Book One

Marcus thanks friends, family, teachers and gods in his life for all of the good he is able to enjoy. He specifically outlines what he has gained from these people and what he is thankful for. Of the seventeen thank you’s, five were to family members, eight were to friends and two were to teachers with the last two being for his father and the gods. Thinking on my own life, that is quite impressive. It is difficult to think of everyone I would like to thank, and for what I would like to thank them. Although several of Marcus’s friends mentioned were from when he was younger, atleast two appear to be from when he was older. Sextus and Maximus are mentioned as great examples of fathers and citizens who taught Marcus a lot. They each receive lengthy paragraphs where others received only a few lines of mention. Greatest, however, were the mentions of Marcus’s adoptive father Emperor Antoninus Pius and the gods. He goes on to describe his father as a great leader and father who taught him “strength, steadfastness, and moderation on all occasions, a spirit perfectly balanced and indomitable.” (I.16) As far as the gods go, Marcus lists thanks for “good grandparents, good parents, a good sister, good teachers, good companions, relatives and friends – almost all of them good.” (I.17) Last, he goes on to thank the gods for “the fact that my body has stood up so long under the strain of the life I lead…for not having done anything I would later regret during one of my frequent fallings-out with Rusticus…for a wife like mine…for an unending supply of excellent teachers for my children…for dreams that cured me from coughing up blood and from vertigo and for the guidance of the oracle at Caieta, ‘It’s up to you!’” Ending Book One, Marcus writes “All these good things came “from the hand of God and with the help of Fortune.”