Marcus Aurelius Antoninus “Reflections” Literary animation


Here’s a virtual movie of the highly regarded Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius Antoninus reading a fragment from his “Reflections” The great Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus famously wrote down and collected his thoughts and reflections, a summa of his outlook on life and how he thought it should be lived. This collection, commonly known as the Meditations (though he just called it “to himself”), survives as a central document of Stoic thought and has remained immensely popular through the ages.
Marcus Aurelius is among the few Roman emperors whose reputation remains very high. A noble, decent fellow, he ruled during difficult times. The popular Meditations is seen as testament that he was not concerned with everlasting fame or personal glory — and that he was an educated, thoughtful soul.
The Meditations is a collection of short pieces, collected in twelve separate books. The pieces range from a few paragraphs in length to single lines. He begins with reflections on what lessons he has taken from relatives, teachers, and friends (e.g.: “From Alexander the Grammarian, not to be captious”). Much of the rest can, indeed, be seen as an exposition on these basic (and often very general) maxims, but Marcus Aurelius also goes considerably further. Stoicism is the philosophy he embraced, and Stoicism becomes his approach to life.

Marcus Aurelius (Latin: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus;[1][notes 1] April 26, 121 AD — March 17, 180 AD), was Roman Emperor from 161 to 180. He ruled with Lucius Verus as co-emperor from 161 until Verus’ death in 169. He was the last of the Five Good Emperors, and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers.
During his reign, the Empire defeated a revitalized Parthian Empire in the East; Aurelius’ general Avidius Cassius sacked the capital Ctesiphon in 164. In central Europe, Aurelius fought the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatians with success during the Marcomannic Wars, with the threat of the Germanic tribes beginning to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. A revolt in the East led by Avidius Cassius failed to gain momentum and was suppressed immediately.
Marcus Aurelius’ Stoic tome Meditations, written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration.

Kind Regards

Jim Clark
All rights are reservered on this video recording copyright Jim Clark 2012

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