How to Think Like a Roman Emperor Summary 2023 - Deepstash

Your one stop book summary, audiobook and book review spot for:

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor Summary

About How to Think Like a Roman Emperor Book

"This book is a wonderful introduction to one of history's greatest figures: Marcus Aurelius. His life and this book are a clear guide for those facing adversity, seeking tranquility and pursuing excellence." —Ryan Holiday, bestselling author of The Obstacle is the Way and The Daily Stoic

The life-changing principles of Stoicism taught through the story of its most famous proponent.

Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius was the last famous Stoic philosopher of the ancient world. The Meditations, his personal journal, survives to this day as one of the most loved self-help and spiritual classics of all time. In How to Think Like a Roman Emperor, cognitive psychotherapist Donald Robertson weaves the life and philosophy of Marcus Aurelius together seamlessly to provide a compelling modern-day guide to the Stoic wisdom followed by countless individuals throughout the centuries as a path to achieving greater fulfillment and emotional resilience.

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor takes readers on a transformative journey along with Marcus, following his progress from a young noble at the court of Hadrian—taken under the wing of some of the finest philosophers of his day—through to his reign as emperor of Rome at the height of its power. Robertson shows how Marcus used philosophical doctrines and therapeutic practices to build emotional resilience and endure tremendous adversity, and guides readers through applying the same methods to their own lives.

Combining remarkable stories from Marcus’s life with insights from modern psychology and the enduring wisdom of his philosophy, How to Think Like a Roman Emperor puts a human face on Stoicism and offers a timeless and essential guide to handling the ethical and psychological challenges we face today.

See More

Also grab How to Think Like a Roman Emperor Audiobook, with the Deepstash App.

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald J. Robertson
Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius

Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius

  • He was the last famous Stoic of the ancient world
  • He was known for his physical frailty, due to chronic health problems, but also for his exceptional resilience
  • He repeatedly told himself that the goal of his life is not pleasure but action
  • As a young emperor, Marcus was ridiculed as a snob and a bore because at gladiator games they could see that he was reading legal documents and discussing them with his advisors.


The Stoic Goal of Life

For Stoics, the highest good is to act consistently in accord with reason and virtue.

What matters in life isn't what happens to us but how we respond to it. Philosophy is really a way of life, how we choose to act.


How to Speak Wisely

  • The Stoics were concerned that their speech should not only be honest and simple but also appropriate to the needs of the hearer.
  • Correcting someone else's vices requires considerable tact; it is like pointing out that they have bad breath.
  • Stoics wanted to describe events in plain and simple terms.
  • This requires two main things: Conciseness and Objectiveivity.


"How to Think Like a Roman Emperor" (2019) delves into the principles of Stoicism through the life and writings of Marcus Aurelius. As a revered Roman emperor, his leadership qualities were deeply influenced by Stoic philosophy, which also offers timeless lessons for personal growth today.

Embrace Living in Harmony with Nature

Embrace Living in Harmony with Nature

Stoics prioritize living a life aligned with nature. This philosophy asserts that living according to nature's laws leads to a fulfilling and rational life. It’s about accepting the world as it is, not as we wish.

Understanding and accepting fate is central to Stoic beliefs. Marcus Aurelius and other Stoics viewed their circumstances as natural and embraced them without resentment, which they believed was the rational way to live.



"Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one."



Cultivate Virtue for a Reliable Moral Compass

Cultivate Virtue for a Reliable Moral Compass

Stoicism is grounded in four cardinal virtues: wisdom, morality, courage, and moderation. These virtues form a framework for dealing with life's challenges and maintaining inner peace.

Practicing these virtues leads to personal growth. By consistently choosing actions that align with these virtues, you develop a reliable moral compass, enhancing your ability to handle life’s unpredictabilities.


I'm not religious I'm spiritual. I enjoy whatever feeds the soul.

Stoicism 😌

Stoicism 😌

A philosophy based on how you respond to the circumstances of your life.

It's not what happens to you its how you respond to the situation .

4 Pillars of Stoicism

• Wisdom

• Justice

• Courage 

• Moderation 

Philosophy is a way of life, don't just talk about being a good person, but BE A GOOD PERSON.


Speaking wisely🙊

Speaking wisely🙊

When you speaking consider these:

• Honesty

• Simplicity

• Relevance

Be tactful when pointing out mistakes.

• The goal should be  to uplift not to breakdown a person




Being about your business means taking actions that align with your highest beliefs.

Being clear about your values makes it easier to understand what is a priority in your life.

Reflect on your values regularly.

• Quiet moments of reflection are recommended - Meditation


The ideologies expressed by ancient Stoic philosophers to strengthen their character may just be exactly what the average person needs today.

Two Daily Reflections

In the morning, ask yourself:

  1. What would the consequences be if you acted as a slave to your passions (emotional desires) today?
  2. How would your day differ should you choose to act more rationally, and deeply consider your reactions to situations? 

In the evening, ask yourself:

  1. Did you indulge in irrational thoughts or allow yourself to be ruled by unhealthy desires?
  2. Did you make progress by acting against your passions? 
  3. Did you pass up opportunities to strengthen your character? How might you seize the opportunity next time?


Get Deepstash Pro & replace doomscrolling with personal growth

Supercharge your mind with one idea per day

Enter your email and spend 1 minute every day to learn something new.


I agree to receive email updates