portrait of Marcus Aurelius
Bust of Marcus Aurelius in the Glyptothek, Munich

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Quotes of the Day for 26 April 2004 – Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Annius Verus was born to Spanish parents at Rome on this day in 121. He was a serious and studious child and came to the attention of the emperor Hadrian. Hadrian adopted Antoninus, who in turn adopted Marcus, establishing the succession. At this time he was called Aurelius, the golden one. During Antoninus' peaceful reign, Aurelius was a diligent administrator, a priest in the state religion, and a stoic philosopher. During this time he wrote "The Meditations" in Greek, most quotes that survive are from that volume. When he came to power himself, the empire was under attack first by Parthia, then smallpox, and then by Germanic tribes, and Aurelius spent most of his reign in the field commanding his troops.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.


The quotes:

As for life, it is a battle and a sojourning in a strange land; but the fame that comes after is oblivion.

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

How much trouble he avoids who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only to what he does himself, that it may be just and pure.

Neither in writing nor in reading wilt thou be able to lay down rules for others before thou shalt have first learned to obey rules thyself.

Receive wealth or prosperity without arrogance; and be ready to let it go.

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

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
     - All from Marcus Aurelius, 121 - 180


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