Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Marcus Aurelius and Milan

"Marcus Aurelius slept here."

Oddly enough, I'm wondering for the first time if my favorite philosopher and teacher of how to live a worthy life (and, coincidentally, the ancient Roman emperor from 161 to 180 A.D.), ever came through this marvelous Milanese metropolis.

I'm gonna bet he did, on the way to battling the Marcomanni and the Quadi on the...More......

...upper Danube, since Milan was one of the most important towns in the area, in the middle of the plain criss-crossed by those ancient highways, rivers (though the city would have to wait another hundred plus years before becoming the ipso facto capital of the ancient Roman empire, a state of being it enjoyed...all those soldiers and courtiers needing to buy housing and goods...until party poopers from the north threatened to gate crash...literally...sending the emperor Honorius scurrying for Ravenna, 'honor' my eye...).

But back to Marcus.

While in limbo regarding any possible proof of his actual presence in Milan, here's today's random, but helpful, quote from his Meditations, thoughts he jotted down for himself to clear his head, to keep himself focused, to remind himself of his goals:

"This is the mark of a perfect character: to pass through each day, as if it were the last, without agitation, without torpor, without pretence."
(Book VII, verse 69)

Food for Milanese thought.

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