Of Fame. Take a look at the minds of her suitors, their ambitions and their aversions. Furthermore, reflect how speedily in this life the things of today are buried under those of tomorrow , even as one layer of drifting sand is covered by the next.
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 7:34
Why the hell was this statue of Marcus Aurelius a) erected? And b) still standing?
Clearly, it wasn’t anyone who completely understood even a sliver of what Marcus was about. And I’m going to guess that if Marcus could be recomposed somehow or even reanimated with virtual reality holograms or some shit, he’d rock up to the statue in Rome, stare at it bemusingly for a minute and then do something to it like this:
I’m going to say that he’d actually be a little pissed off with it too. Marcus was a man of inner resilience, tranquility and benevolence. A man with an unwavering mind, a virtuous soul and a willingness to improve himself and his fellow man. That statue is just some lifeless, mindless, soulless, dumbass piece of metal shaped to look like a human man person guy (in this case, Marcus). He cared shit for legacy, exaltation or immortalisation through statues, art or other forms of remembrance. That dumbass piece of scrap metal in no way represents anything he stood for, and in fact would be an insult to him (had he felt insults) if he could see it now.
Sidenote: He probably wouldn’t be thrilled with the horse either. Even the duty his horse performed almost 2000 years is now undermined and devalued compared to anything his statue-y counterpart can now do.