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70 Absolute Best Marcus Aurelius Quotes To Inspire You

70 Absolute Best Marcus Aurelius Quotes To Inspire You

When we think of the Romans and the Roman Empire, we think of its advanced and powerful military force, thanks to which the empire spread over almost all of Europe.

Greeks were the geeky philosophers, and Romans were warriors.

However, during its peak, the golden days of “Five Good Emperors”, the Roman Empire was ruled by emperors known for their intelligence and wisdom.

And the last one of them, Marcus Aurelius was especially keen on philosophy. Influenced by the Greeks and stoic philosophy, the last good emperor of the Roman Empire remained famous for profound philosophical thinking.

As a philosophy lover who is also enthusiastic about history, I’ve always been fascinated by Marcus Aurelius and his philosophical views. And I bet you’ll be too when you read some of his quotes!

So, let’s start!

Picked By Author: Top 10 Marcus Aurelius Quotes

1. “You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” — Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius sculpture representing the best Marcus Aurelius quote.

2. “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” — Marcus Aurelius

Emperor Marcus Aurelius statue representing the greatest Marcus Aurelius quote.

3. “We shrink from change; yet is there anything that can come into being without it?” — Marcus Aurelius

Sculpted wisdom: Marcus Aurelius' legacy.

4. “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.” — Marcus Aurelius

Majestic Marcus Aurelius in stoic repose.

5. “No one can lose either the past or the future – how could anyone be deprived of what he does not possess?” — Marcus Aurelius

Aurelian presence: enduring strength captured.

6. “Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.” — Marcus Aurelius

Serene ruler frozen in stoicism.

7. “No person is free who is not master of himself.” — Marcus Aurelius

Eternal gaze of a Roman philosopher.

8. “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” — Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius: Stoic emperor's contemplation.

9. “Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” — Marcus Aurelius

Stone captures the silent power of Marcus Aurelius

10. “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” — Marcus Aurelius

Ancient wisdom carved into the stoic gaze of Aurelius.

See also: 150 Deep Dark Quotes About Life, Death, Pain & Love

Wise Quotes Of Marcus Aurelius

1. “Your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought, for the human spirit is colored by such impressions.” — Marcus Aurelius

Majestic Marcus Aurelius portrayed in enduring stone sculpture.

2. “I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinions of himself than on the opinions of others.” — Marcus Aurelius

3. “Enter their minds, and you’ll find the judges you’re so afraid of – and how judiciously they judge themselves.” — Marcus Aurelius

4. “Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask the following question ‘what fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?’” — Marcus Aurelius

5. “Choose not to be harmed, and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed, and you haven’t been.” — Marcus Aurelius

Marble tribute to Marcus Aurelius.

6. “Let not your mind run on what you lack as much as on what you have already.” — Marcus Aurelius

7. “If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.” — Marcus Aurelius

8. “Be content with what you are, and wish not change; nor dread your last day, nor long for it.” — Marcus Aurelius

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

10. “Whatever time you choose is the right time. Not late, not early.” — Marcus Aurelius

Gaze into the stoic eyes of Marcus Aurelius in sculpture.

11. “Understand at last that you have something in you more powerful and divine than what causes the bodily passions and pulls you like a mere puppet. What thoughts now occupy my mind? Is it not fear, suspicion, desire, or something like that?” — Marcus Aurelius

12. “The happiness of those who want to be popular depends on others; the happiness of those who seek pleasure fluctuates with moods outside their control; but the happiness of the wise grows out of their own free acts.” — Marcus Aurelius

13. “The spiritual meaning of love is measured by what it can do. Love is meant to heal. Love is meant to renew. Love is meant to bring us closer to God.” — Marcus Aurelius

14. “Stop wandering about! You aren’t likely to read your own notebooks, or ancient histories, or the anthologies you’ve collected to enjoy in your old age. Get busy with life’s purpose, toss aside empty hopes, get active in your own rescue-if you care for yourself at all-and do it while you can.” — Marcus Aurelius

15.  “The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.” — Marcus Aurelius

Philosophical mind revealed in Marcus Aurelius' timeless sculpture.

See also: 120 Best Spiritual Universe Quotes To Contemplate Life

Marcus Aurelius Meditations Quotes

1. “All is ephemeral, both what remembers and what is remembered.” ― Marcus Aurelius

Noble presence frozen in time: Marcus Aurelius' sculpture

2. “When you start to lose your temper, remember: There’s nothing manly about rage. It’s courtesy and kindness that define a human being – and a man. That’s who possesses strength and nerves and guts, not the angry whiners.” — Marcus Aurelius

3. “Everything is interwoven, and the web is holy; none of its parts are unconnected. They are composed harmoniously, and together they compose the world. One world, made up of all things. One divinity, present in them all.” — Marcus Aurelius

4. “Failure to read what is happening in another’s soul is not easily seen as a cause of unhappiness: but those who fail to attend to the motions of their own soul are necessarily unhappy.” — Marcus Aurelius

5. “Change: nothing inherently bad in the process, nothing inherently good in the result.” — Marcus Aurelius

Stoic grace embodied in Marcus Aurelius' detailed sculpture.

6. “Regain your senses, call yourself back, and once again wake up. Now that you realize that only dreams were troubling you, view this ‘reality’ as you view your dreams.” — Marcus Aurelius

7. “Swiftly the remembrance of all things is buried in the gulf of eternity.” ― Marcus Aurelius

8. “Meditate upon what you ought to be in body and soul when death overtakes you; meditate on the brevity of life, and the measureless gulf of eternity behind it and before, and upon the frailty of everything material.” — Marcus Aurelius

9. “Then what should we work for? Only this: proper understanding; unselfish action; truthful speech. A resolve to accept whatever happens as necessary and familiar, flowing like water from that same source and spring.” — Marcus Aurelius

10. “Let no act be done without a purpose, nor otherwise than according to the perfect principles of art.” — Marcus Aurelius

Marble tribute to the regal Marcus Aurelius.

See also: 120 Inspirational Art Quotes To Awaken The Divine In You

Marcus Aurelius Quotes About Life And Death

1. “Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.” — Marcus Aurelius

Timeless depiction: Marcus Aurelius, thoughtful leader.

2. “And as for death, if there be any gods, it is no grievous thing to leave the society of men.” — Marcus Aurelius

3. “Death is a release from the impressions of the senses, and from desires that make us their puppets, and from the vagaries of the mind, and from the hard service of the flesh.” — Marcus Aurelius

4. “In no great while, you will be no one and nowhere, and nothing that you now behold will be in existence, nor will anyone now alive. For it is in the nature of all things to change and alter and perish, so that others may arise in their turn.” — Marcus Aurelius

5. “Do not act as if you were going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good.” — Marcus Aurelius 

Thoughtful gaze frozen in Marcus Aurelius sculpture.

6. “Your days are numbered. Use them to throw open the windows of your soul to the sun. If you do not, the sun will soon set, and you with it.” — Marcus Aurelius

7. “You have been formed of three parts—body, breath, and mind. Of these, the first two are yours insofar as they are only in your care. The third alone is truly yours.” — Marcus Aurelius

8. “The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing, because an artful life requires being prepared to meet and withstand sudden and unexpected attacks.” — Marcus Aurelius

9. “But death and life, success and failure, pain and pleasure, wealth and poverty, all these happen to good and bad alike, and they are neither noble nor shameful – and hence neither good nor bad.” — Marcus Aurelius

10. “Soon you’ll be ashes or bones. A mere name at most – and even that is just a sound, an echo. The things we want in life are empty, stale, trivial.” — Marcus Aurelius

Graceful depiction of Roman leader Marcus Aurelius.

11. “The act of dying is one of the acts of life.” — Marcus Aurelius

12. “As for life therefore, and death, honor and dishonor, labor and pleasure, riches and poverty, all these things happen unto men indeed, both good and bad, equally; but as things which of themselves are neither good nor bad; because of themselves, neither shameful nor praiseworthy.” — Marcus Aurelius

13. “You may leave this life at any moment: have this possibility in your mind in all that you do or say or think.” — Marcus Aurelius

14. “The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.” — Marcus Aurelius

15. “Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what’s left and live it properly. What doesn’t transmit light creates its own darkness.” — Marcus Aurelius

Emperor Marcus Aurelius immortalized in marble.

See also: Brilliant List Of 120 Light Quotes To Awaken Your Mind

Marcus Aurelius Quotes On Stoicism

1. “Any person capable of angering you becomes your master; he can anger you only when you permit yourself to be disturbed by him.” — Marcus Aurelius

Stoic expression on the face of ancient emperor.

2. “Don’t pay attention to other people’s minds. Look straight ahead, where nature is leading you – nature in general, through the things that happen to you; and your own nature, through your own actions.” — Marcus Aurelius

3. “In a little while you will have forgotten everything; in a little while everything will have forgotten you.” — Marcus Aurelius

4. “The mind freed from passions is an impenetrable fortress – a person has no more secure place of refuge for all time.” — Marcus Aurelius

5. “Today I escaped from anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions; not outside.” — Marcus Aurelius

Regal pose captured in Marcus Aurelius sculpture.

6. “The Stoic discovers the model for his virtuous conduct in studying the laws of nature; just as each object, plant, and animal serves its fated role in the larger order, so the human strives to steer his actions in accordance with his unique power, reason, his inner mirror of the logos that governs the universe.” — Marcus Aurelius

7. “If you are pained by external things, it is not they that disturb you, but your own judgment of them. And it is in your power to wipe out that judgment now.” — Marcus Aurelius

8. “Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.” — Marcus Aurelius

9. “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” — Marcus Aurelius

10. “Accept the things to which fate binds you and love the people with whom fate brings you together but do so with all your heart.” — Marcus Aurelius 

Classic Roman emperor statue in stoic repose.

Marcus Aurelius Quotes To Broaden Your Perspective

1. “Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” — Marcus Aurelius

Timeless portrayal of Marcus Aurelius.

2. “This is what you deserve. You could be good today. But instead, you choose tomorrow.” — Marcus Aurelius

3. “To feel affection for people even when they make mistakes is uniquely human. You can do it, if you simply recognize: that they’re human too, that they act out of ignorance, against their will, and that you’ll both be dead before long.” — Marcus Aurelius

4. “The offender needs pity, not wrath; those who need to be corrected should be treated with tact and gentleness; and one must be always ready to learn better. ‘The best kind of revenge is, not to become like unto them.” — Marcus Aurelius

5. “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” — Marcus Aurelius

Emperor Marcus Aurelius immortalized in bronze.

6. “It is in our power to have no opinion about a thing and not to be disturbed in our soul; for things themselves have no natural power to form our judgments.” — Marcus Aurelius

7. “Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.” ― Marcus Aurelius

8. “Each of us needs what nature gives us when nature gives it.” — Marcus Aurelius

9. “How unlucky I am that this should happen to me. But not at all. Perhaps, say how lucky I am that I am not broken by what has happened, and I am not afraid of what is about to happen. For the same blow might have stricken anyone, but not many would have absorbed it without capitulation and complaint.” — Marcus Aurelius

10. “The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.” — Marcus Aurelius

Wise gaze of Marcus Aurelius in sculpture.

See also: 35 Best Quotes For Organization To Help You Gain Control

Wrapping It Up

As you see, the Roman Empire was not only a great military force. What helped the empire turn into the most successful reign of all time is the wisdom of its leaders. Marcus Aurelius is one of the most notable ones.

I hope you enjoyed reading Marcus Aurelius quotes and hope to see you again!

70 Absolute Best Marcus Aurelius Quotes To Inspire You