russia has launched a full-scale war in Ukraine! Headway asks you to donate to the charity fund to protect Ukraine and the world’s peace.

Support Ukraine


Headway App


FREE - on the App Store


The Stoic's Guide to Personal Resilience: Quotes by Marcus Aurelius in Latin

Join us in exploring "Meditations" quotes by Marcus Aurelius in Latin to unlock the deep-scale ideas of one of the five good emperors.

Marcus Aurelius' quotes in Latin

In the realm of high-quality, classic education, the key has always been to know a subject from various perspectives. And what is a better way to do so than by learning languages that grant access to ancient historical sources? Latin, in particular, opens doors to the very origins of philosophy and multiple sciences. It's a unique opportunity to analyze the roots of knowledge.

Join us in exploring the "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius through the lenses of Latin to unlock the deep-scale ideas of prominent ancient thinkers. It's a journey that promises to intrigue and satisfy your curiosity, all while building personal resilience.

Marcus Aurelius: A Stoic epitome of moral enthusiasm

Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 121-161) was a renowned Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher who tended to include Biblical-like narratives in his "Meditations." A few generations ago and now, his "Meditations" remain included in catalogs of classic literature of every respectable publisher. The secret is simple: the ruler of Ancient Rome wrote every line not as a provoking musing in an ultimate tone but as an applicable maxim for ongoing, daily self-improvement. Even a few minutes at the bedside with the "Meditations" can result in a memorable revelation, helping to make another step toward building a good life.

The wisdom of "Meditations" and its actual price

All the life lessons of Marcus Aurelius that made his "Meditations" the heading of philosophy cost him a good deal of sweat, blood, and tears. The list was endless: losing his beloved parents and children, hundreds of thousands of his subjects being killed by an Antonine plague, the country's borders being constantly attacked by the Barbarians (the list is much, much longer).

Those complications and trials only proved the point: the moral enthusiasm of Marcus Aurelius when he made a winning return after each of the life trials was trustworthy. Hence, one may practically apply all his quotes, whether they read them in English, Latin, or original Greek.

Let’s dive into some of the most expressive thoughts that one of the "five good emperors" left for his descendants to motivate them to "fac" or "to make" personal growth their everyday reality.

The language of "Meditations": Latin vs. Greek

Hellenistic culture blossomed under Marcus Aurelius' rule. One of the critical fundamentals of this culture was the Greek language. All ancient Greek and Roman philosophers, like Epictetus, wrote in the one. This was the language that the philosopher king, as modern historians keep calling the author of "Meditations," used when working on his literary piece. Yet throughout the ages, the aristocratic circles of Rome and the emperors like Julius Caesar referred to Latin as their writing language.

Marcus Aurelius did not follow the trend but chose to stay relatable to a broader audience, as Classical Latin stayed reserved for elite circles and scholars. Still, given the solemn beauty of Latin, which is currently out of general use, many of his quotes were translated into this and other languages, including English. Latin excerpts from "Meditations" are popular today, sometimes in the form of imprints on t-shirts or big posters during competitions.

Latin inspirational quote: The matter of authorship

The popularity of Latin quotes and phrases has gained a new life in the Modern Era. It spurred the question of "copyright" or the authenticity of authorship, which was questioned by those who wanted to cite an expression. One of the most popular quotes is "Memento Mori," which means "Remember that you will die." In "Apologeticus," a Roman writer from Carthage, Tertullian, hints that the famous quote was merely the words of someone staying behind a military general during an official ceremony. Yet later, it was proved that his words carried a moral meaning rather than a documentary. This is understandable, as Tertullian was an early Christian author. In "Meditations," this quote resonates with the following line:

“You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.”

Quotes by Marcus Aurelius

Apparently, the Stoic nature of all "Meditations" of Marcus Aurelius and the resonance of this famous quote with the overall nature of his musings and ideas prove the emperor's copyright for Memento Mori.

As a Roman philosopher and rhetorician, Seneca also favored this theme. He never failed to remind his audience that matters of life and death should be correctional for our lives as they also define our virtues and attitudes. Nevertheless, Marcus Aurelius' Stoicism was thematically closer to Epictetus' perspective: both agreed that human mortality operates as a navigator, not to overthink our triumphs or losses, but to perceive them as signs pointing to new opportunities.

Latin quotes from "Meditations" on leadership and personal growth

All Stoic quotes aim to inspire people to focus on their personal development and leadership skills. In this regard, Marcus Aurelius' quotes in Latin teach readers to be brave and courageously take on challenges as they may open doors to new, often better opportunities:

"Quod obstat viae fit via."

Translation: "When the obstacle becomes the way forward."

Quotes by Marcus Aurelius in Latin

"Firmiter statui debetis ad ea quae recte et naturali dignitate, humanitate, independentia et iustitia committuntur."

Translation: "You must be firmly determined to do what comes to hand with correct and natural dignity, humanity, independence, and justice."

Latin Sayings of Marcus Aurelius

"Sit tibi una delectatio et refrigerium de uno servitio communi ad alium transire, mente semper apud Deum."

Translation: "Let your one delight and refreshment be to pass from one service to the community to another, with God ever in mind.”

Marcus Aurelius' Latin Aphorisms

"Insania est aliquid sequi quod fieri non potest, sed inconsideratus populus non potest desistere."

Translation: "To pursue the unattainable is insanity, yet the thoughtless can never refrain from doing so."

Latin Proverbs from Marcus Aurelius

"Estote sicut promunturium in quod franguntur fluctus et franguntur."

Translation: "Be like the headland against which the waves break and break."

Sayings in Latin by Marcus Aurelius

Latin quotes from "Meditations" on love

Love is one of the most mysterious and understandably preferred subjects of many ancient philosophers. One of Latin's most inspirational quotes about love is "Amor fati." It sounds close to the Spanish word "amore," which literally means "love". This expression implies a person's Stoic form of love or patient acceptance of whatever befalls them.

This principle penetrates "The Birth of Tragedy," a work by the German philosopher Nietzsche. The same idea is deeply integrated into pages of "Meditations," where Marcus Aurelius encouraged everyone struggling with personal discipline and procrastination to prioritize the present over the hurdles of the past and treat each other nicely for the sake of a better future:

"Nam ad mutuam operam nati sumus; ut pedes, ut manus, ut palpebrae, ut ordines superiorum et inferiorum dentium: itaque invicem sibi adversari contra naturam est."

Translation: "For we were born to work together, like a man's two hands, feet, or eyelids, or like the upper and lower rows of his teeth. To obstruct each other is against Nature's law."

Latin Maxims of Marcus Aurelius

"Numquam irae aliisve affectibus signum ostende, sed imperturbabile manebis et tamen plenae pietatis affectu."

Translation: "Never display a sign of anger nor any emotion, but stay imperturbable and yet full of kindly affection."

Quotations in Latin from Marcus Aurelius

"Vultus iratus est omnino contra naturam."

Translation: "An angry look on the face is wholly against nature."

Latin Excerpts by Marcus Aurelius

"Qui aliorum problemata non attendunt... certa merces est infelicitas."

Translation: "Those who pay no attention to the troubles of their own (people)... unhappiness is their guaranteed reward."

Marcus Aurelius Quotes Translated into Latin

"Deliciae vestrae ac refrigerium sit diversimode servire communitati, Deo semper in mente."

Translation: "Let your delight and refreshment come from serving the community in different ways, with God ever in mind."

Latin Phrases Attributed to Marcus Aurelius

Latin quotes from "Meditations" on life and wisdom

Another famous quote of Marcus Aurelius, known mainly in Latin, is "Dum spiro spero." Its English version is "While I breathe, I hope." This quote is comparable to the French philosopher Descartes' "Cogito, ergo sum" ("I think, therefore I am").

Both quotes have a metaphysical nature aimed at encouraging readers not to give up on living but to search for new meanings until they get back on their feet after a hardship that had put them in a temporary slump. In fact, all of the emperor's musings on life and wisdom that a person develops over its course have a transformative or transcendental nature, motivating one to evolve a self-sufficient personality despite mental and physical torments. Enjoy a few more examples of Marcus Aurelius' Latin quotes on this subject:

"Mors nobis omnibus arridet, homo omnis hoc risum lenem redeuntem facere potest."

Translation: "Death smiles to us all, all a man can do is just smile back."

Latin Wisdom of Marcus Aurelius

"Non habes erga teipsum reverentiam, et in aliorum cordibus pones felicitatem tuam."

Translation: "You have no respect for yourself, and you place your happiness in the hearts of others."

Marcus Aurelius: A Collection of Latin Quotations

"Mea quidem manus est, ut nulla in hac anima mea vitiositas, nulla cupiditas, nulla turbatio fiat."

Translation: "It lies in my own hands to ensure that no viciousness, cupidity, or turmoil of any kind finds a home in this soul of mine."

Selected Latin Sentences of Marcus Aurelius

"Omnis actio, quae agis, ad totam vitam tuam conferre debet."

Translation: "Every separate action of yours should contribute towards an integrated life."

Insights in Latin by Marcus Aurelius

"Attende stellas celi... tali visione mundat scoriam terrene vite ."

Translation: "Survey the circling stars... vision of this kind purge away the dross of our earth-bound life."

Notable Latin Quotes by Marcus Aurelius

Ancient philosophical Latin phrases to engrave into your life

Have you ever heard "Fac, si facis” before? This powerful Latin quote has a simple but critical meaning: "Do it if you are going to do it." What truly changes life is what a person does, not the words they utter. Marcus Aurelius engraved this principle on his heart, advising readers to "build up their life action by action."

To live by this advice, people must engrave most of the "philosopher king" thoughts into their innermost souls. It is best not to over-debate or over-research but to stay straightforward in the deliberations that we put into practice:

"Audentes fortuna iuvat."

Translation: "Fortune favors the bold (brave)." This quote refers to Fortuna, a Roman goddess of luck. Marcus reinterpreted this advice by saying, "The art of living... demands a firm and watchful stance against any unexpected onset."

Marcus Aurelius' Latin Dictums

"Omnia inter se contexuntur et inter se affinitatem habent."

Translation: "All things are mutually woven together and therefore have an affinity for each other."

Compilation of Marcus Aurelius' Latin Sayings

"Si quid in vita humana reperis melius quam iustitiam, veritatem, continentiam et fortitudinem... ad illud cor et animam converte et hoc maius bonum quod inveneris utere."

Translation: "If you find anything in human life better than justice, truth, self-control, and courage... turn your heart and soul to it and take full advantage of this greater good you have found."

Marcus Aurelius' Philosophical Quotes in Latin

"Tempus est flumen, omnium creaturarum immoderata fluens".

Translation: "Time is a river, the resistless flow of all created beings."

Marcus Aurelius' Latin Aphorisms

"Vera delectatio hominis est facere quod creatus est".

Translation: "A man's true delight is to do things he was made for."

Marcus Aurelius' Words in Latin

"Press in constanter; custodi in recta via cogitando et faciendo".

Translation: "Press on steadily; keep to the straight road in your thinking and doing."

Marcus Aurelius' Latin Dictums

The enduring relevance of Marcus Aurelius' "Meditations"

Marcus Aurelius' Latin, Greek, and English quotes effortlessly inspire an audience to work on upgrading their daily attitude toward life and other people. Being able to act boldly, speak straightforwardly, and treat others kindly no matter how they treat us in return — and do it with never angry but loving look — indeed sounds like the art of a good life. When you read those quotes in Latin, print them on posters or pieces of cloth, or make a tattoo, it feels like a new layer of sense is added.

Explore the summary of "Meditations" with Headway

Explore the summary of "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius on the Headway app, #1 most downloaded book summary app. We invite you to explore "Meditations" ancient philosophical insights and uncover its lasting impact through a concise summary. With over 1600 other summaries available, Headway provides a rich resource for quickly accessing profound knowledge and enhancing your understanding and personal growth at your pace through microlearning.

+80k reviews
Empower yourself with the best insights and ideas!
Get the #1 most downloaded book summary app.

Enjoying this article?

Your fun & easy growth starts here.

Try Headway app

Join our email list with 40K+ people for more helpful insights