Meditations

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Penguin, 1964 - Conduct of life - 187 pages
14 Reviews
Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote his famous "Meditations" during his campaigns against the barbarian invaders. Composed among the reeds and mists of the swampy Danube, his private journals record the passing thoughts, maxims, and musings on life and death of a sensitive and humble mind trained in the Stoic philosophy which, to a certain extent, anticipated the development of Christianity. Philosophy was both a religion and a guiding force for Marcus Aurelius. His is a transitional phase of thought in Stoic philosophy, where diffidence and willingness to recognize failure have replaced assurance and self-sufficiency. Instead of the Stoic virtue of pride Marcus Aurelius appears to anticipate Christian humility.
  

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I found the introduction helpful. This is the first translation I read--and I find myself going back to it.
Because of the nature of the material parts of Meditations will always remain cryptic
and untranslatable.
It would be helpful for people to know:
Marcus Aurelius wrote (and probably thought) in Greek. Because that is a language rich in expression and nuance it can lend itself well to express complex thought but requires greater demand of translator(and reader).
Meditations was a private journal not meant for posterity.
 

Selected pages

Contents

INTRODUCTION
7
THE HYMN OF CLEANTHES
29
TRANSLATORS NOTE
31
BOOK 1
35
BOOK 2
45
BOOK 3
53
BOOK 4
63
BOOK 5
77
BOOK 6
91
BOOK 7
105
BOOK 8
121
BOOK 9
137
BOOK 10
151
BOOK 11
165
BOOK 12
179
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About the author (1964)

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was born to an upper-class Roman family in A.D. 121 and was later adopted by the future emperor Antoninus Pius, whom he succeeded in 161. His reign was marked by a successful campaign against Parthia, but was overshadowed in later years by plague, an abortive revolt in the eastern provinces, and the deaths of friends and family, including his co-emperor Lucius Verus. A student of philosophy from his earliest youth, he was especially influenced by the first-century Stoic thinker Epictetus. His later reputation rests on his Meditations, written during his later years and never meant for formal publication. He died in 180, while campaigning against the barbarian tribes on Rome's northern frontier.

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