Philosophies of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius Essay examples

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Marcus Aurelius

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.
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He also tried to "humanize" criminal laws, and have masters treat there slaves in a humane way. After Aurelius, Romans would miss such fair treatment.

After nineteen years of ruling Rome, Marcus Aurelius died on March 17, 180 in Vindobona, which is currently Vienna. He died of a plague while in the middle of yet another war to defend the territory of Rome. Aurelius was succeeded by his son, Commodus, who was the polar opposite of his father. Commodus was a corrupt and evil ruler. Apparently, his father was never aware of this fact, for Commodus fooled him into believing they were of the same mind when it came to ruling. Commodus was the first of the bad emperors to Aurelius’ last of the good emperors. This lack of an able ruler cemented the descent of the Roman empire.

Throughout his life, Aurelius was never able to be happy being an emperor. Even though he had money and privileges, and was royalty, he never became tranquil, or at peace with himself, with these material riches. It is evident when a person reads Meditations that Aurelius would much rather have lived the quite life of a philosopher than the public life of an emperor. He always wished that, at some point in his life, maybe when the wars were over, he would have some time to actively pursue philosophy. He never received that opportunity. However, he did, in the midst of all the wars he fought in, find the time to write down his thoughts into a
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