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Marcus Aurelius in the Roman Histories

Download my free E-book containing key excerpts from Roman histories about the life of Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius in the Roman Histories is a new e-book that I created, which contains the main excerpts from historical sources describing the life of Marcus Aurelius and his reign as emperor of Rome. This mini-course contains download links that you can use to obtain copies of the EPUB, Kindle (MOBI) or PDF versions of the book. This text has been carefully edited and proofread to make it more accessible to modern readers.

There are several excellent modern biographies of Marcus Aurelius available. However, most of the material they draw upon can be found in a handful of ancient histories, which are relatively brief and fairly easy to read. This e-book brings together the main sources for the life of Marcus Aurelius in a new edition, specially designed to be read online or on mobile devices. The chapters included are small excerpts, containing the passages most relevant to the reign of Marcus Aurelius, from the following three histories.

The History of the Empire from the Death of Marcus by Herodian of Antioch, a minor Roman official who witnessed the reign of Commodus first-hand.

The Roman History (Historia Romana) of Cassius Dio, who served as a senator under Commodus. I’ve also included Cassius Dio’s chapter on the life of Commodus as an appendix, as it provides a valuable addition to the writings that more directly address the reign of his father, Marcus Aurelius.

The Augustan History (Historia Augusta) is a collection of biographical chapters, attributed to four different authors. In addition to the chapters on Marcus Aurelius I’ve also included those on his co-emperor Lucius Verus and the usurper Avidius Cassius as they pertain directly to the relationship between these men and Marcus.


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Your Instructor


Donald Robertson
Donald Robertson

Donald is a trainer and writer, with over twenty years’ experience. He’s a specialist in teaching evidence-based psychological skills, and known as an expert on the relationship between modern cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and and classical Greek and Roman philosophy. He was born in Scotland but worked as a psychotherapist for many years in London, England, where he ran a training school for therapists, before emigrating to Canada to focus on his writing and developing e-learning courses.

Donald is the author of six books on philosophy and psychotherapy, as well as having contributed chapters to four other book and published many articles in journals and magazines. His new book How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius is currently available for pre-order and due out in January 2019. You can contact him via his website.


Class Curriculum


  Marcus Aurelius in the Roman Histories
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