It was a time of plague, unrest, and hostile invasions. No wonder the philosophy known as Stoicism – with a capital S – was such a soothing balm to Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, who died in A.D. 180 during a campaign to push back raiding Germanic tribes.Some have speculated that the cause of the emperor’s death was the plague itself. The epidemic, which could have been smallpox, probably originated in China. It was spread along the Silk Road by traders,and then further afield by Roman legions returning from Asia Minor.All these centuries later, Marcus Aurelius’s private notebook, known to us as The Meditations, continues to inspire and console. There have been several translations and, of late, many commentaries on and guides to Stoicism.Close In William Irvine’s A Guide to the Good Life, for example, there’s an outline of present-day, practical applications of Stoicism, and in Massimo Pigliucci’s How to Be a Stoic, there’s a similar exposition of how this ancient art of living can help us flourish in modern times. related news Why we should be thinking about the future of office work Book review: Parmesh Shahani’s Queeristan makes pitch for queer-friendly workplace With Political Storytelling, Emotions Trump Reason Two… Read full this story
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