Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (often referred to as “the wise”) (April 26, 121 – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180. He was the last of the “Five Good Emperors”, and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers. His tenure was marked by wars in Asia against a revitalized Parthian Empire, and with Germanic tribes along the Limes Germanicus into Gaul and across the Danube. A revolt in the East, led by Avidius Cassius, failed.
Marcus Aurelius’ work Meditations, written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a government of service and duty and has been praised for its “exquisite accent and its infinite tenderness.”