Books Comic Comics Marcus Aurelius Stoicism

Get our Guide to Marcus Aurelius and Stoicism

Please feel free to download and share with your friends. This unique PDF guide was written by me, Donald Robertson, with stunning artwork by our award-winning illustrator Zé Nuno Fraga and graphic designer Rocio de Torres. It provides the perfect introduction to the world of Marcus Aurelius as depicted in our new graphic novel Verissimus: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, which you can preorder now from all good bookstores.

People often ask for a simple introduction to the life and philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, so we created one especially for you! This booklet draws on research conducted for several books I’ve written or edited about Marcus Aurelius and Stoicism.

  • How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius (St. Martins)
  • Verissimus: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius (St. Martins)
  • Marcus Aurelius: Ancient Lives (Yale)
  • Meditations: The Philosophy Classic (Capstone)

This printable PDF document will give you a good overview of the life of Marcus Aurelius, the times in which he lived and characters who influenced him, as well as the Stoic concepts and practices that shaped his life. As well as key information on Marcus Aurelius and Stoic philosophy, it contains comic book illustrations, genealogical diagrams, study questions, important quotations, and recommended reading.

If you’re a teacher, we’re confident you’ll find this booklet useful as a classroom aid. If you’re just interested in learning more about Marcus Aurelius and Stoicism, it’s a great place to begin before starting to read the classics.


  1. The Stoic Goal of Life
  2. Three Stoic Practices
  3. Who were the Stoics?
  4. Who was Marcus Aurelius?
  5. The Imperial Succession
  6. Marcus’ Friends
  7. Marcus’ Enemies
  8. Questions, Quotes, and Reading
  9. About the Graphic Novel

If you’re completely new to Stoicism, it’s a good place to start. However, we can’t compress the whole philosophy into a few pages, it’s just a summary, so you will need to read the Stoics to gain a more complete understanding of their concepts and techniques.

If you enjoyed this free guide, please check out our forthcoming graphic novel, Verissimus: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius.

Verissimus Front Cover
Books Children Comic Comics Stoicism Stoicism

Stoicism for Kids

How can we teach our kids some Stoic philosophy?

Stoicism has exploded in popularity over the past couple of decades. One of the questions I’m now asked most frequently, by teachers and parents, is whether there are any good resources available to help kids learn about Stoic philosophy. The answer is YES, although you may need helping finding them.

Basic Lessons

There are many aspects of Stoicism that you could discuss with children but it makes sense to start by focusing on some basic principles. You can demonstrate Stoic philosophy in action quite easily by using what psychologists call the “thinking aloud” technique. This is a form of “cognitive modelling” which lets you show your children how you, the parent, might use simple Stoic ideas to guide your own decisions. For example:

  • Some things are up to us and others are not, which you can demonstrate simply by asking of some challenging event “What aspects are up to me?” or “What can and can’t I control about this situation?”
  • It’s not things that upset us but rather our opinions about them, which you can model by asking “How might other people view this situation differently?” or “What would be a better way of looking at this whole thing?”

The Stoics taught that it’s better to lead by example than through books and lectures, although there’s a place for both. Kids can’t read your mind, though, so the “thinking aloud” technique can be a useful way to provide a window on your thought processes. That lets you model a healthy way of tackling a problem, which you’d like your kids to gradually learn. This should be done as naturally as possible, of course, so demonstrating a little bit at a time, over a long period, perhaps works best if you’re a parent or teacher.

Read the rest of this article on Medium…

Books Marcus Aurelius Philosophy of CBT Stoicism

Japanese Translation of The Philosophy of CBT

I’m honoured to announce that the Japanese translation of my book The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy will soon be available. Shota Fuji, the translator, and his colleagues, have worked hard to create this book, under the supervision of Dr. Kaito Towhata. Another of my books, How to Think Like a Roman Emperor, is currently available in Japanese, from CCC Media House.

Below is an interview I did with Echan Deravy, who was kind enough to translate the entire thing into Japanese.

The Japanese translation of How to Think Like a Roman Emperor, with cover design by manga artist Mari Yamazaki (Twitter).

Comic Comics Marcus Aurelius Stoicism

Stoicism Web Comics

Below you can read three sample web comics about the Stoic philosophy of Marcus Aurelius that I created with award-winning illustrator Zé Nuno Fraga. Each one links a passage in the Meditations with one of Aesop’s Fables. (Marcus mentions the Town Mouse fable in the Meditations.)

These web comics led to a much bigger project, our graphic novel Verissimus: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, available now from all good bookstores. See our publisher, St. Martin’s website for details of special offers available if you preorder.

Verissimus: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius

You can click on the web comic images to open them in a new window and should then be able to download them or zoom using your browser.

Books Comic Comics Marcus Aurelius Stoicism

Sample Pages from Verissimus

Flipping through the pages of Verissimus

These are photos of the final print version of Verissimus: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, our graphic novel, which is due for publication by St. Martin’s Press on 14th June in hardback and ebook formats. See the preorder promotion page for special offers if you order now.

News Stoicism

Ask Me Anything on the Stoicism Subreddit

Come and join us for an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on the Stoicism Subreddit, on 16th May from 10am EDT. I’ll be discussing Verissimus, my new graphic novel about Marcus Aurelius, among other things. Everyone is welcome!

Books Comics Marcus Aurelius Stoicism

Verissimus, the graphic novel

A superb graphic novel that provides stunning insights into one of the most interesting figures of antiquity, as well as into the philosophy that guided him throughout his life.

Massimo Pigliucci, author of How to Be a Stoic
Verissimus Cover Lightning

More info on where to order Verissimus is available from Macmillan, the publisher’s website. Also see listings in Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Comic stores can order Verissimus from the Diamond Previews World catalogue. Follow our Verissimus Facebook and Instagram pages for updates. Please contact us for podcast interviews and media requests.

About the Author

Donald Robertson is one of my favorite writers about Stoicism.

Ryan Holiday, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of The Daily Stoic

Donald Robertson is a cognitive-behavioural psychotherapist, who lives in Canada and Greece. He is the author of six books on philosophy and psychotherapy. His bestselling self-help book How to Think Like a Roman Emperor has been translated into eighteen languages.

Zé Nuno Fraga, who created the artwork, is an award-winning illustrator from Portugal. Kasey Pierce, who advised on the content, is an award-winning author and comic book editor.

Preorder Promotion

St. Martin’s are currently running a preorder promotion that means anyone buying Verissimus may be eligible for three different prizes.

Marcus and Commodus Verissimus

Sample Articles and Interviews

Donald has appeared on over 100 podcasts.

Japanese cover for How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by award-winning manga artist Mari Yamazaki.

Stoics Care Virtual Conference

❤️‍🔥 I’m speaking about Stoic philosophy and cognitive therapy at the “Stoics Care” virtual conference, which focuses on how #Stoicism teaches us to care wisely about the world around us. Registration is free. Come and join us.

Stoics Care Online Conference

Video: Talking about Stoicism

Socrates Stoicism Stoicism

Interview with Ward Farnsworth

Thought you might be interested in today’s latest article from The Plato’s Academy Centre, this new interview with Ward Farnsworth, author of The Practising Stoic and The Socratic Method.

…the Socratic style of thought is what our culture needs right now. It’s an antidote to social media and to the toxic state of our politics.

Ward Farnsworth

Ward talks in this interview about his love of the Socratic Method and the influence of Socrates on the Stoics. Read the Interview

You’ll find dozens of articles about philosophy and its modern applications now on our new website, which launched officially at the start of the year. If you’re interested, you can also find details of how to support us in our project to bring philosophy back to the grounds of the Plato’s Academy in Athens.

Finally, stay tuned for details, including program of speakers, coming very soon for our inaugural virtual conference in May this year!


Donald Robertson