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THOUGTHS 
FROM 
“MEDITATIONS” 
BY 
MARCUS 
AURELIUS, 
ROMAN 
EMPEROR AND 
PHILOSOPHER
WHICH IS FULL UP OF VERY INTERESTING AND HELPFUL ADVICE, EVEN FOR 
A LAYMAN SUCH AS MYSELF, OF HOW TO HANDLE OUR LIVES BETTER. 
2
Marcus Aurelius was born on 
April 26, 121, in Italy, and was 
chosen by Emperor Hadrian to be 
his successor. In 161, Aurelius 
took control of the Roman Empire 
along with his “brother” Verus, 
who had also been adopted like 
he himself by Aurelius Antonius, 
according to Hadrian’s 
instruction 
War and disease threatened 
Rome on all sides. Marcus 
Aurelius held his territory, but 
was weakened as a ruler after the 
death of his brother Verus. His 
son Commodus later became co-ruler 
in 177, only three years 
before Aurelius died on March 17, 
180. He had been a very diligent 
student, knew Latin and Greek, 
but was most interested in 
philosophy or fate, reason and 
self-restraint. 
3
4 
He said for example: 
“The happiness of 
your life depends 
upon the quality of 
your thoughts, 
therefore guard 
accordingly; and take 
care that you 
entertain no notions 
unsuitable to virtue, 
and reasonable 
nature.” 
http://rivella49.wordpress.c 
om/
“LOOK WELL INTO YOURSELF; THERE IS A SOURCE OF STRENGTH 
WHICH WILL ALWAYS SPRING UP IF YOU WILL ALWAYS LOOK 
THERE. “ 
5
“FROM MY GRANDFATHER VERUS I HAVE LEARNT TO BE 
GENTLE AND MEEK, AND TO REFRAIN FROM ALL ANGER AND 
PASSION.” 
6
“FROM MY MOTHER I HAVE LEARNT TO BE RELIGIOUS, AND BOUNTIFUL; AND 
TO FORBEAR, NOT ONLY TO DO, BUT TO INTEND ANY EVIL; TO CONTENT 
MYSELF WITH SPARE DIET, AND TO FLY ALL SUCH EXCESS AS IS INCIDENTAL 
TO GREAT WEALTH.”
“FROM DIOGNETUS I LEARNT, NOT TO BUSY MYSELF ABOUT 
VAIN THINGS, AND NOT EASILY TO BELIEVE THOSE THINGS, 
WHICH ARE COMMONLY SPOKEN.”
“FROM RUSTICUS I LEARNT TO BE EASY AND READY TO BE 
RECONCILED, AND WELL PLEASED WITH THEM THAT HAD OFFENDED 
ME, AS SOON AS ANY OF THEM WOULD BE CONTENT TO SEEK INTO 
ME AGAIN.”
“TO READ WITH DILIGENCE; NOT TO REST SATISFIED WITH A 
LIGHT AND SUPERFICIAL KNOWLEDGE.”
“LET IT BE THE EARNEST AND INCESSANT CARE AS A ROMAN AND MAN TO 
PERFORM WHATSOEVER IT IS THAT YOU ARE ABOUT, WITH TRUE AND 
UNFEIGNED GRAVITY, NATURAL AFFECTION, FREEDOM AND JUSTICE. 
7
IN THE SEVENTH BOOK HE ASKS WHAT WICKEDNESS IS AND GIVES THE FOLLOWING ANSWER: 
“IT IS THAT WHICH MANY TIME AND OFTEN YOU HAVE ALREADY SEEN AND KNOWN IN THE WORLD. 
GENERALLY, ABOVE AND BELOW, YOU WILL FIND BUT THE SAME THINGS. THE VERY SAME THINGS 
WHEREOF ANCIENT STORIES, MIDDLE AGE STORIES, AND FRESH STORIES ARE FULL.. ALL THINGS 
THAT ARE, ARE BOTH USUAL AND OF LITTLE CONTINUANCE.” 
8
LABOUR NOT AS ONE TO WHOM IT IS APPOINTED TO BE WRETCHED, NOR AS 
ONE THAT EITHER WOULD BE PITIED, OR ADMIRED; BUT LET THIS BE YOUR 
ONLY CARE AND DESIRE; SO ALWAYS AND IN ALL THINGS TO PROSECUTE OR 
TO FORBEAR, AS THE LAW OF CHARITY, OR MUTUAL SOCIETY DOES 
REQUIRE. 
9
IN THE NINTH BOOK HE SAID THAT HE THAT IS UNJUST IS ALSO IMPIOUS, BECAUSE THE 
NATURE OF THE UNIVERSE, HAVING MADE ALL REASONABLE CREATURES ONE FOR 
ANOTHER, TO THE END THAT THEY SHOULD DO ONE ANOTHER GOOD AND SHOULD IN 
NOWISE HURT ONE ANOTHER.
HE ALSO THOUGHT ABOUT THE PROCEDURE IN CASE WE WOULD LIKE TO DO 
SOMETHING, BUT DON’T KNOW HOW TO GO ABOUT IT AND ADVISED TO 
RATHER GET HELP FROM SOMEBODY THAN TO GIVE UP A PLAN.
“HOW MUCH TIME HE SAVES, WHO DOES NOT LOOK TO SEE WHAT 
HIS NEIGHBOR SAYS OR DOES OR THINKS.”
“IF YOU ARE PAINED BY EXTERNAL THINGS, IT IS NOT THEY THAT DISTURB 
YOU, BUT YOUR OWN JUDGMENT OF THEM AND IT IS IN YOUR POWER TO 
WIPE OUT THAT JUDGMENT NOW.”
“ALL THINGS THAT ARE IN THE WORLD, ARE ALWAYS IN THE ESTATE 
OF ALTERATION. YOU ARE IN A PERPETUAL CHANGE, YES AND 
UNDER CORRUPTION TOO, IN SOME PART: AND SO IS THE WHOLE 
WORLD. “ EVERY CHANGE FROM ONE AGE TO ANOTHER IS A KIND OF 
DEATH! 
.
FROM FRONTO I LEARNED TO OBSERVE WHAT ENVY, AND DUPLICITY, AND HYPOCRISY 
ARE IN A TYRANT, AND THAT GENERALLY THOSE AMONG US WHO ARE CALLED 
PATRICIANS ARE RATHER DEFICIENT IN PATERNAL AFFECTION.
MANY OF THOSE THINGS THAT TROUBLE AND STRAITEN YOU IT IS IN YOUR POWER TO 
CUT OFF, AS WHOLLY DEPENDING FROM MERE CONCEIT AND OPINION; AND THEN YOU 
WILL HAVE ROOM ENOUGH.
AND THESE YOUR PROFESSED POLITICIANS, THE ONLY TRUE PRACTICAL 
PHILOSOPHERS OF THE WORLD, (AS THEY THINK OF THEMSELVES) SO FULL 
OF AFFECTED GRAVITY, OR SUCH PROFESSED LOVERS OF VIRTUE AND 
HONESTY, WHAT WRETCHES ARE THEY IN VERY DEED; HOW VILE AND 
CONTEMPTIBLE IN THEMSELVES?
“IT IS NOT DEATH THAT A MAN SHOULD FEAR, BUT HE SHOULD 
FEAR NEVER BEGINNING TO LIVE.”

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Marcus aurelius2

  • 1. THOUGTHS FROM “MEDITATIONS” BY MARCUS AURELIUS, ROMAN EMPEROR AND PHILOSOPHER
  • 2. WHICH IS FULL UP OF VERY INTERESTING AND HELPFUL ADVICE, EVEN FOR A LAYMAN SUCH AS MYSELF, OF HOW TO HANDLE OUR LIVES BETTER. 2
  • 3. Marcus Aurelius was born on April 26, 121, in Italy, and was chosen by Emperor Hadrian to be his successor. In 161, Aurelius took control of the Roman Empire along with his “brother” Verus, who had also been adopted like he himself by Aurelius Antonius, according to Hadrian’s instruction War and disease threatened Rome on all sides. Marcus Aurelius held his territory, but was weakened as a ruler after the death of his brother Verus. His son Commodus later became co-ruler in 177, only three years before Aurelius died on March 17, 180. He had been a very diligent student, knew Latin and Greek, but was most interested in philosophy or fate, reason and self-restraint. 3
  • 4. 4 He said for example: “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts, therefore guard accordingly; and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue, and reasonable nature.” http://rivella49.wordpress.c om/
  • 5. “LOOK WELL INTO YOURSELF; THERE IS A SOURCE OF STRENGTH WHICH WILL ALWAYS SPRING UP IF YOU WILL ALWAYS LOOK THERE. “ 5
  • 6. “FROM MY GRANDFATHER VERUS I HAVE LEARNT TO BE GENTLE AND MEEK, AND TO REFRAIN FROM ALL ANGER AND PASSION.” 6
  • 7. “FROM MY MOTHER I HAVE LEARNT TO BE RELIGIOUS, AND BOUNTIFUL; AND TO FORBEAR, NOT ONLY TO DO, BUT TO INTEND ANY EVIL; TO CONTENT MYSELF WITH SPARE DIET, AND TO FLY ALL SUCH EXCESS AS IS INCIDENTAL TO GREAT WEALTH.”
  • 8. “FROM DIOGNETUS I LEARNT, NOT TO BUSY MYSELF ABOUT VAIN THINGS, AND NOT EASILY TO BELIEVE THOSE THINGS, WHICH ARE COMMONLY SPOKEN.”
  • 9. “FROM RUSTICUS I LEARNT TO BE EASY AND READY TO BE RECONCILED, AND WELL PLEASED WITH THEM THAT HAD OFFENDED ME, AS SOON AS ANY OF THEM WOULD BE CONTENT TO SEEK INTO ME AGAIN.”
  • 10. “TO READ WITH DILIGENCE; NOT TO REST SATISFIED WITH A LIGHT AND SUPERFICIAL KNOWLEDGE.”
  • 11. “LET IT BE THE EARNEST AND INCESSANT CARE AS A ROMAN AND MAN TO PERFORM WHATSOEVER IT IS THAT YOU ARE ABOUT, WITH TRUE AND UNFEIGNED GRAVITY, NATURAL AFFECTION, FREEDOM AND JUSTICE. 7
  • 12. IN THE SEVENTH BOOK HE ASKS WHAT WICKEDNESS IS AND GIVES THE FOLLOWING ANSWER: “IT IS THAT WHICH MANY TIME AND OFTEN YOU HAVE ALREADY SEEN AND KNOWN IN THE WORLD. GENERALLY, ABOVE AND BELOW, YOU WILL FIND BUT THE SAME THINGS. THE VERY SAME THINGS WHEREOF ANCIENT STORIES, MIDDLE AGE STORIES, AND FRESH STORIES ARE FULL.. ALL THINGS THAT ARE, ARE BOTH USUAL AND OF LITTLE CONTINUANCE.” 8
  • 13. LABOUR NOT AS ONE TO WHOM IT IS APPOINTED TO BE WRETCHED, NOR AS ONE THAT EITHER WOULD BE PITIED, OR ADMIRED; BUT LET THIS BE YOUR ONLY CARE AND DESIRE; SO ALWAYS AND IN ALL THINGS TO PROSECUTE OR TO FORBEAR, AS THE LAW OF CHARITY, OR MUTUAL SOCIETY DOES REQUIRE. 9
  • 14. IN THE NINTH BOOK HE SAID THAT HE THAT IS UNJUST IS ALSO IMPIOUS, BECAUSE THE NATURE OF THE UNIVERSE, HAVING MADE ALL REASONABLE CREATURES ONE FOR ANOTHER, TO THE END THAT THEY SHOULD DO ONE ANOTHER GOOD AND SHOULD IN NOWISE HURT ONE ANOTHER.
  • 15. HE ALSO THOUGHT ABOUT THE PROCEDURE IN CASE WE WOULD LIKE TO DO SOMETHING, BUT DON’T KNOW HOW TO GO ABOUT IT AND ADVISED TO RATHER GET HELP FROM SOMEBODY THAN TO GIVE UP A PLAN.
  • 16. “HOW MUCH TIME HE SAVES, WHO DOES NOT LOOK TO SEE WHAT HIS NEIGHBOR SAYS OR DOES OR THINKS.”
  • 17. “IF YOU ARE PAINED BY EXTERNAL THINGS, IT IS NOT THEY THAT DISTURB YOU, BUT YOUR OWN JUDGMENT OF THEM AND IT IS IN YOUR POWER TO WIPE OUT THAT JUDGMENT NOW.”
  • 18. “ALL THINGS THAT ARE IN THE WORLD, ARE ALWAYS IN THE ESTATE OF ALTERATION. YOU ARE IN A PERPETUAL CHANGE, YES AND UNDER CORRUPTION TOO, IN SOME PART: AND SO IS THE WHOLE WORLD. “ EVERY CHANGE FROM ONE AGE TO ANOTHER IS A KIND OF DEATH! .
  • 19. FROM FRONTO I LEARNED TO OBSERVE WHAT ENVY, AND DUPLICITY, AND HYPOCRISY ARE IN A TYRANT, AND THAT GENERALLY THOSE AMONG US WHO ARE CALLED PATRICIANS ARE RATHER DEFICIENT IN PATERNAL AFFECTION.
  • 20. MANY OF THOSE THINGS THAT TROUBLE AND STRAITEN YOU IT IS IN YOUR POWER TO CUT OFF, AS WHOLLY DEPENDING FROM MERE CONCEIT AND OPINION; AND THEN YOU WILL HAVE ROOM ENOUGH.
  • 21. AND THESE YOUR PROFESSED POLITICIANS, THE ONLY TRUE PRACTICAL PHILOSOPHERS OF THE WORLD, (AS THEY THINK OF THEMSELVES) SO FULL OF AFFECTED GRAVITY, OR SUCH PROFESSED LOVERS OF VIRTUE AND HONESTY, WHAT WRETCHES ARE THEY IN VERY DEED; HOW VILE AND CONTEMPTIBLE IN THEMSELVES?
  • 22. “IT IS NOT DEATH THAT A MAN SHOULD FEAR, BUT HE SHOULD FEAR NEVER BEGINNING TO LIVE.”