Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius (26 April 121 – 17 March 180 AD) was Emperor of Rome from 161 to 180. Marcus Aurelius was the last of the so-called Five Good Emperors. He was a practitioner of Stoicism, and his untitled writing, commonly known as Meditations, is a significant source of the modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy, and is considered by many commentators to be one of the greatest works of philosophy.

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One universe made up all that is, and one God in it all, and one principle of being, and one law, the reason shared by all thinking creatures, and one truth.

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.

Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life.

Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.

Very little is needed to make a happy life, it is all within yourself in your way of thinking

A person's life is dyed with the color of his imagination.

If it is not right do not do it, if it is not true do not say it.

Some good, some so-so and lots plain bad: that's how a book of poems is made, my friend

How strangely men act. They will not praise those who are living at the same time and living with themselves, but to be themselves praised by posterity by those whom they have never seen or ever will see, this they set much value on.

Each day provides its own gifts

Anything in any way beautiful derives its beauty from itself and asks nothing beyond itself. Praise is no part of it, for nothing is made worse or better by praise.

To my great-grandfather I owed the advice to dispense with the education of the schools and have good masters at home instead - and to realize that no expense should be grudged for this purpose.

Life is a stranger's sojourn, a night at an inn.

'Tis easy to write epigrams nicely but to write a book is hard

When the blandishments of life are gone, the coward creeps to death - the brave lives on.

Gifts are like hooks.

Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature's delight.

The sexual embrace can only be compared with music and with prayer.

Life is a warfare and a stranger's sojourn, and after fame is oblivion.

Good men make life a twofold span to last: Twice does he live who can enjoy his past.

He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.

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.

Everyman's life lies within the present, for the past is spent and done with, and the future is uncertain.

Execute every act of thy life as though it were thy last.

Aptitude found in the understanding and is often inherited. Genius coming from reason and imagination rarely.

Our life is what our thoughts make it.

Whatever may befall thee it was preordained for thee from everlasting

A wrong - doer is often a man that has left something undone not always he that has done something

Poverty is the mother of crime.

The robber of your free will writes Epictetus "does not exist

The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.

Tomorrow is nothing today is too late, the good lived yesterday

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

Your life is what your thoughts make it.

I think he needs our pity who likes none

When thou art above measure angry bethink thee how momentary is man's life.

Because your own strength is unequal to the task do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man, but if anything is within the powers and province of man believe that it is within your own compass also.

Everything that exists is in a manner the seed of that which will be.

A cucumber is bitter.' Throw it away. 'There are briars in the road.' Turn aside from them. This is enough. Do not add 'And why were such things made in the world?

How much time he saves who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks

With only half a lip you kiss, And half of that I ne'er' should miss, A greater boon of worth untold, Wilt grant me? That whole half withhold.

Death is a release from the impressions of sense and from impulses that make us their puppets from the vagaries of the mind and the hard service of the flesh.

Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.

It is not death that a man should fear but he should fear never beginning to live.

What is not good for the swarm is not good for the bee.

You wish to appear Cotta a pretty man and a great man at one and the same time: but he who is a pretty man Cotta is a very small man

What springs from earth dissolves to earth again and heaven-born things fly to their native seat.

Your legs and breast bristle with shaggy hair but your mind Pannicus shows no signs of manliness

Take full account of what excellencies which you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them if you had them not.

How ridiculous and unrealistic is the man who is astonished at anything that happens in life.

Never esteem anything as of advantage to thee that shall make thee break thy word or lose thy self-respect.

The wise man sees in the misfortune of others what he should avoid.

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

Observe constantly that all things take place by change and accustom thyself to consider that the nature of the Universe loves nothing so much as to change the things which are and to make new things like them.

Though you break your heart men will go on as before

The flaw which is hidden is deemed greater than it is

You may send poetry to the rich, to poor men give substantial presents

Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it if you have to with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.

Take away your opinion and then there is taken away the complaint 'I have been harmed.' Take away the complaint 'I have been harmed ' and the harm is taken away.

Death is a stopping of impressions through the senses and of the pulling of the cords of motion and of the ways of thought and of service to the flesh.

Laugh if thou art wise

There is no glory in outstripping donkeys

To yield to the stronger is valor's second prize

The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.

Look within. Within is the fountain of good and it will ever bubble up if thou wilt ever dig.

A man's life is what his thoughts make of it.

Forward as occasion offers. Never look round to see whether any shall note it.... Be satisfied with success in even the smallest matter and think that even such a result is no trifle.

The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury

Whatever this is that I am it is a little flesh and breath and the ruling part.

I think if we had the same magnitude of devastation that they had we would be very much challenged as well

The creative act is not performed by the artist alone, the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.

Whatever happens at all happens as it should, you will find this true if you watch narrowly.

Death like birth is a secret of Nature.

I mean you never know how these things are going to go but I always want to be prepared that I have everything in order so if I need to go then I can. Because obviously if there's not electric there's not gas.

Why do you wrap up your neck in a woolen muffler when you are going to recite? The muffler would be more suitable for our ears

However much a man gives there is more that he withholds

Varus did lately me to supper call The table sumptuous was the supper small, Loaden it was with weight of gold not meat, Much to be seen was served little to eat, Varus our mouths not our eyes to feast we're here, Take hence thy plate or fil

Be like a headland of rock on which the waves break incessantly, but it stands fast and around it the seething of the waters sink to rest

Think not so much of what thou hast not as of what thou hast, but of the things which thou hast select the best and reflect how eagerly they would have been sought if thou hadst them not

That which is not good for the bee-hive cannot be good for the bees.

The perfumes at our board last night - Were exquisite I won't deny it But we were starved we were outright For meat could no how come by it

Do every act of your life as if it were your last.

Shame on the soul to falter on the road of life while the body yet endures

Adapt yourself to the things among which your lot has been cast and love sincerely the fellow creatures with whom destiny has ordained that you shall live.

Opinion is the main thing which does harm or good in the world. It is our false opinions that ruin us.

Remember that what pulls the strings is the force hidden within, there lies the power to persuade there the life - there if one must speak out the real man.

Cinna wishes to seem poor and is poor

No amount of misfortune will satisfy the man who is not satisfied with reading a hundred epigrams

Remember this - that there is a proper dignity and proportion to be observed in the performance of every act of life

To them that ask 'Where have you seen the gods or how do you know for certain there are gods that you are so devout in their worship?' I answer 'Neither have I ever seen my own soul and yet I respect and honor it.'

When you are outraged by somebody

Your face is black your hair like flame And one eye's damaged one foot lame: If still you're quite decent chap - Well 'tis a feather in your cap

Time is a sort of river of passing events and strong is its current, no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place and this too will be swept away.

There comes a time when you may have to call for help. Do we have a plan of substance in place? Yes. Are there things we need to explore further? Probably. Will we do so? Yes.

If you want him to mourn you had best leave him nothing

Everything that happens happens as it should and if you observe carefully you will find this to be so.

Maro you' give me nothing while you live but after death you cry then you'll give, If thou art not indeed turned arrant ass Thou know'st what I desire to come to pass

Since you are so well matched and so much alike - a very bad wife and a very bad husband - I wonder that you do not agree

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.

To the wise life is a problem, to the fool a solution

You see these fish carved finely in relief by Phidian art? Add water, they will swim

A man should be upright not be kept upright.

Do you make a grievance of weighing so many pounds only instead of three hundred? Then why fret about living so many years only instead of more? Since you are content with the measure of substance allowed you be so also with the measure of time

We are too much accustomed to attribute to a single cause that which is the product of several and the majority of our controversies come from that.

The guest at the lower end of the middle couch with three hairs on his bald head and his scalp streaked with pigment who is digging in his big mouth with a toothpick is a fraud Aefulanus He has no teeth

I would rather smell of nothing than of perfume

So great is the modesty of your mind and face Sophronius that I wonder you should ever have become a father

Glory paid to our ashes comes too late

The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.

You say Senca that you were violated by robbers but the robbers deny it

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

Because a thing seems difficult for you do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.

Here is the rule to remember in the future When anything tempts you to be bitter: not ''This is a misfortune'' but ''To bear this worthily is good fortune.''

Some things are hurrying into existence and others are hurrying out of it, and of that which is coming into existence part is already extinguished

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

Who persuaded you to cut off the nose of your wife's lover? Wretched husband that was not the part which outraged you! Fool what have you done? Your wife has lost nothing by the operation

Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.

Perhaps there are none more lazy or more truly ignorant than your everlasting readers.

[This event is frankly too big to have opinions about. All I can think to do is point to one of my all-time favorite college quotes:] Think of destiny ... and how puny a part of it you are.

Let not your mind run on what you lack as much as on what you have already.

The passing minute is every man's equal possession but what has once gone by is not ours

You have friends Paullus just like your pictures and vases all antique originals

Galla will and will not comply with my wishes and I cannot tell with her willing and not willing what she wills

Life is neither good or evil but only a place for good and evil.

All things from eternity are of like forms and come round in a circle

Glory arrives too late when it comes only to one's ashes

The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.

All is ephemeral - fame and the famous as well

When a poet presents you with blank leaves you should consider it no small present

A man's worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions

He misses what is meant by epigram - who thinks it only frivolous flimflam

You are pretty - we know it, and young - it's true, and rich - who can deny it? But when you praise yourself extravagantly Fabula you appear neither rich nor pretty nor young

If you are distressed by anything external the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it, and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.

Despise not death but welcome it for nature wills it like all else.

Anger cannot be dishonest.

Death is a release from the impressions of the senses, and from desires that make us their puppets, and from the vagaries of the mind, and from the hard service of the flesh.

As I was constantly told that my mistress Polla indulged in improper connection with a young libertine, I surprised them and found it was as proper as my own

If it does not fit leave it if it is not true do not say it.

Whatever is in any way beautiful hath its source of beauty in itself and is complete in itself, praise forms no part of it. So it is none the worse nor the better for being praised.

I could do without your face Chloe and without your neck and your hands and your limbs and to save myself the trouble of mentioning the points in detail I could do without you altogether

The universe is change, life is what thinking makes of it.

Let men see let them know a real man who lives as he was meant to live.

The universal order and the personal order are nothing but different expressions and manifestations of a common underlying principle.

Is any man afraid of change? Why what can take place without change? What then is more pleasing or more suitable to the universal nature?

A good man is always a beginner

No form of Nature is inferior to Art, for the arts merely imitate natural forms

As for literature thefts cannot harm it while the lapse of ages augments its value

Philo declares he never dines at home and that is no exaggeration: He has no place whereat to dine in Rome Unless he hooks an invitation

And thou wilt give thyself relief if thou doest every act of thy life as if it were the last.

As the same fire assumes different shapes When it consumes objects differing in shape So does the one Self take the shape Of every creature in whom he is present.

Always observe how ephemeral and worthless human things are. Pass then through this little space of time conformably to nature and end thy journey in content just as an olive falls off when it is ripe blessing nature who produced it and thanking the tree on which it grew.

The act of dying is one of the acts of life.

To no man make yourself a boon companion: Your joy will be less but less will be your grief

Fortune gives many too much but none enough

It certainly is uncomfortable for everybody. It's somewhat of an anomaly. We're still in August but temperatures like this are uncommon.

To understand the true quality of people you must look into their minds and examine their pursuits and aversions.

Consider that thou dost not even understand whether men are doing wrong or not for many things are done with a certain reference to circumstance. And in short a man must learn a great deal to enable him to pass a correct judgment on another man's acts.

The man who has a house everywhere has a home nowhere

When men are inhuman take care not to feel towards them as they do towards other humans

He who refuses nothing Atticilla will soon have nothing to refuse

Remember that no man loses any other life than this which he now lives nor lives any other than this which he now loses

Conceal a flaw and the world will imagine the worst

He truly sorrows who sorrows unseen

Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.

Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.

Light may earth's crumbling sand be laid on thee, that dogs may dig thy bones up easily.

Execute every act of life as though it were thy last

To refrain from imitation is the best revenge.

Live not as though there were a thousand years ahead of you. Fate is at your elbow, make yourself good while life and power are still yours.

The art of living is more like that of wrestling than of dancing, the main thing is to stand firm and be ready for an unseen attack.

It is a mistake to think that Acerra reeks of yesterday's liquor: Acerra always drinks till next morning

Look back over the past with its changing empires that rose and fell and you can foresee the future too.

A man should remove not only unnecessary acts but also unnecessary thoughts for then superfluous activity will not follow after

Remember how often you have postponed minding your interest and let slip those opportunities the gods have given you. It is now high time to consider what sort of world you are part of and from what kind of governor of it you are descended, that you have a set period assigned you to act in and unless you improve it to brighten and compose your thoughts it will quickly run off with you and be lost beyond recovery.

Begin - to begin is half the work let half still remain, again begin this and thou wilt have finished.

To read my book the virgin shy - May blush while Brutus standeth by: But when he's gone read through what's writ And never stain a cheek for it

Where a man can live he can also live well.

Come Caesar even by night - let stars delay, If thou but come thy folk will find it day.

Men exist for the sake of one another.

Whatever the universal nature assigns to any man at any time is for the good of that man at that time.

Socrates gave as his reason for declining an invitation to the court of Perdiccas "I have no wish to go down to my grave with ignominy," implying that he would accept no favor which he could not repay

You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength.

If all men cannot be brought to the same opinion on morals and religion it is at least worthwhile to give them good reasons for as much as they can be persuaded to accept

Look beneath the surface, let not the several quality of a thing nor its worth escape thee

Accept the things to which fate binds you and love the people with whom fate brings you together but do so with all your heart.

The height of farce it is I ween To be so perfumed and anointed And when one's appetite's most keen To have it thus most disappoint

Are you astonished Aulus that our friend Fabullinus is so frequently deceived? A good man has always something to learn in regard to fraud

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 opinions of himself than on the opinions of others

Men exist for the sake of one another. Teach them then or bear with them.

Nothing is evil which is according to nature.

Life is not merely being alive but being well

He who prefers to give to Linus the half of what he wishes to borrow rather than to lend him the whole prefers to lose only the half

When I was ill you came to me Doctor and with great urgency A hundred students brought With you A most instructive case to view The hundred fingered me with hands Chill'd by the blasts of northern lands: Fever at outset had I none I have it Sir

There is no living with thee nor without thee

Rest lightly on her earth for she trod never heavily on thee

Whatever may happen to you was prepared for you from all eternity, and the implication of causes was from eternity spinning the thread of your being.

Remember that to change your mind and follow him who sets you right is to be none less free that you were before.

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.

It is false to say that you are a vicious man Zoilus, you are not a vicious man you are vice itself

The universe is change, our life is what our thoughts make it

Each thing is of like form from everlasting and comes round again in its cycle.

When the crowd of your admirers is shouting "Bravo! Hear hear!" it is not you Pomponius but your dinner that is eloquent

In all my writings my aim has been to spare sinners and assail sin

Nowhere can a man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.

Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.

Everything is only for a day both that which remembers and that which is remembered

There is often a sin of omission as well as of commission

You ask me Linus what my field out at Nomentum is to yield? Well this it yields to me: the view my Linus has no sign of you

Death hangs over thee While thou still live while thou may do good

If you are distressed by anything external the pain is not due to the thing itself but by your own estimate of it, and this you have the power to revoke at any moment

Confine yourself to the present.

No man is quick enough to enjoy life

Surrender your life serenely as serenely as the One who takes it from you

Such as are your habitual thoughts such also will be the character of your mind, for the soul is dyed by the thoughts

The present joys of life we doubly taste by looking back with pleasure on the past

You must become an old man in good time if you wish to be an old man long.

Nothing happens to any man which he is not formed by nature to bear

To be able to enjoy one's past life is to live twice

If fame is only to come after death I am in no hurry for it

For all their compliments do verses pay? They mayn't yet these same poems make me gay

We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs or a bee makes honey or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.

Be content with what you are and wish not change, nor dread your last day nor long for it

Live with the gods. And he does so who constantly shows them that his soul is satisfied with what is assigned to him.

With red hair a black face a cloven foot and blear eyes you show the world a prodigy Zoilus if you are an honest man

Knowledge the clue to life can give: Then wherefore hesitate to live

To live happily is an inward power of the soul.

Be content to seem what you really are

Nothing in nature is evil.

The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away

All of us are creatures of a day, the rememberer and the remembered alike

He does not write at all whose poems no man reads

Zoilus why do you delight in using a whole pound weight of gold for the setting of a stone and thus burying your poor sardonyx? Such rings are more suited to your legs the weight is too great for fingers