“From my grandfather Verus: decency and a mild temper”
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 1:1
Verus here is Marcus Annius Verus, three time consul and Marcus’s grandfather. Marcus father died when he was very young, and Verus adopted the boy, raising him to adulthood.
This first meditation sets the tone for the work, much of what follow is reflections and repetition on the core principles of Marcus’s life philosophy — decency and a detachment from extreme emotion.