Marcus Aurelius Quotes
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.
Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustu, also known as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, was born in Rome on April 26, 121 CE. He was the strongest Roman emperor who ruled Rome from 161 to 180. In 140,145, and 161, Marcus Aurelius also served as Roman consul.
Apart from being the great Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius is also known for Marcus Aurelius Quotes and his Meditations on Stoic philosophy.
The American historical epic film ‘Gladiator’ has tried to portray the historical and fictional character of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. Released in 2000, this movie is still one of the best as it won critical accolades and five Academy Awards.
The Gladiator movie was directed by Ridley Scott and produced by David Franzoni, Branko Lustig, and Douglas Wick. The main writers of the film are David Franzoni, John Logan, and William Nicholson. The movie starred Richard Harris as Marcus Aurelius, Russell Crowe as Maximus Decimus Meridius, and Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus. Richard Harris is also quite famous for his remarkable role as Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movie series (in the first two parts).
The movie was also inspired by the novel “The Way of the Gladiator” by Daniel P. Mannix in 1958. Later the book got retitled, and now it is available under the name “Those About to Die.”
There is no doubt that Marcus Aurelius was a great emperor, but apart from his ruling history, he was also inclined toward Stoicism. Julius Capitolinus was the ancient biographer of Marcus who described him as a stoic.
Stoicism is about getting away from the emotional and physical chaos to get into a state of calm and clear-headed thoughts. And this philosophy was famously practiced by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.
According to cognitive behavioral psychotherapist Donald Robertson, Stoicism and its philosophy were conceived in ancient times, but its guiding principles are still relevant in this modern time.
Marcus has mentioned a number of Stoics, such as Rusticus. Marcus Aurelius was taught by Rusticus, and he also borrowed the extraordinary work of Epictetus, who was the Stoic philosopher and had the moral tenets of Stoicism.
Instead of defining himself to an audience, he mostly writes only for himself. Though most of his thoughts were original, he took ideas from other philosophical traditions.
The famous Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, besides his quotes, are also well known today. In AD 364, Themistius mentioned the first ever recorded meditations of Marcus. The Greek title – ta eis heauton (‘to himself’) is also derived from a manuscript that is now lost. This was the one and only type of document at that time that was ever made. This collection is unique and precious as it consists of the thoughts of one of the most powerful men in the world advising himself. He explained how to make good on the responsibilities of his position and how to rule the country as a roman emperor.
Today these modern texts and writings from his collection are originally derived from two sources: a lost manuscript named ta eis heauton and a manuscript that is now located in the Vatican. The first printed edition of these writings was published in 1558 and was mostly based on these two sources.
Here are some of the best Marcus Aurelius Quotes:
- “Yes, you can–if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered, irritable.”
- “No carelessness in your actions. No confusion in your words. No imprecision in your thoughts.”
- “Not to feel exasperated, or defeated, or despondent because your days aren’t packed with wise and moral actions. But to get back up when you fail, to celebrate behaving like a human–however imperfectly–and fully embrace the pursuit that you’ve embarked on.”
- “At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work – as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for – the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?’”
- “When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil.”
- “At day’s first light have in readiness, against disinclination to leave your bed, the thought that “I am rising for the work of man.”
“The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”