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Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor and philosopher (121 – 180 AD)
We cannot understand the present, let alone look ahead, without knowledge of the past. Archaeology allows us to see ourselves from a long-term perspective. Archaeologists think in terms of millennia. They give us insight into processes of continuity and change.
In developing the permanent exhibition, we were especially inspired by the words of the emperor-philosopher Marcus Aurelius. The display documents human life from prehistoric times to the early Middle Ages. Cause-effect relationships are central to this chronological story.
Marcus Aurelius is widely regarded as a paragon of a fair and humane ruler. Between 170 and 180 AD, he stayed on the Danube, then an outer border of the Roman Empire. There, he wrote his Meditations, private reflections on his ideals and doubts, which he called ‘Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν’, roughly, ‘Notes to myself’. Here we read his inspiring words.