segunda-feira, março 24, 2008

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The virtue of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was of a severer and more laborious kind [than that of Antoninus Pius]. It was the well-eraned harvest of many a leraned conference, of many a patient lecture, and many a midnight lucubration. At the age of twelve years he embraced the rigid system of the Stoics, which taught him to submit his body to his mind, his passions to his reason; to consider virtue as the only good, vice as the only evil, all things external as things indifferent. His meditations, composed in the tumult of a camp, are still extant; and he even condescended to give lessons in philosophy in a more public manner than was perhaps consistent with the modesty of a sage, or the dignity of an emperor. But his life was the noblest commentary on the prescriptions of Zeno. He was severe to himself, indulgent to the imperfection of others and beneficent to all mankind.
Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

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