One of the most educated Roman emperors and the last fighting Roman emperor was Marcus Aurelius. Marcus Aurelius is a philosopher whose ideas he set forth in his book “Meditations.” What is remarkable about the “Meditations” is that it is one of the first autobiographies ever written. In this book, Marcus Aurelius delineated the source of his self-improvement and guidance. While planning battles at Sirmium, in some of his military campaigns, he wrote this book and good enough, it was handed over to us as a good source of some of the ideas of one of the most educated emperors of the Roman Empire. The Meditations is largely divided into 12 individual books. He intended to write these books for himself as his guidelines in life. Since Marcus was a stoic philosopher and subscribed to its philosophy, his style is very straightforward and very simple, allowing his readers to readily identify with his writings.
Another example of a classic work which we may consider as autobiographical is that of St. Augustine—“Confessions.” It consists of 13 books written around the years 397 A.D. and 398 A.D. Though not a complete autobiography, the Confessions is considered as the first autobiography in the Western World. It definitely provides us a continuous record of the development of the mind of St. Augustine. Augustine followed a sequential outline in this work, starting from his infancy up to his conversion to Christianity. It is a good read for people who want to learn about the autobiographical works of ancient times.
Types of Autobiography
Autobiographies are usually classified into four different types:
- The first type is called thematic. The thematic autobiography is not merely an autobiography which gives us the sequential accounts of the life of a person. Thematic autobiography focuses on a particular theme and seeks to prove that theme throughout the whole work. Using facts culled from one’s daily life, the writer seeks to fashion out his autobiography with the view in mind of proving the truthfulness of his overarching theme. Hence, the autobiographer, from the onset, espouses a specific viewpoint, like a magnifying lens from which he would write down his life story.
- The second type is religious autobiography. Examples of this type of autobiographies are those of the “Confessions” by Augustine and the “Autobiography of Mother Theresa of Avila.” This type of autobiographies depicts the spiritual development of a person. Hence, the general flow of this autobiography is focused more on how the consciousness of a person attained a certain level of spiritual growth.
- The third type is the intellectual which focuses more on how a person has evolved his/her mental faculties. Hence, this type of autobiography depicts the educational progress of a person, the institutions and persons that molded his consciousness, and the intellectual maturity he/she was able to attain. You can readily visit http://www.autobiographme.com/ – Autobiography example to get more examples of these types of autobiographies.
- The last type is fictional autobiography. The fictional autobiography is a kind of autobiography which intertwines fictional techniques and real facts in life. It makes use likewise of drama, dialogue, conflict, and other descriptive details.