Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

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Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The life of Marcus Aurelius has never before been written in the English language--a fact which, of itself, would seem to be a sufficient apology for the present work. In endeavoring to supply this want, the author wishes at the outset to guard against every possible misconception. The work here offered to the public pretends to be nothing more than a study of the character of Marcus Aurelius. It has been the author's aim to eliminate, as far as possible, all such details of contemporary history as do not have a direct bearing upon this theme. There is one subject, however, in which it has been found impossible to practise so great conciseness as would for some reasons appear desirable--I mean, the chapter on the attitude of the Emperor towards Christianity. Without a tolerably complete acquaintance with the state of Christianity at that time, we can form no just conception of Marcus's religious character. It has been deemed wise, however, to consider only those characteristics of Christianity which were then most prominent, and which furnished the basis for the attitude taken by the Emperor. In this way we are forced to present a very one-sided picture of Christianity. The reign of Marcus Aurelius marks a period extremely rife in heresy; and it was mainly with an heretical Christianity that the Emperor was brought face to face. The reader will understand, therefore, why in this book he so seldom meets with the plain and simple doctrines which were taught by Jesus.

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