Breadcrumbs: A Collection of Spiritual and Philosophical Essays by Francis J. Shaw Download Read more
There is probably no more romantic story of a book in the history of literature than that of the volume known as the 'Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.' It is merely the commonplace book or diary of a Roman emperor (121-180 A.D.), who at the end of a very busy and troublous reign, just when worries were thickest, jotted down all the serious thoughts that came to him with regard to the meaning of life and the way it should be lived.
to continue more or less during the rest of Marcus's reign. During these wars, in 169, Verus died. We have no means of following the campaigns in detail; but thus much is certain, that in the end the Romans succeeded in crushing the barbarian tribes, and effecting a settlement which made the empire more secure. Marcus was himself comanander-in-chief, and victory was due no less to his own ability than to his wisdom in choice of lieutenants, shown conspicuously in the case of Pertinax. There were several important battles fought in these campaigns; and one of them has become celebrated for the legend of the Thundering Legion. In a battle against the Quadi in 174, the day seemed to he going in favour of the foe, when on a sudden arose a great storm of thunder and rain the lightning struck the barbarians with terror, and they turned to rout. In later days this storm was said to have been sent in answer to the prayers of a legion which contained many Christians, and the name Thundering Legion should he given to