Written by an intellectual Roman emperor without any intention of publication, the Meditationsmple, practical aphorisms continue to offer guidance and consolation to many with their eloquence, wisdom and humility.
Marcus Aelius Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 CE) was adopted by the emperor Antoninus Pius and succeeded him in 161, (as joint emperor with adoptive brother Lucius Verus). The last of the so-called Five Good Emperors, he ruled alone from 169. Presiding over a changing Rome, he spent much of his reign in putting down variou rebellions. Today, he is best-know for his Meditations, a series of reflections, strongly influenced by Epictetus, which cemented his place as one of the greatest Stoic Philosophers.
He died in 180 and was succeed by his natural son, thus ending the period of the adoptive emperors. Diskin Clay is Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies at Duke University and has published widely in the area of Ancient Greek Philosophy. Martin Hammond was Head Master of Tonbridge School and has translated many works of classic literature, including Homer's Iliad for Penguin Classics.