2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 CE) was born to an aristocratic Roman family before becoming the adopted heir to Emperor Antoninus Pius in 139. Weary of sophistry and with a penchant for truth-telling--Emperor Hadrian called him Verissimus--the young Marcus turned from the study of rhetoric to philosophy in 145, influenced primarily by the Stoics, Cato and Junius Rusticus. Serving first as co-emperor with Antoninus Pius, he became sole emperor in 161, preferring study to the political life. In 167, Marcus wrote The Meditations, the last work of classical Stoicism. In spite of a strong distaste for violence, he ordered the persecution of Christians in Lyons and Vienne for a brief period in 177. He died while away on a military expedition in 180.
Anthony F. Beavers
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