Known for his philosophical interests, Marcus Aurelius was one of the most respected emperors in Roman history. He was born into a wealthy and politically prominent family. Growing up, Marcus Aurelius was a dedicated student, learning Latin and Greek. But his greatest intellectual interest was Stoicism, a philosophy that emphasized fate, reason, and self-restraint. Discourses, written by a former slave and Stoic philosopher Epictetus, had a great deal of influence over Marcus Aurelius.