Marcus Aurelius Research Paper

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The Stoic in Me: (A description of my three favorite parts of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations) Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor who lived in the years 121-180 AD. He lived a remarkable life for the amount of temptations offered him. After losing his father at an extremely young age he was raised by his grandfather and his mother, and a series of teachers they brought in to give him and education. Marcus lived a virtuous life regardless of punishment or reward. We are given and insight into this brilliant man in his Meditations. He expresses gratitude to the people who influenced him in his life and shows his daily thoughts about the person he was trying to become. Of is writings in the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, three sections…show more content…
The first one he does is his grandfather; he says, “From my grandfather Verus I learned good morals and the government of my temper.” I love that he includes his mother in this section, reporting about her, “From my mother, piety and beneficence, and abstinence, not only from evil deeds, but even from evil thoughts; and further, simplicity in my way of living, far removed from the habits of the rich.” What I admire most from this section, is that it makes you reflect on the people most influential on your life and what you’ve learned from them. Specific teachers, peers, and family members are brought to my remembrance as I read this passage, and I begin to analyze where my core beliefs derive. I also greatly appreciate the gratitude Marcus Aurelius has to these people. He understands that he is nothing without the influence of these people and he is humbled by them. Another factor he mentions is the gods; he thanks them, “To the gods I am indebted for having good grandfathers, good parents, a good sister, good teachers, good associates, good kinsmen and friends, nearly everything good. Further, I owe to the gods that I was not hurried into any offence against any of them, though I had a disposition which, if opportunity had offered, might have led me to do something of this kind.” I reverence and…show more content…
Two passages stand out to me in this area. The first is the beginning of Book 3 when Marcus says, “We ought to consider not only that our life is daily wasting away and a smaller part of it is left, but another thing also must be taken into the account, that if a man should live longer, it is quite uncertain whether the understanding will still continue sufficient for the comprehension of things, and retain the power of contemplation which strives to acquire the knowledge of the divine and the human.” This quote addresses the shortness and importance of our time. Every day we are moving toward the end of our lives. Marcus reiterates this point throughout his writings, that we are mortal and shouldn’t waste our time on earth. He also says about the use of our time, in Book 5, “In the morning when thou rises unwillingly, let this thought be present--- I am ri9sing to the work of a human being. Why then am I dissatisfied if I am going to do the things for which I exist and for which I was brought into the world? Or have I been made for this, to lie in the bed-clothes and keep myself warm?—But this is more pleasant.—Dost thou exist then to take thy pleasure, and not at all for action or exertion? Dost thou not see the little plants, the little birds, the ants, the spiders, the bees working together to put in order the universe? And art thou unwilling to do the

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