Press Release: How to Think Like a Roman Emperor

How Think Like a Roman Emperor:
The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius

Donald Robertson

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor

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.


Donald Robertson is a cognitive-behavioral psychotherapist, trainer, and writer. He was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, and after living in England and working in London for many years, he immigrated to Canada where he now lives in Toronto.

Robertson has been researching Stoicism and applying it in his work for twenty years. He is one of the founding members of the non-profit organization Modern Stoicism.


As he shares fragments from Marcus’ life, Mr. Robertson distills the emperor’s philosophy into useful mental habits… [and] displays a sound knowledge of Marcus’ life and thought. The author’s accessible prose style, well-suited for recounting both philosophical concepts and arcane Roman history, contributes to its appeal.

Benjamin Shull, The Wall Street Journal

A fascinating history of Aurelius and his beliefs, and an insightful consideration of how they inform the practice of modern mindfulness.

Publishers Weekly

…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

Donald Robertson is one of the leading lights behind the modern Stoicism movement. He’s also a cognitive behavioral therapist with a strong background in ancient philosophy. This book is an unusual combination of biography and self-help. By following Marcus’s life and his own progress in the study and practice of Stoicism, Robertson introduces the reader to the philosophy, the exercises, and how to make both of them relevant to life in the twenty-first century.

Massimo Pigliucci and Gregory Lopez, A Handbook for New Stoics (2019)

How To Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius
Donald Robertson

St. Martin’s Press, April 2, 2019

Hardcover | 304 pages | 9781250196620 | $36.50

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