Marcus Aurelius

Ancient Rome
26 Apr 121 // 17 Mar 180
Roman Emperor


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As To Living In the Best Way (1)

As to living in the best way, this power is in the soul, if it be indifferent to things which are indifferent. And it will be indifferent, if it looks on each of these things separately and all toget...

Look at Things as They Are (2)

When we have meat before us and such eatables, we receive the impression that this is the dead body of a fish, and this the dead body of a bird or of a pig; and again, that this wine is only a little...

Convert Obstacles into Help (3)

In one respect man is the nearest thing to me, so far as I must do good to men and endure them. But so far as some men make themselves obstacles to my proper acts, man becomes to me one of the things...

Soul is Stronger than Nature (4)

Nothing happens to any man which he is not formed by nature to bear. The same things happen to another, and either because he does not see that they have happened, or because he would show a great sp...

The Constant Change (5)

Often think of the rapidity with which things pass by and disappear, both the things which are and the things which are produced. For substance is like a river in a continual flow, and the activities...

Misfortune and Good Fortune (6)

Be like the promontory against which the waves continually break, but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it. Unhappy am I because this has happened to me? Not so, but happy am I, t...

Human Things are Ephemeral and Worthless (7)

Think continually how many physicians are dead after often contracting their eyebrows over the sick; and how many astrologers after predicting with great pretensions the deaths of others; and how man...

The Unnecessary Things (8)

Occupy thyself with few things, says the philosopher, if thou wouldst be tranquil. But consider if it would not be better to say, Do what is necessary, and whatever the reason of the animal which is ...

Universe is Transformation, Life is Opinion (9)

See how soon everything is forgotten, and look at the chaos of infinite time on each side of [the present], and the emptiness of applause, and the changeableness and want of judgment in those who pre...

Soul as the Best Retreat (10)

Men seek retreats for themselves, houses in the country, sea-shores, and mountains; and thou too art wont to desire such things very much. But this is altogether a mark of the most common sort of men...
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."