The Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius: Translated (Classic Reprint)

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FB&C Limited, 2016 M06 30 - 328 pages
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Excerpt from The Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius: Translated

Antoninus continued his journey to Syria and Egypt, and on his return to Italy through Athens he was initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries. It was the practice of the emperor to conform to the established rites of the age and to perform religious ceremonies with due solemnity. We cannot conclude from this that he was a superstitious man, though we might perhaps do so, if his book did not show that he was not. But this is only one among many in stances that a ruler's public acts do not always prove his real opinions. A prudent governor will not roughly oppose even the superstitions of his people, and though he may wish that they were wiser, he will know that he cannot make them so by offending their prejudices.

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About the author (2016)

Born in Rome, in 121, Marcus Aurelius was one of the most respected emperors in Roman history. When he was 17, Aurelius was adopted by emperor Antonius Pius and succeeded him in A.D. 161. He ruled jointly with his adoptive brother, Lucius Verus, until 169, when he became sole emperor after Verus died. Although Aurelius was a humanitarian ruler, he accepted the view that Christians were the enemies of Rome. Aurelius was dovoted to the Stoic philosophy. Meditations, his spiritual reflections, is considered a classic work of stoicism. Written in Greek, the work comprises of twelve books and records his innermost thoughts. Meditations is his only surviving work. Aurelius died in 180 while prosecuting war against the Marcomanni who lived along the northern limits of the Roman Empire. After his death Aurelius was idealized as the perfect emperor whose reign contrasted sharply with the disastrous period before him and the reigns that followed.

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