Marcus Aurelius would probably have been remembered as a philosopher even if he had not gone into politics, a unique achievement.
At an early age, long before becoming the Emperor was even a remote possibility, Marcus embraced the philosophy of the stoics. It seems that from that time on he was first and foremost a philosopher and behaved accordingly even after he came to the throne. His Meditations, written in the winter campaigns on the Danube, are still popular today. Amazon offers several pages of differing editions of his work, all of which are frequently reviewed and which get almost universally positive ratings. He is quoted roughly once an hour on Twitter.