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Poetics Illustrated Edition.

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Meditations Background

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Stolen Child

In the beginning of his reign Marcus Aurelius remained in Rome while his brother Verus oversaw conflicts with the Parthians in the east. After defeating the Parthian empire and Verus dying Aurelius was forced to go fight barbarians in the west. He appointed his son Commodus co-ruler at this time and they continued fighting Germanic tribes until Marcuss death. During his campaign Aurelius wrote his book called Meditations about the philosophy of conflict.


Neros reign had a totally different tone. After becoming emperor he had his mother murdered for her trying to influence Neros rule.

Meditations Background

After his mothers death Neros reign became tyrannical and lavish. He spent much of the empires money to fund his artistic pursuits. He even gave mediocre public performances. During his reign Rome experienced a great fire that burned down more than half of the city.

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After the fire Nero raised taxes and took money from temples to fund the construction of his estate, called the Domus Aurea, on the ruins of the city. This led many to believe that he deliberately started the fire. Shortly after the fire a revolt began against him. Not being able to do the act himself, he had a servant kill him. Neros last words were What an artist the world loses with me. Marcus Aureliuss reign was modest and quiet compared to Neros seemingly flamboyant and corrupt rule. Both emperors have legacys fitting of their reigns.

Nero today is known as an eccentric ruler. His artistic pastimes differentiated him thoroughly from any other Roman emperor. His taking of state funds for his personal needs also solidifies him as a selfish and irresponsible leader. While Nero is an icon of dishonor, Marcus is almost the exact opposite. His early interest in stoicism and modesty make his title, the Philosopher King fitting.

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It is quite ironic that during his reign, he, one of the most noble and kind emperors of Rome, was forced to fight wars that kept him away from his studies and completely fulfilling his stoic ideology. It is clear that Nero and Marcus Aurelius were different in one way. Throughout his reign Nero wanted more, more attention, more money and more control. Marcus Aurelius wanted less, less conflict, less power and less fame. Read Free For 30 Days. Marcus Aurelius and Nero. Description: Noice. Flag for inappropriate content. A central theme to Meditations is the importance of analyzing one's judgment of self and others and the development of a cosmic perspective.

The style of writing that permeates the text is one that is simplified, straightforward, and perhaps reflecting Marcus' Stoic perspective on the text. Selected pages Table of Contents. Contents Book. Book Eight. Bibliographic information.