This is one of my favorite persons from history (another would be Alexander the Great); in a similar way as others like Jesus or Mohammed; in a time where people hold crazy weird discussions about who is better I say:
He is known as one of the last good emperors of Rome.
A bust of Marcus Aurelius as a young boy (Capitoline Museum). Anthony Birley, Marcus' modern biographer, writes of the bust: "This is certainly a grave young man (personally: I say; it is just a statue but I do believe that if you have a face next to the text it helps create a bond with that piece of text AND that person).
In April 132, at the behest of Diognetus, Marcus took up the dress and habits of the philosopher: he studied while wearing a rough Greek cloak, and would sleep on the ground until his mother convinced him to sleep on a bed.
Marcus' adoption diverted him from the typical career path of his class. If not for his adoption, he probably would have become triumvir monetalis, a highly regarded post involving token administration of the state mint; after that, he could have served as tribune with a legion, becoming the legion's nominal second-in-command. Marcus probably would have opted for travel and further education instead. As it was, Marcus was set apart from his fellow citizens. Nonetheless, his biographer attests that his character remained unaffected: "He still showed the same respect to his relations as he had when he was an ordinary citizen, and he was as thrifty and careful of his possessions as he had been when he lived in a private household."
By the age of twenty-five (between April 146 and April 147), Marcus had grown disaffected with his studies in jurisprudence, and showed some signs of general malaise. His master, he writes to Fronto, was an unpleasant blowhard, and had made "a hit at" him: "It is easy to sit yawning next to a judge, he says, but to be a judge is noble work." Marcus had grown tired of his exercises, of taking positions in imaginary debates. When he criticized the insincerity of conventional language, Fronto took to defend it. In any case, Marcus' formal education was now over. He had kept his teachers on good terms, following them devotedly. It "affected his health adversely", his biographer writes, to have devoted so much effort to his studies. It was the only thing the biographer could find fault with in Marcus' entire boyhood.
Bust of Lucius Verus(co-emperor of Marucs Aurelius), Metropolitan Museum of Art
“If it is not right, do not do it, if it is not true, do not say it.” Marcus Aurelius