- 14,99 €
In the tradition of Logicomix, Donald J. Robertson's Verissimus is a riveting graphic novel on the life and stoic philosophy of Marcus Aurelius.
Marcus Aurelius was the last famous Stoic of antiquity but he was also to become the most powerful man in the known world – the Roman emperor. After losing his father at an early age, he threw himself into the study of philosophy. The closest thing history knew to a philosopher-king, yet constant warfare and an accursed plague almost brought his empire to its knees. “Life is warfare”, he wrote, “and a sojourn in foreign land!” One thing alone could save him: philosophy, the love of wisdom!
The remarkable story of Marcus Aurelius’ life and philosophical journey is brought to life by philosopher and psychotherapist Donald J. Robertson, in a sweeping historical epic of a graphic novel, based on a close study of the historical evidence, with the stunning full-color artwork of award-winning illustrator Zé Nuno Fraga.
Psychotherapist Robertson (How to Think Like a Roman Emperor) overpacks this graphic history of Marcus Aurelius (121–180 CE). Marcus, renamed Verissimus (the most truthful) for his willingness to contradict a volatile Emperor Hadrian, grows up with a series of philosophical tutors. Disjointed scenes show Marcus grappling with stoicism to reign in his temper during his early adulthood as he is adopted by Hadrian, then as he marries and fathers multiple children. Pell-mell personal biography gives way to a swirl of battle scenes, political maneuvering, and a deadly plague that follows Marcus's ascension to emperor, but with scant framing details. Ruthlessly cruel general Avidius Cassius, whose own military career is told in scenes that interrupt the main flow, sparks a civil war, hoping to take advantage of a moment of Marcus in seeming physical decline. Robertson blends philosophical instruction with crises in Marcus's leadership (though some episodes, such as the cult of Glykon or the discovery of a dinosaur fossil, veer tangentially). Fraga's art is painterly but wrought with melodramatic expressions and gruesome tableaus, while showing an impressive ability to create images for the sometimes heady philosophical scenes. There's an ambitious attempt here at marrying biography, war history, and philosophical treatise, but somehow none get quite enough space to develop fully. Those new to Roman history are likely to get lost.