Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, 121 - 180
Bust of Marcus Aurelius in the Glyptothek, Munich
Born: 26 April 0121, Rome
Died: 17 March 0180, Vindobona (Vienna)
Marcus Annius Catilius Severus 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 on the condition that he in turn adopt 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. In 161 he became emperor and was crowned as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. At that time, the empire was under attack first by Parthia, then smallpox brought back by the troops, and then by Germanic tribes; Aurelius spent most of his reign in the field commanding his troops. During these campaigns he wrote "The Meditations" in Greek, most quotes that survive are from that volume.
Additional quotes from Wikiquote. Wikiquote entries are "sourced" and may include items longer than those included here, particularly for poets, lyricists, and dramatists.
Marcus Aurelius quotes:
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- A man is a little soul carrying around a corpse. permalink
- A man's worth is no greater than his ambitions. permalink
- A noble man estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires. permalink
- A wrong-doer is often a man that has left something undone, not always he that has done something. permalink
- 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. permalink
- All is ephemeral, - fame and the famous as well. permalink
- All things are the same, familiar in experience, and ephemeral in time, and worthless in the matter. Everything now is just as it was in the time of those whom we have buried. permalink
- As for life, it is a battle and a sojourning in a strange land; but the fame that comes after is oblivion. permalink
- Be cheerful, also, and seek not external help, nor the peace which others give. A man must stand straight, and not be kept straight by others. permalink
- Be like the promontory against which the waves continually break, but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it. permalink
- Be not careless in deeds, nor confused in words, nor rambling in thought. permalink
- Be simple and modest in your deportment, and treat with indifference whatever lies between virtue and vice. Love the human race; obey God. permalink
Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
- 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. permalink
- Begin the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busy-body, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil. But I who have seen the nature of the good that it is beautiful, and of the bad that it is ugly, and the nature of him who does wrong, that it is akin to me, not only of the same blood or seed, but that it participates in the same intelligence and the same portion of the divinity, I can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate him, For we are made for co-operation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth. To act against one another then is contrary to nature; and it is acting against one another to be vexed and to turn away. permalink
- By a tranquil mind I mean nothing else than a mind well ordered. permalink
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