Marcus Aurelius

MARCUS AURELIUS was born Marcus Annius Verus in Rome in 121 CE, and assumed the name of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus on his adoption by the emperor Antoninus Pius, whom he succeeded in 161. Following his accession, M. Aurelius conferred half-rule of the empire upon his adoptive younger brother and fellow consul, L. Aurelius Verus, thus establishing the first collegiate principate. M. Aurelius ruled jointly with Verus until the latter's death in 169.

M. Aurelius was educated by Marcus Cornelius Fronto, the most acclaimed orator of his day, but abandoned rhetoric for Stoic philosophy. Carrying out the Stoic prin-ciples of moderation and virtuous conduct based on right reason, M. Aurelius ruled with an eye to the good of his subjects. But while justice prevailed at home, the borders of the empire lay under constant siege by barbarian hordes. Therefore, this most pacific and contemplative of emperors was forced to spend much of the latter part of his reign in the field, where he Read More chevron_right