Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is one of the world most wonderful books.

Marcus Aurelius, author of Meditations.
Marcus Aurelius, author of Meditations.

Marcus Aurelius was considered the last good emperor of Rome.  He ascended to rule in 161 CE succeeding his uncle and adoptive father, Emperor Hadrian. Marcus chose him to co-reign his adoptive half-brother Lucius Aurelius Verus as co-emperors until Lucius’ death in 169 CE.

Marcus Aurelius was educated by the esteemed orator Marcus Cornelius Fronto before turning wholly to philosophy.  He ruled according to the precepts of Stoicism. Unfortunately his rule was interrupted by constant warfare by Nazarenes and Christians. Despite his persecution of Christians who tried to over through the order and the laws in Rome he is considered the last good emperor.  He consistently placed the needs of the people before his own desires or visions of glory.

During the last twelve years of his life, Marcus Aurelius fought the Germans successfully as one of the top generals of Rome, despite the fact that he was never trained in warfare.

He had 10 children nearly all of whom died.  Unfortunately Commodus the only surviving child was deranged and one of the worst rulers in history. Commodus had his only surviving sister Anna killed after she and her husband tried to plot against him.  Marcus Aurelius is considered the last of the good emperors as he did not succeed in passing on his stoic wisdoms.

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