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Beschreibung des Verlags
Marcus Aurelius is the one great figure of antiquity who still speaks to us today, nearly 2,000 years after his death. A philosopher as well as an emperor, his was an extraordinary reign. He proved himself a great leader, protecting the Empire from Germans in the North and fighting the Parthians in the East, and his Meditations - compared by John Stuart Mill to the Sermon on the Mount - remains one of the most widely-read Classical books. Impeccably researched and vividly told, Frank McLynn's Marcus Aurelius is the definitive biography of a monumental historical figure.
Pat Buchanan once said that George W. Bush was no Marcus Aurelius, while Bill Clinton claimed that he read and reread Aurelius' Meditations as president. McLynn, author of biographies of figures from Napoleon to Jung, argues that the emperor and Stoic philosopher satisfies a thirst for guidance that modern philosophers have largely abandoned. But McLynn fails to make his case in a book that veers between biography and a defense of an emperor more famous for his words than for his actions. Drawing on Aurelius' Meditations, letters with his tutor and other ancient sources of disputed authenticity, McLynn ploddingly narrates Aurelius' rise to emperor in 161 C.E. a role to which he was, McLynn acknowledges, temperamentally unsuited and the challenges he faced, mostly unsuccessfully, during his 19-year reign. Attempting to protect the Roman Empire from the German barbarians, for example, he gave land to these foreign tribes. This strategy backfired, creating new economic and social divisions. Marcus Aurelius emerges from McLynn's biography as a disappointing political figure who could do nothing to unite the Roman Empire in its waning days and who remains most memorable for his aphorisms, such as "By a tranquil mind I mean a well-ordered one." 8 pages of b&w photos.