Marcus Aurelius Essay

2625 Words Oct 15th, 1999 11 Pages
Even today, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is read by every class from kings to common people. The book is a universal classic, meaning it can be related to at any time, by anyone. The philosophies included in his book have spanned the centuries, and Meditations remains to be one of the most influential books ever written. Marcus Aurelius was born on April 20, 121 AD into a family of royalty. His uncle and adoptive father, Antoninus Pius, was the emperor of Rome. Aurelius, too, was trained from birth to be a great ruler like his father. At age eleven, he dedicated himself to religion, although he considered philosophy to be the "true, inward" religion, one which did not require ceremonies necessary in others. Throughout his …show more content…
The repeated points throughout Meditations are that a reasonable, moral life leads to peace and inner tranquillity; also, that is vital to obey the virtues present in life. Namely, these are wisdom, justice, fortitude, and moderation. Included in Aurelius’ book are all the philosophies he believes in, which generally match with those of the Stoics. His views on such topics as man’s place in the universe, an outer force, the soul, death, truth, knowledge, and virtue are included in his works. According to Aurelius, the basic purpose of man in the universe is to listen to reason, and be in accordance with nature. Performing the duty that is assigned to a person in his life is also of great importance. It is evident that Aurelius believes this, because he accepted that God had meant for him to be an emperor, even when he himself would have preferred a completely different lifestyle. However, he accepted with dignity his lot in life, and tried his best to excel at it. A man should also show kindness to every person one encounters. This follows the basic concept of the Stoics, who stated that all men are brothers, so showing generosity is only in accordance with nature. Also, if a person shows ignorance, it is essential that an educated man does all possible to help show the less educated man the way to live according to nature and reason. This should not be done with contempt,
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