Today marks the birthday of Marcus Aurelius, the last of the Five Good Emperors of Rome. He is perhaps best known as being the most eloquent definer of Stoicism; the belief that all the answers to life are to be found within. That a good life can only be found by understanding and following the laws of the natural world.
To me, Marcus Aurelius represents the glory of Rome at its finest moment, a true Philosopher King as defined by Aristotle. That’s probably because I’m pretty much a stoic myself, according to the wife. That’s okay, I’m fine with that.
The death of Marcus Aurelius, and the ascension of his son, Commodus, marked the beginning of the end of Rome. From the cerebral pursuits of Aurelius to the debauchery of Commodus that would eventually bring on the collapse of Rome is a story that I think is worth revisiting today.
So, maybe I did learn a bit from him, maybe I practice a bit too much of what he preached. Maybe I do tend to see life more as a problem to be solved rather than a party to attend. A mystery to be unveiled, that wisdom is found in the seeking rather than the finding. But that’s okay, I’m fine with that.
And just to leave you laughing;