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Stoic philosophy can be summed up by the first line of Epictetus's
- "Some things are in our power and others are not."
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Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, was a stoic philosopher
(26 April 121 – 17 March 180 AD)
who was born in Italy and became Roman emperor.
He was chosen by Emporer Hadrian to be his eventual successor.
Marcus kept his empire safe from the Parthians and Germans,
but is best known today for his intellectual pursuits.
In 161, Marcus took control of the Roman Empire along with his brother Verus.
During his rule, War and disease threatened Rome on all sides.
Marcus held his territory, but was weakened as a ruler after the death of his brother Verus.
His son Commodus later became co-ruler in 177, only three years before Marcus died.
His only surviving work is his Meditations which has endured as an important work of western literature.
Book IV number 4
If the intellectual is common to all men, so is reason, in respect which we are rational beings:
if this is so, common also is the reason that commands us what to do, and what not to do; if this is so, there
is a common law also; if this is so, we are fellow-citizens; if this is so, we are members of some political
community; if this is so, the world is in a manner a state. For of what other common political community will anyone
say that the whole human race are members.
Book IX number 2
It would be a man's happiest lot to depart from mankind without having had any taste of lying and hypocrisy and
luxury and pride. However, to breathe out one's life when a man has had enough of these things is the next best voyage,
as the saying goes.
Book VII number 5
This is the chief thing: Do not be perturbed, for all things are according to the nature of the universal; and in
a little time you will be nobody and nowhere. Like Hadrian and Agustus. In the next place, having fixed your eyes
steadily on your business, look at it, at the same time remembering that it is your duty to be a good man,
and do what man's nature demands without turning aside; and speak as it seems to you most just, only let it be with
a good disposition and with modesty and without hypocrisy.
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