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Meditations
     

Meditations

4.2 66
by Marcus Aurelius, Maxwell Staniforth (Translator)
 

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The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (AD 121-180) embodied in his person that deeply cherished ideal figure of antiquity, the philosopher-king. His Meditations, written in moments snatched from military campaigns and the rigors of politics, reveal a mind of exceptional clarity and originality, and a sprit attuned to both the particulars of human destiny

Overview

The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (AD 121-180) embodied in his person that deeply cherished ideal figure of antiquity, the philosopher-king. His Meditations, written in moments snatched from military campaigns and the rigors of politics, reveal a mind of exceptional clarity and originality, and a sprit attuned to both the particulars of human destiny and the vast patterns which underlie it.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Here, for our age, is [Marcus’s] great work presented in its entirety, strongly introduced and freshly, elegantly translated.” —Robert Fagles

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143036272
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/16/2005
Series:
Penguin Great Ideas Series
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
266,989
Product dimensions:
4.35(w) x 7.08(h) x 0.54(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Book One

1. Courtesy and serenity of temper I first learnt to know from my grandfather Verus.

2. Manliness without ostentation I learnt from what I have heard and remember of my father.

3. My mother set me an example of piety and generosity, avoidance of all uncharitableness - not in actions only, but in thought as well - and a simplicity of life quite unlike the usual habits of the rich.

4. To my great-grandfather I owed the advice to dispense with the education of the schools and have good masters at home instead - and to realize that no expense should be grudged for this purpose.

5. It was my tutor who dissuaded me from patronizing Green or Blue* at the races, or Light or Heavy† in the ring; and encouraged me not to be afraid of work, to be sparing in my wants, attend to my own needs, mind my own business, and never listen to gossip.

• The colours of the rival charioteers in the Circus. Roman enthusiasm for these races was unbounded; successful drivers earned large fortunes and became popular idols.

† In one form of gladiatorial combat (the ‘Thracian’) the opponents were armed with light round bucklers; in another (the ‘Samnite’) they carried heavy oblong shields.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“The emperor Marcus Aurelius, the proverbial philosopher-king, produced in Greek a Roman manual of piety, the Meditations, whose impact has been felt for ages since. Here, for our age, is his great work presented in its entirety, strongly introduced and freshly, elegantly translated by Gregory Hays for the Modern Library.”
—Robert Fagles

Meet the Author

Marcus Aurelius was Roman Emperor from 161 to 180. He ruled with Lucius Verus as co-emperor from 161 until Verus' death in 169. He was the last of the "Five Good Emperors", and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers. During his reign, the empire defeated a revitalized Parthian Empire; Aurelius' general Avidius Cassius sacked the capital Ctesiphon in 164. Aurelius fought the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatians with success during the Marcomannic Wars, but the threat of the Germanic tribes began to represent a troubling reality for the empire. A revolt in the east led by Avidius Cassius failed to gain momentum and was suppressed immediately. Marcus Aurelius' work Meditations, written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration. The meditations serve as an example of how Aurelius approached the Platonic ideal of a philosopher-king and how he symbolized much of what was best about Roman civilization.

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Meditations 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 66 reviews.
JWL More than 1 year ago
After reading this book I felt very inquisitive. A lot of the topics discussed by Marcus were topics in which we do not discuss often in philosophy. I had to do some outside research on topics such as "logos" and "stoicism". Overall, this was one of the most fascinating readings I have picked up in a long time. It was thrilling to read the writings of Marcus and to get an inside feel towards his life and philosophies regarding life. I honestly would recommend this book to any student of philosophy, who is looking to gain an intricate perspective regarding early philosophy. The only caution I would address in this book is the fact that Marcus Aurelius appears a little on the dark side of things. While reading his meditations you will find that he, at time, was slightly sinister in his thought; however, I do believe that he never thought they would get published. I am under the impression he believed his meditations would be personal, and for his eyes alone to read. Overall, this is a tremendous read, and I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a conservative politician with a deep respect for the republic, religion and the call of duty above self this remarkable thin book has been a great inspiration. The book was writen by Marcus, one the best emperors Rome knew, about 1,800 years ago The true begining of the book is 'Book II': ' ...I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men.' are the opening line. Marcus hits you hard with just how difficult it is to rule in a just manner. How does one get up each morning and look into the unfathomable chaos that wants to be and attempt to make 'good and right' of it? This is the goal of this great man. How should we live in order to accomplish this? How should we behave? How to we look upon and deal with those that attempt to bring this chaos? This book is excellent reading for anyone who has an interest in political leadership and I don't mean the 90% of elected officials that are in it for personal gain or vanity. This book is also excellent reading for anyone who has an interest in supporting a political leader because by reading this book you will learn to recognize what true leadership is and the way in which a true leader behaves. This is a wonderful thin little book that you will reflect on for a long, long time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent insight into the mind of a thoughtful Roman emperor in the age just after Christ. It appears he was not influenced much by Christianity, yet many of his Stoic observations are secularly parallel to Christian theology. This book was an unpretentious collection of philosophical observations that remind me of just how similar mankind's thought, hopes, concerns, etc. remain down the Ages.
Pengiun222 More than 1 year ago
This is a great book from way back that is filled with wisdom and suggestions on how to live right and harmoniously. I would reccomend this to book everyone.
Truejabber More than 1 year ago
The content is timeless and anyone interested in leading a meaningful life should read it. Unfortunately the formatting from MobileReference stinks; not any better than the free versions available, and was sometimes very difficult to read. This was disappointing since I have purchased other classic ebooks done by them which were fine. Content ***** Formatting *
AllenAS More than 1 year ago
This is a good book to read and understand the position and thought of ancient philosopher, specially, The emperor and head of the state. It is good start to become familiar with one of the oldest class of thinking "Stoicism" But is much better to read the life of emperor Marcus Aurelius first to know him and his position at the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great read to mull over
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manirul01 More than 1 year ago
Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!
manirul01 More than 1 year ago
Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!
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Avelee More than 1 year ago
I have the paperback version and really wanted one on my nook, which can also be read on my iPad through the nook app. I need the Martin Hammond translation as that is what we are using in class. Though the paperback is that of Martin Hammond, the nook book version is not. I wish I was informed of this before I purchased it, the cover is completely different in my nook library because it is a different book. If I would have paid more than $.95 I would be much more upset, but I do not appreciate false advertising. I know this is most likely a technical issue, but it needs to be fixed. I usually spend at least $10 on school-related nook books (not textbooks). It makes me want to switch to the kindle, where I can pay with my checking account and am not limited to credit cards.
AdamZ1 More than 1 year ago
I pick up this book and reread selections whenever I'm feeling depressed. Time and time again the book reminds you that life is fleeting, but Aurelius' approach to this truth is different than our modern "so make the most of it" attitude. Instead, he focuses on the fact is itself, on the insignificance of life, so as to make a person with context. You'll have to read the book to understand what I mean.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Exactly what I was looking for!
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