By Donald Robertson, author of How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, discusses strategies for coping with pain derived from the ancient wisdom of Stoicism.
We know that Marcus suffered from chronic chest and stomach pains, problems sleeping, and poor appetite, among other symptoms. While it’s not clear what illness he suffered from, modern scholars have speculated he may have been describing the symptoms of stomach ulcers, among other things. Curiously, the historian Cassius Dio praises Marcus Aurelius for the remarkable physical resilience that he showed despite being “extremely frail in body”.
1. Thomas Jefferson
Arguably one of the most famous student of the classics, this founding father and 3rd president of the United States studied Greek at the College of William and Mary. He loved Roman literature and founded the University of Virginia, a school that encourages the classics.
2. J.R.R. Tolkien
This British writer studied Classics at Exeter College, Oxford before penning his famous series, “Lord of the Rings.”