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The vivid, magisterial and long-awaited biography of Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor - and embodiment of the philosopher's king - whose life and works still speak to us 2,000 years after his death.

Marcus Aurelius is the one great figure of antiquity who still speaks to us today, nearly 2,000 years after his death. A philosopher as well as an emperor, his was an extraordinary reign. He proved himself a great leader, protecting the Empire from Germans in the North and fighting the Parthians in the East, and his Meditations – compared by John Stuart Mill to the Sermon on the Mount – remains one of the most widely-read Classical books. Impeccably researched and vividly told, Frank McLynn’s Marcus Aurelius is the definitive biography of a monumental historical figure.


A compendious and thought-provoking study

Boris Johnson, The Mail on Sunday

Impressively well-researched and unfailingly engaging

John Dillon, The Irish Times

McLynn has written a huge, erudite survey of the social, cultural, economic and political world of the second century AD rather than a mere biography of Marcus Aurelius...there is much to enjoy here and even more to be learned

Literary Review

By exposing the real Marcus Aurelius, this biography illuminates an important era of transition...it was under Marcus that the delicate balance was disturbed and this, too, is his legacy.

Martin Empson, TLS

A flickering torch in the darkness, and with his fine biography, Frank McLynn tends the flame.

Stephen McGinty, Scotsman

Plain, polished, panoramic biography.

Iain Finlayson, Times

If you like your history feisty, opinionated and judgemental McLynn is the man for you... it certainly makes for a terrific read.

Peter Jones, BBC History Magazine

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    May 3, 2010


    704 pages

    RRP $27.99

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  • Marcus Aurelius
    Frank McLynn



    November 30, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    704 pages

    Online retailers

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