Marcus Aurelius

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Marcus Aurelius was born on April 20, 121 AD into a family of royalty. His uncle and adoptive father, Antoninus Pius, was the emperor of Rome. Aurelius, too, was trained from birth to be a great ruler like his father. At age eleven, he dedicated himself to religion, although he considered philosophy to be the "true, inward" religion, one which did not require ceremonies necessary in others. He was appointed by Emperor Hadrian to priesthood in 129. The Emperor also supervised his education, which was with the best professors of literature and philosophy of the time. From his early twenties, he deserted his other studies for philosophy. In 161, Marcus Aurelius ascended the throne and shared his imperial power with his adopted brother Lucius Aurelius Verus. Useless and lazy, Verus was regarded as Marcus's sidekick, but he died in 169. After Verus's death, he ruled alone.

In the movie Gladiator, Marcus Aurelius is a sick ruler who is fighting against the Parathions to take over the land and make his empire greater than it was. The movie never showed Marcus Aurelius in his youth when he was the ruler, but only showed when he was a dying man. Of course, the movie was not based off Marcus Aurelius, but it could have gone more in depth of what his beliefs were on life and his citizens. The movie kind of represents Rome as a great city, but in reality, while Aurelius was the Emperor, Rome was not all that great. Aurelius went through a tough time during his reign. He spent most of the times defending his empire against the Parthians, Germans, and Britons. The movie also shows him getting killed by his son Commodus, but he really died of a plague during another war in which he was trying to defend the territory of Rome.

Throughout his childhood and early adulthood, Aurelius was taught by several talented teachers. When he was young, the great Epictetus tutored him, followed by a man named Q. Junius Rusticus, who would accompany Aurelius throughout much of his...
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