72 Greatest Marcus Aurelius Quotes

72 Greatest Marcus Aurelius Quotes

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Marcus Aurelius was the Emperor of Rome from 161 to 180 AD. He was the very last of the Five Good Emperors and one of the most important Stoic philosophers. He died on March 17, 180 at the age of 58.

“A man makes no noise over a good deed, but passes on to another as a vine to bear grapes again in season.”

“A man should be upright, not kept upright.”

“Adorn thyself with simplicity and with indifference towards the things which lie between virtue and vice. Love mankind. Follow God. The poet says that Law rules all. And it is enough to
remember that law rules all.”

“All men are made one for another: either then teach them better, or bear with them.”

“All that happens is as usual and familiar as the rose in spring and the crop in summer.”

“All that is from the gods is full of Providence.”

“All that is harmony for you, my Universe, is in harmony with me as well. Nothing that comes at the right time for you is too early or too late for me. Everything is fruit to me that your
seasons bring, Nature. All things come of you, have their being in you, and return to you.”

“All things are changing; and thou thyself art in continuous mutation and in a manner in continuous destruction and the whole universe to.”

“Always take the short cut; and that is the rational one. Therefore say and do everything according to soundest reason.”

“And virtue they will curse, speaking harsh words.”

“Art thy not content that thou hast done something conformable to thy nature, and dost thou seek to be paid for it? Just as if the eye demanded recompense for seeing, or the feet for
walking. For as these members are formed for a particular purpose… so also is man formed by nature to acts of benevolence.”

“Be not unwilling in what thou doest, neither selfish nor unadvised nor obstinate; let not over-refinement deck out thy thought; be not wordy nor a busybody.”

“Be thou erect, or be made erect.

“By a tranquil mind I mean nothing else than a mind well ordered.”

“Consider thyself to be dead, and to have completed thy life up to the present time; and live according to nature the remainder which is allowed thee.”

“Death hangs over thee: whilst yet thou livest, whilst thou mayest, be good.”

“Depart then satisfied, for he also who releases thee is satisfied.”

“Do not think that what is hard for you to master is humanly impossible; but if a thing is humanly possible, consider it to be within your reach.”

“Do what nature now requires. Set thyself in motion, if it is in thy power, and do not look about thee to see if any one will observe it; nor yet expect Plato’s Republic: but be content if
the smallest thing goes on well, and consider such an event to be no small matter.”

“Every soul, the philosopher says, is involuntarily deprived of truth; consequently in the same way it is deprived of justice and temperance and benevolence and everything of the kind. It is
most necessary to keep this in mind, for thus thou wilt be more gentle towards all.”

“Everything is in a state of metamorphosis. Thou thyself art in everlasting change and in corruption to correspond; so is the whole universe.”

“Everywhere and at all times it is in thy power piously to acquiesce in thy present condition, and to behave justly to those who are about thee, and to exert thy skill upon thy present
thoughts, that nothing shall steal into them without being well examined.”

“Flinch not, neither give up nor despair, if the achieving of every act in accordance with right principle is not always continuous with thee.”

“He was a man who looked at what ought to be done, not to the reputation which is got by a man’s acts.”

“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.”

“He would be the finer gentleman that should leave the world without having tasted of lying or pretence of any sort, or of wantonness or conceit.”

“How many together with whom I came into the world are already gone out of it.”

“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.”

“I consist of a little body and a soul.”

“If it is not right, do not do it, if it is not true, do not say it. For let thy efforts be —”

“If the gods care not for me and for my children, There is a reason for it.”

“If…it be a thing external that causes thy grief, know, that it is not that properly that doth cause it, but thine own conceit and opinion concerning the thing: which thou mayest rid
thyself of, when thou wilt.”

“In the case of all things which have a certain constitution, whatever harm may happen to any of them, that which is affected becomes consequently worse; but in like case, a man becomes both
better… and more worthy of praise, by making the right use of these accidents.”

“It is not right to vex ourselves at things, For they care not about it.”

“No form of Nature is inferior to Art; for the arts merely imitate natural forms.”

“No state sorrier than that of the man who keeps up a continual round, and pries into “the secrets of the nether world,” as saith the poet, and is curious in conjecture of what is in his
neighbour’s heart.”

“Nothing can come out of nothing, any more than a thing can go back to nothing.”

“Observe always that everything is the result of a change, and get used to thinking that there is nothing Nature loves so well as to change existing forms and to make new ones like them.”

“Only to the rational animal is it given to follow voluntarily what happens; but simply to follow is a necessity imposed on all.”

“Prize that which is best in the universe; and this is that which useth everything and ordereth everything.”

“Remember that all is opinion.”

“Remember that neither the future nor the past pains thee, but only the present. But this is reduced to a very little, if thou only circumscribest it, and chidest thy mind, if it is unable
to hold out against even this.”

“Remember that what pulls the strings is the force hidden within; there lies the power to persuade, there the life,—there, if one must speak out, the real man.”

“Remember this— that there is a proper dignity and proportion to be observed in the performance of every act of life.”

“Retire into thyself. The rational principle which rules has this nature, that it is content with itself when it does what is just, and so secures tranquility.”

“Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have come upon them through ignorance of
real good and ill.”

“Short-lived are both the praiser and the praised, and rememberer and the remembered: and all this in a nook of this part of the world; and not even here do all agree, no, not any one with
himself: and the whole earth too is a point.”

“Soon you will have forgotten the world, and soon the world will have forgotten you.”

“That which had grown from the earth, to the earth, But that which has sprung from heavenly seed, Back to the heavenly realms returns. This is either a dissolution of the mutual involution
of the atoms, or a similar dispersion of the unsentient elements.”

“The intelligence of the universe is social.”

“The longest-lived and the shortest-lived man, when they come to die, lose one and the same thing.”

“The lot assigned to every man is suited to him, and suits him to itself.”

“The ruling power within, when it is in its natural state, is so related to outer circumstances that it easily changes to accord with what can be done and what is given it to do.”

“Things that have a common quality ever quickly seek their kind.”

“Think not disdainfully of death, but look on it with favor; for even death is one of the things that Nature wills.”

“Think on this doctrine,—that reasoning beings were created for one another’s sake; that to be patient is a branch of justice, and that men sin without intending it.”

“Thou art a little soul bearing about a corpse, as Epictetus used to say.”

“Thou seest how few be the things, the which if a man has at his command his life flows gently on and is divine.”

“Thou sufferest justly: for thou choosest rather to become good to-morrow than to be good to-day.”

“Though thou be destined to live three thousand years and as many myriads besides, yet remember that no man loseth other life than that which he liveth, nor liveth other than that which he

“To her who gives and takes back all, to nature, the man who is instructed and modest says, Give what thou wilt; take back what thou wilt. And he says this not proudly, but obediently and
well pleased with her.”

“To live each day as though one’s last, never flustered, never apathetic, never attitudinizing – here is perfection of character.”

“Turn thy thoughts now to the consideration of thy life, thy life as a child, as a youth, thy manhood, thy old age, for in these also every change was a death. Is this anything to fear?”

“Understand however that every man is worth just so much as the things are worth about which he busies himself.”

“Very little is needed to make a happy life.”

“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.”

“What is not good for the swarm is not good for the bee.”

“Whatever happens at all happens as it should; you will find this true, if you watch narrowly.”

“Whatever may happen to thee, it was prepared for thee from all eternity; and the implication of causes was from eternity spinning the thread of thy being, and of that which is incident to

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”

“Why dost thou not pray… to give thee the faculty of not fearing any of the things which thou fearest, or of not desiring any of the things which thou desirest, or not being pained at
anything, rather than pray that any of these things should not happen or happen?”

“You will find rest from vain fancies if you perform every act in life as though it were your last.”