Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
Search Quotes Search Sages Search Chapters

Marcus Aurelius

121 – 219 CE

One of the most important Stoic philosophers and last of the "Five Good Emperors,” during a time Gibbon described as, a period when "the Roman Empire was governed… under the guidance of wisdom and virtue.” He was known as a philosopher king and by many as the only Roman emperor who not only spoke and knew wisdom but also lived it. His book, Meditations describes setting up a just government of service and duty and was a favorite of leaders and philosophers from Frederick the Great to John Stuart Mill, from Goethe to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, and US president Bill Clinton.

Eras

Sources

Meditations Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν

Unlisted Sources

Quotes by Marcus Aurelius (27 quotes)

“I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.”

Chapters: 17. True Leaders

Themes: Know Yourself

Comments: Click to comment

“A person's worth is measured by the worth of what he values.”

Chapters: 57. Wu Wei

Themes: Meaningfulness

Comments: Click to comment

“Dig within. Within is the wellspring of Good; and it is always ready to bubble up, if you just dig.”

Chapters: 62. Basic Goodness

Comments: Click to comment

“Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.”

Chapters: 59. The Gardening of Spirit

Themes: Inspiration

Comments: Click to comment

“Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.”

Chapters: 58. Goals Without Means

Themes: Money

Comments: Click to comment

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”

Chapters: 21. Following Empty Heart

Themes: Opinion

Comments: Click to comment

“Here is a rule to remember in future, when anything tempts you to feel bitter: not ‘This is misfortune,’ but ‘To bear this worthily is good fortune.’”

Chapters: 44. Fame and Fortune

Themes: Appreciation

Comments: Click to comment

“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.”

from Meditations Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν

Chapters: 68. Joining Heaven & Earth

Themes: Anger Karma

Comments: Click to comment

“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.”

Chapters: 81. Journey Without Goal

Themes: Projection

Comments: Click to comment

“Or is it your reputation that's bothering you? But look at how soon we're all forgotten. The abyss of endless time that swallows it all. The emptiness of those applauding hands.”

Chapters: 44. Fame and Fortune

Themes: Fame

Comments: Click to comment

“Regain your senses, call yourself back, and once again wake up. Now that you realize that only dreams were troubling you, view this 'reality' as you view your dreams.”

Chapters: 40. Returning

Comments: Click to comment

“The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

from Meditations Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν

Chapters: 41. Distilled Life
18. The Sick Society

Comments: Click to comment

“Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what's left and live it properly. What doesn't transmit light creates its own darkness.”

Chapters: 50. Claws and Swords

Themes: Death and Dying

Comments: Click to comment

“You always own the option of having no opinion.”

Chapters: 9. Know When to Stop

Themes: Opinion

Comments: Click to comment

“Your days are numbered. Use them to throw open the windows of your soul to the sun. If you do not, the sun will soon set, and you with it.”

Chapters: 35. The Power of Goodness

Comments: Click to comment

“All things are interwoven, a sacred bond uniting them into the oneness of truth.”

from Meditations Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν

Themes: Oneness Truth

Comments: Click to comment

“Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.”

from Meditations Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν

Themes: Death and Dying

Comments: Click to comment

“See that you are part of a universe in flux and have a very limited time to clear away the clouds in your mind.”

from Meditations Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν

Themes: Time

Comments: Click to comment

“In this immensity of past and future time, what is the difference between living three days or three generations?”

from Meditations Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν

Themes: Time Longevity

Comments: Click to comment

“When you start to criticize someone’s fault, ask yourself which of your own faults most closely resembles it.

from Meditations Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν

Comments: Click to comment

“Time is like a river of events - each arising, carried away, and quickly replaced by something also quickly replaced.”

from Meditations Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν

Themes: Time

Comments: Click to comment

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

from Meditations Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν

Themes: Reason

Comments: Click to comment

“Do everything as a disciple of Antoninus. Remember his constancy in every reasonable act, his evenness in all things, his piety, and the serenity of his countenance, and his disregard of empty fame... with how little he was satisfied, how laborious and patient, how religious without superstition.”

from Meditations Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν

Comments: Click to comment

“Nowhere can we find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in our own soul.”

from Meditations Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν

Themes: Meditation

Comments: Click to comment

“A man’s worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions.”

Themes: Ambition

Comments: Click to comment

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”

Themes: Non-Thought

Comments: Click to comment

“Perfection of character is this: to live each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, without apathy, without pretense.”

from Meditations Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν

Comments: Click to comment

Quotes about Marcus Aurelius (4 quotes)

“If a man were called upon to fix the period in the history of the world during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would without hesitation name that which elapsed from the accession of Nerva to the death of Aurelius. Their united reign are possibly the only period of history in which the happiness of a great people was the sole object of government:”

Edward Gibbon 1737 – 1794 CE
from Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire

Comments: Click to comment

“In Seneca's letters, in the discourses of Epictetus, in Marcus Aurelius' diary, there is an atmosphere of purity, goodness, noble strength, such as pervades few books in all the literature of the world.”

Edith Hamilton 1867 – 1963 CE
from Roman Way

Comments: Click to comment

“Marcus revered the character of his benefactor, loved him as a parent, obeyed his as his sovereign... His life was the noblest commentary of the precepts of Zeno, He was severe to himself indulgent to the imperfections of others, just and beneficent to all mankind... Their united reigns are possibly the only period of history in which the happiness of a great people was the sole object of government.”

Edward Gibbon 1737 – 1794 CE
from Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire

Comments: Click to comment

“Marcus was too good to be great enough to discipline him or renounce him [his son Commodus]; he kept on hoping that education and responsibility would sober him and make him grow into a king.”

Will Durant 1885 – 1981 CE
Philosophy apostle and popularizer of history's lessons
from Caesar and Christ

Comments: Click to comment

Comments (0)

Please log in or create an account to comment.