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The Meditations: Confessions of a Roman Opium-Eater? I doubt it, but it appears the last of the Good Emperors liked a bit of opium: Ten Historical Figures Who Used Opium.

Marcus Aurelius was never a physically strong man. However, being emperor of Rome, he was expected to lead his army. Because of his frailness, he was often sick from various ailments, and the cold bothered him most. He could barely eat during the daytime and was said to only eat at night, eating very little even then. To combat his sickness, Aurelius’s physician Galen prescribed him a medicine called theriac. It apparently worked, because Aurelius could endure the rigors of war as a result.

Of course, the drug that Aurelius received was opium. According to records by Galen, Aurelius couldn’t take the drug in the daytime because it made him too drowsy, but he took it every night because he couldn’t sleep without it. At the very least, he doesn’t seem to have been hopelessly addicted to opium, since he managed to write Meditations during this time. He most likely only used the drug as a painkiller and sleeping aid.