THE MEDITATIONS of MARCUS AURELIUS (Special Nook Edition): The Most Influential Philosophy Reflections of All Time MARCUS AURELIUS THE MEDITATIONS Complete Unabridged Authoritative Edition [Featured in The Fall of the Roman Empire and Gladiator] [NOOK Book]

THE MEDITATIONS of MARCUS AURELIUS (Special Nook Edition): The Most Influential Philosophy Reflections of All Time MARCUS AURELIUS THE MEDITATIONS Complete Unabridged Authoritative Edition [Featured in The Fall of the Roman Empire and Gladiator]

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Overview

THE MEDITATIONS of MARCUS AURELIUS
(Special Nook Edition)

The Most Influential Philosophy Reflections of All Time

MARCUS AURELIUS | THE MEDITATIONS
Complete Unabridged Authoritative Edition

[Featured in The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton]


ABOUT THE MEDITATIONS

Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor 161–180 AD, setting forth his ideas on Stoic philosophy.

Marcus Aurelius wrote the 12 books of the Meditations as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement.

The Meditations is divided into twelve books that chronicle different periods of Marcus's life. Each book is not in chronological order and it was written for no one but himself. The style of writing that permeates the text is one that is simplified, straightforward, and perhaps reflecting Marcus's Stoic perspective on the text. Depending on the English translation, Marcus's style is not viewed as anything regal or belonging to royalty, but rather a man among other men which allows the reader to relate to his wisdom.
A central theme to "Meditations" is to analyze your judgement of self and others and developing a cosmic perspective. As he said "You have the power to strip away many superfluous troubles located wholly in your judgement, and to possess a large room for yourself embracing in thought the whole cosmos, to consider everlasting time, to think of the rapid change in the parts of each thing, of how short it is from birth until dissolution, and how the void before birth and that after dissolution are equally infinite". He advocates finding one's place in the universe and sees that everything came from nature, and so everything shall return to it in due time. It seems at some points in his work that we are all part of a greater construct thus taking a collectivist approach rather than having a individualist perspective. Another strong theme is of maintaining focus and to be without distraction all the while maintaining strong ethical principles such as "Being a good man".

His Stoic ideas often involve avoiding indulgence in sensory affections, a skill which, he says, will free a man from the pains and pleasures of the material world. He claims that the only way a man can be harmed by others is to allow his reaction to overpower him. An order or logos permeates existence. Rationality and clear-mindedness allow one to live in harmony with the logos. This allows one to rise above faulty perceptions of "good" and "bad".


EXCERPTS

If thou art pained by any external thing, it is not this that disturbs thee, but thy own judgment about it. And it is in thy power to wipe out this judgement now.

A cucumber is bitter. Throw it away. There are briars in the road. Turn aside from them. This is enough. Do not add, "And why were such things made in the world?"

Soon you'll be ashes or bones. A mere name at most—and even that is just a sound, an echo. The things we want in life are empty, stale, trivial.

Never regard something as doing you good if it makes you betray a trust or lose your sense of shame or makes you show hatred, suspicion, ill-will or hypocrisy or a desire for things best done behind closed doors.

Not to feel exasperated or defeated or despondent because your days aren't packed with wise and moral actions. But to get back up when you fail, to celebrate behaving like a human—however imperfectly—and fully embrace the pursuit you've embarked on.

Take away your opinion, and there is taken away the complaint, [...] Take away the complaint, [...] and the hurt is gone

Do not act as if thou art going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over thee. While thou livest, while it is in thy power, be good.

Do not then consider life a thing of any value. For look at the immensity of time behind thee, and to the time which is before thee, another boundless space. In this infinity then what is the difference between him who lives three days and him who lives three generations?

When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can't tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own—not of the same blood or birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine.
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Editorial Reviews

Bill Clinton
The Meditations is my favourite book.
D.A. Rees
Unendingly moving and inspiring.
Gilbert Murray
As much intensity of feeling...as in most of the nobler modern books of religion, only [with] a sterner power controlling it. People fail to understand Marcus, not because of his lack of self-expression, but because it is hard for most men to breathe at that intense height of spiritual life, or, at least, to breathe soberly.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Marcus Aurelius (26 April 121 – 17 March 180 AD), was Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD. 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' Stoic tome 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.

Marcus Aurelius acquired the reputation of a philosopher king within his lifetime, and the title would remain his after death; both Dio and the biographer call him "the philosopher". Christians—Justin Martyr, Athenagoras, Melito—gave him the title too. The last named went so far as to call Marcus "more philanthropic and philosophic" than Pius and Hadrian, and set him against the persecuting emperors Domitian and Nero to make the contrast bolder. "Alone of the emperors," wrote the historian Herodian, "he gave proof of his learning not by mere words or knowledge of philosophical doctrines but by his blameless character and temperate way of life."

The 1964 movie The Fall of the Roman Empire and the 2000 movie Gladiator featured characters based on him. Both plots posited that Marcus Aurelius was assassinated because he intended to pass down power to Aurelius's adopted son, a Roman general, instead of his biological son Commodus.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2012

    Brilliant, one of the most profound books ever written. The Med

    Brilliant, one of the most profound books ever written. The Meditations is a book which every person should read at least once a year.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 13, 2013

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