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Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (a.d. 121–180) succeeded his adoptive father as emperor of Rome in a.d. 161. A student of philosophy from his earliest youth, he was especially influenced by the first-century Stoic thinker Epictetus. His later reputation rests on his Meditations, written during his later years and never meant for formal publication.
Gregory Hays is assistant professor of classics at the University of Virginia. He is currently completing a translation and critical study of the mythographer Fulgentius.