Quote of the Day: Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius (Rome, April 26, 121[2] – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180. He was the last of the “Five Good Emperors”, and is also considered one of the most important stoic philosophers. From his Meditations on life and death:

“Remind yourself constantly of all the physicians, now dead, who used to knit their brows over their ailing patients; of all the astrologers who so solemnly predicted their clients doom; the philosophers who expatiated so endlessly on death and immortality; the great commanders who slew their thousands; the despots who wielded powers of life and death with such terrible arrogance, as if themselves were gods who could never die; whole cities which have perished completely, helice , pompeii, herculaneum, and other without number. after that recall one by one each of your own acquaintances; how one buried another, only to be laid low himself and buried in turn by a third, all in so brief a space of time. observe in short how transient and trivial is all mortal life; yesterday a drop of semen, tomorrow a handful of spice and ashes. Spend therefore, these fleeting moments on earth as nature would have you spend them, and then go to your rest with good grace, as an olive falls in its season, with the blessing for the earth that bore it and a thanksgiving to the tree that gave it life.”

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3 responses to “Quote of the Day: Marcus Aurelius

  1. “…yesterday a drop of semen, tomorrow a handful of spice and ashes.”

    That sentence is great writing. All of it was touching, but that phrase is a perfect example of what makes writers write.

  2. I was touched as well by the same sentence more than anything else! great words

  3. They helped me find exactly the sentiment I was looking for; to be used in a developmental psychology paper. Thanks for taking the time to find this quote!

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