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Marius the Epicurean is a philosophical novel written by Walter Pater, published in 1885. In it Pater displays, with fullness and elaboration, his ideal of the aesthetic life, his cult of beauty as opposed to bare asceticism, and his theory of the stimulating effect of the pursuit of beauty as an ideal of its own. The principles of what would be known as the Aesthetic movement were partly traceable to this book; and its impact was particularly felt on one of the movement's leading proponents, Oscar Wilde, a former student of Pater at Oxford. (Summary from Wikipedia)