M. Aurelius became emperor of Rome when his adoptive father died. He was, by and large, a just man and a wise ruler, with the glaring exception that he persecuted the Christians during his reign. He became an adherent of the Stoic school of philosophy at a young age. In his 'Meditations,' M. Aurelius urges and seeks to persuade the reader to view life through a Stoic lens.
I did not enjoy the 'Meditations' as much as the 'Golden Sayings' of Epictetus. M. Aurelius was not nearly as pithy as Epictetus, and he went on at considerable length (i.e., I found his book somewhat tedious and repetitive). I would recommend the 'Golden Sayings' over the 'Meditations.'