Source: Meditations (Hovory k sobě)
Marcus Aurelius quotes
Birthdate: 26. April 121
Date of death: 17. March 180
Other names: Аврелий Марков, Mark Aurel, Antonius Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius was Roman emperor from 161 to 180, ruling jointly with Lucius Verus until Verus' death in 169 and jointly with his son, Commodus, from 177. He was the last of the so-called Five Good Emperors.
He was a practitioner of Stoicism, and his untitled writing, commonly known as Meditations, is a significant source of our modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy. It is considered by many commentators to be one of the greatest works of philosophy.
During his reign, the Roman Empire defeated a revitalized Parthian Empire in the East: Aurelius' general Avidius Cassius sacked the capital Ctesiphon in 164. In central Europe, Aurelius fought the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatians with success during the Marcomannic Wars, although the threat of the Germanic peoples began to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. A revolt in the East led by Avidius Cassius failed to gain momentum and was suppressed immediately. Persecution of Christians increased during his reign.
His death in 180 is considered the end of the Pax Romana and the increasing instability in the west that followed has traditionally been seen as the beginning of the eventual Fall of the Western Roman Empire.
Quotes Marcus Aurelius
Source: Meditations (c. 121–180 AD), Book VII
„If you are pained by external things, it is not they that disturb you, but your own judgement of them. And it is in your power to wipe out that judgement now.“
Variant: If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
Source: Meditations (c. 121–180 AD), Book XII
Context: If it is not right, do not do it, if it is not true, do not say it. For let thy efforts be
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Source: Cited as being from The Meditations. This quote does not exist there; although there are several other statements about everything being an opinion, none of these are connected to a sentence about perspectives.
Meditations (c. 121–180 AD), Book VIII
Context: Remember that neither the future nor the past pains thee, but only the present. But this is reduced to a very little, if thou only circumscribest it, and chidest thy mind, if it is unable to hold out against even this.
„When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love…“
Variant: When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive-to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Μηκέθ᾽ ὅλως περὶ τοῦ οἷόν τινα εἶναι τὸν ἀγαθὸν ἄνδρα διαλέγεσθαι, ἀλλὰ εἶναι τοιοῦτον.
Variant: Don't go on discussing what a good person should be. Just be one.
Source: Meditations (c. 121–180 AD), Book X
Variant: The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.
Source: Meditations (c. 121–180 AD), Book VI
„If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.“
„Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.“
Source: VII, 8 (Penguin Classics edition of Meditations, translated by Maxwell Staniforth)