This is the opening passage from Chapter 7 of my new book How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, titled “Temporary Madness”:
May 175 AD. A nervous courier hands over a letter to Gaius Avidius Cassius, commander of the Syrian legions and governor general of the eastern provinces. It contains only a single Greek word, which to his consternation reads emanes (“You’re mad”—you’ve lost your mind).
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