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Marcus Aurelius

The Stoic Emperor

Donald J. Robertson

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$39.95

Hardback

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English
Yale University
04 June 2024
Series: Ancient Lives
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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

 

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 skillfully weaves together Marcus’s inner journey as a philosopher with the outer events of his life as a Roman emperor.
By:  
Imprint:   Yale University
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 140mm, 
ISBN:   9780300256666
ISBN 10:   0300256663
Series:   Ancient Lives
Pages:   248
Publication Date:  
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Undergraduate ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Donald J. Robertson, a cognitive-behavior psychotherapist and writer, is a founding member of the organization Modern Stoicism and the president and founder of the Plato’s Academy Centre nonprofit. The author of How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius and Stoicism and the Art of Happiness, he lives in Canada and Greece.

Reviews for Marcus Aurelius: The Stoic Emperor

“Robertson has written a very thorough and very readable account of Marcus’s life and the events and people that shaped him. Anyone who wants to understand the author of Meditations should read this book.”—Robin Waterfield, author of Marcus Aurelius, Meditations: The Annotated Edition “Robertson’s biography provides a compelling narrative of Marcus’ life, carefully based on the primary sources. He brings out very clearly the life-long significance of Stoicism for Marcus and the interplay between philosophy, politics, and warfare.”—Christopher Gill, author of Learning to Live Naturally: Stoic Ethics and its Modern Significance


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