness and perfection of the mind.
Do you wish to be praised by a man who curses himself three times an hour? Do you wish to please a man who cannot please himself?
Things stand outside us, themselves by themselves, neither knowing anything of themselves, nor expressing any judgment. What is it, then, which makes judgement about them? Your ruling faculty.
What is your aim? To be good? And how is this accomplished except by general principles, some about the nature of the universe, and others about the proper constitution of man.
To be upset at anything which happens to us is a separation of ourselves from nature.
All things change, yet we need not fear anything new.
In the same degree in which a man’s mind is nearer to freedom from all passion, in the same degree also is it nearer to strength.
It is in your power, whenever you choose, to retire into yourself. Nowhere can you retire with more quietness or more freedom than within your own spirit… Constantly give yourself to this retreat and renew yourself. Let your principles be brief and fundamental, and when you have returned to them, that will be enough to purify the spirit completely, and to send you back from all discontent.
You can remove out of the way many useless things which disturb you, for they lie entirely in your opinion towards them.