Tag: marcus aurelius

  • Your Occasional Stoic: Self-Control and Resistance to Distractions

    For Maximus: Self-control and resistance to distractions. Optimism in adversity – especially illness A personality in balance: dignity and grace together Doing your job without whining. Other people’s certainty that what he said was what he thought, and what he did was done without malice. Never taken aback or apprehensive. Neither rash nor hesitant – […]

  • Your Occasional Stoic: The Emperor and the Martyrs of the Republic

    From Serverus: to love my family, truth and justice.  It was through him that I encountered Thrasea, Helvidius, Cato, Dion and Brutus, and conceived of a society of equal laws, governed by equality of status and of speech, and of rulers who respect the liberty of their subjects above all else.  And from him as […]

  • Your Occasional Stoic – Friends, Teachers, Children

    From Catulus: not to spurn a friend’s criticism, even if it may be unreasonable complaint, but to try to restore his usual feelings; to speak of one’s teachers with wholehearted gratitude, as is recorded of Domitius and Athenodotus; and a genuine love from children. -Meditations, 1.13 My notes tell me* that the Catulus who Marcus […]

  • Your Occasional Stoic – we’re always “too busy”

    From Alexander the Platonist: rarely, and never without essential cause, to say or write to anyone that ‘I am too busy’; nor to use a similar excuse, advancing ‘pressure of circumstances’ in constant avoidance of the proprieties inherent in our relations to our fellows and contemporaries –          Aurelius, Meditations, 1:12 Alexander the Platonist was for […]

  • Your Occasional Stoic : Caprice in Absolute Rule

    An occasional series of posts quoting  the great works of stoicism with some short notes from me. From Fronto: to understand the effect of suspicion, caprice, and hypocrisy in the exercise of absolute rule; and that for the most part these people we call ‘Patricians’ are somewhat short of human affection. Aurelius, Meditations, 1:11 Fronto […]

  • Your Occasional Stoic – The Same Man

    From Apollonius: moral freedom, the certainty to ignore the dice of fortune, and have no other perspective, even for a moment, than that of reason alone; to be always the same man, unchanged in sudden pain, in the loss of a child, in lingering sickness; to see clearly in his living example that a man […]

  • Your Occasional Stoic Avoiding the Taste for Rhetoric

    From Rusticus: to grasp the idea of wanting correction and treatment for my character; not to be diverted into a taste for rhetoric, so not writing up my own speculations, delivering my own little moral sermons, or presenting a glorified picture of the ascetic or the philanthropist; to keep clear of speechifying, versifying, and pretentious […]

  • Your Occasional Stoic: Marcus on His Mom and Staying Clear of the Habits of the Rich

    From my mother: piety, generosity, the avoidance of wrong-doing and even the thought of it; also simplicity of living, well clear of the habits of the rich. – Meditations 1:3 After 1:2’s foray into “manliness” its nice to see Marcus honor his mother, though much of these attributes are stereotypically feminine, its good to see Marcus wanted to […]

  • Your Occasional Stoic: Integrity and “Manliness”

    “From what they say and I remember of my natural father: integrity and manliness” – Marcus Aurelius, Mediations 1:2 Marcus’s natural father was Marcus Annius Verus, a politician.  He died when Marcus was three. “Manliness” — ugh. I don’t even know what that means. I think there’s a lot to learn from the meditations, but […]

  • Your Occasional Stoic: Decency and Mild Temper

    “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 […]