Meditations, Book l – Marcus Aurelius‏

by richibi

“From Rusticus I received the impression that my character required improvement and discipline; and from him I learned not to be led astray to sophistic emulation, nor to writing on speculative matters, nor to delivering little hortatory orations, nor to showing myself off as a man who practises much discipline, or does benevolent acts in order to make a display; and to abstain from rhetoric, and poetry, and fine writing; and not to walk about in the house in my outdoor dress, nor to do other things of the kind; and to write my letters with simplicity, like the letter which Rusticus wrote from Sinuessa to my mother; and with respect to those who have offended me by words, or done me wrong, to be easily disposed to be pacified and reconciled, as soon as they have shown a readiness to be reconciled; and to read carefully, and not to be satisfied with a superficial understanding of a book; nor hastily to give my assent to those who talk overmuch; and I am indebted to him for being acquainted with the discourses of Epictetus, which he communicated to me out of his own collection.”

Meditations, Book l, 7

Marcus Aurelius


recently a website caught my attention
with news of a shared interest in things
of, to my mind, significance, a guide to
a moral life

Marcus Aurelius, an emperor, 121 – 180
A.D., along with Epictetus, 55 -135 A.D.,
a slave, are probably the only two
philosophers we know today specifically
devoted to that profoundly noble

the juxtaposition of states here, from
the imperial to the abject, is instructive,
if not even inspiring

both from their divergent positions
proposed a considered life, of probity
and tolerance, what more do we
need of philosophy, fundamentally,
than that

above is an excerpt from Book l, others
will follow


psst: I found it hard not to imagine here
Laertes responding to Polonius in
“Hamlet”, Act l, scene l, lines 55 – 80,
nor Rudyard Kipling’s son responding
to his father’s poem, “If“, with its
famous, indeed timeless, exhortation,
“… you’ll be a Man, my son!”

daughters should also participate