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About the book
  • Published: 30 November 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446449332
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 704

Marcus Aurelius

Warrior, Philosopher, Emperor




The vivid, magisterial and long-awaited biography of Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor - and embodiment of the philosopher's king - whose life and works still speak to us 2,000 years after his death.

Marcus Aurelius - the last of the 'five good emperors' of the Roman Empire - is the one figure of antiquity who still speaks vividly to us today, over 2000 years after his death. We may thrill to the exploits of Alexander the Great, Hannibal or Caesar, and historical novelists may beguile us with their imaginative reconstructions of this life or that, but the only voice from the Greco-Roman world that still seems to have contemporary relevance is that of the man who ruled the Roman Empire from 161 to 180 A.D. His book of reflections, the Meditations, continues to sell in large numbers in numerous editions. Though a persecutor of Christians Marcus holds out the prospect of spirituality for atheists, happiness without God, joy without heaven and morality without religion. He truly was a man for all seasons, and those seasons include the twenty-first century.
Marcus' reign foreshadowed the eventual decline and fall of the Roman empire, and his life itself represents the fulfilment of Plato's famous dictum

  • Pub date: 30 November 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446449332
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 704

About the Author

Frank McLynn

Frank McLynn is a highly regarded historian, who specialises in biographies and military history. He has written over 20 books, including critically acclaimed biographies of Napoleon and Richard the Lionheart. Other books include 1066, Stanley, 1759, and Marcus Aurelius. He is a graduate of Wadham College, Oxford, and London University, where he obtained his doctorate.

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Praise for Marcus Aurelius

“A compendious and thought-provoking study”

Boris Johnson, The Mail on Sunday

“Impressively well-researched and unfailingly engaging”

John Dillon, The Irish Times

“McLynn has written a huge, erudite survey of the social, cultural, economic and political world of the second century AD rather than a mere biography of Marcus Aurelius...there is much to enjoy here and even more to be learned”

Literary Review

“By exposing the real Marcus Aurelius, this biography illuminates an important era of transition...it was under Marcus that the delicate balance was disturbed and this, too, is his legacy.”

Martin Empson, TLS

“A flickering torch in the darkness, and with his fine biography, Frank McLynn tends the flame.”

Stephen McGinty, Scotsman

“Plain, polished, panoramic biography.”

Iain Finlayson, Times

“If you like your history feisty, opinionated and judgemental McLynn is the man for you... it certainly makes for a terrific read.”

Peter Jones, BBC History Magazine


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