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Donald J. Robertson

Marcus Aurelius : The Stoic Emperor

Marcus Aurelius : The Stoic Emperor

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Experience the world of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and the tremendous challenges he faced and overcame with the help of Stoic philosophy  “[Robertson] thoughtfully and readably capture[s] the essence of this great man and his great life. It’s a must read for any aspiring Stoic.”—Ryan Holiday, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Daily Stoic   This novel biography brings Marcus Aurelius (121–180 CE) to life for a new generation of readers by exploring the emperor’s fascinating psychological journey. Donald J.

Robertson examines Marcus’s relationships with key figures in his life, such as his mother, Domitia Lucilla, and the emperor Hadrian, as well as his Stoic tutors. He draws extensively on Marcus’s own Meditations and correspondence, and he examines the emperor’s actions as detailed in the Augustan History and other ancient texts.   Marcus Aurelius struggled to reconcile his philosophy and moral values with the political pressures he faced as emperor at the height of Roman power.

Robertson examines Marcus’s attitude toward slavery and the moral dilemma posed by capturing enemies in warfare; his attitude toward women; the role of Stoicism in shaping his response to the threat of civil war; the treatment of Christians under his rule; and the naming of his notorious son Commodus as his successor.    Throughout, the Meditations is used to shed light on the mind of the emperor—his character, values, and motives—as Robertson skilfully weaves together Marcus’s inner journey as a philosopher with the outer events of his life as a Roman emperor.

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