Stoic in the Time of a Pandemic: How Marcus Aurelius Can Help

“We live in perpetual denial of the self-evident fact we all die eventually.”

I find this is a very interesting fact!

O Society

An emperor died in a plague later named for him. His Meditations (PDF) show us a way to face fear, pain, anxiety, loss, and death today.


by Donald Robertson edited by O Society April 25, 2020

Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus is the last famous Stoic philosopher of antiquity. During the last 14 years of his life, he faced one of the worst plagues in European history. The epynomous Antonine Plague probably was caused by a strain of the smallpox virus, estimated to have killed up to 5 million people, possibly including Marcus himself.

From 166 to 180AD, repeated outbreaks occur throughout the known world. Roman historians describe the legions as devastated, entire towns and villages depopulated and going to ruin. Rome itself was affected badly, as carts leaving the city each day piled high with dead bodies.

In the middle of this plague, Marcus wrote a book -known today as…

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