- The Stoa Letter
- The Best Lecture On Marcus Aurelius
The Best Lecture On Marcus Aurelius
The Stoic Ideal
Welcome to The Stoa Letter, the newsletter on Stoic theory and practice.
Michael Sugrue recently passed away.
He gave the best and most popular lecture on Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations ever.
You can watch it here:
Marcus Aurelius showed that absolute power does not always corrupt – sometimes it reveals. Our response to extraordinary success and adversity reveals character in equal measure.
Marcus Aurelius was far from perfect – but he ruled the Roman empire with virtue and skill evident in few other emperors. We can witness how he used Stoic philosophy to do that through his Meditations.
Again and again, he reminds himself of the central ideas of Stoic philosophy. Look after your soul first. Not out of selfishness, but the desire to improve your character. That is what is up to you.
Live in accordance with nature. Play the role that you have been assigned well.
Treat other humans as your kin. They are not your enemies, but fellows.
The experience of looking into the mind of someone who was always working to improve themselves is inspiring.
The project of perfecting virtue can be lonely. Marcus Aurelius didn’t have many other men to talk to who would have shared his devotion to living well. But, just as he looked to Stoics in the past for motivation and inspiration, we can do the same.
Like Marcus Aurelius, remind yourself to live well with others while you can.
🎧️ Another lecture series from Michael Sugrue: Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues for those of you who want to go deeper into Plato and Socrates with an excellent teacher.
📺️ Visit Sugrue’s YouTube to find more videos of the man:
What did you think about today's letter?