• Marcus Aurelius Meditations
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Amazon Price: $23.00 $18.40 You save: $4.60 (20%). (as of November 17, 2017 8:37 pm – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Few ancient works have been as influential as the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and emperor of Rome (A.D. 161–180). A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus’s insights and advice—on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others—have made the Meditations required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style. For anyone who struggles to reconcile the demands of leadership with a concern for personal integrity and spiritual well-being, the Meditations remains as relevant now as it was two thousand years ago.

In Gregory Hays’s new translation—the first in thirty-five years—Marcus’s thoughts speak with a new immediacy. In fresh and unencumbered English, Hays vividly conveys the spareness and compression of the original Greek text. Never before have Marcus’s insights been so directly and powerfully presented.

With an Introduction that outlines Marcus’s life and career, the essentials of Stoic doctrine, the style and construction of the Meditations, and the work’s ongoing influence, this edition makes it possible to fully rediscover the thoughts of one of the most enlightened and intelligent leaders of any era.

Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library (May 14, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679642609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679642602
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces

Customer Reviews

A word of caution

337 people found this helpful.
 on July 23, 2016
By Nom de Bloom
Amazon lumps different translations together as merely variations on how the book is delivered. In this case, the Hays translation is the hardcover, while the authors who translated the paperback and Kindle versions aren’t specified. So use the tools available (look inside, free sample) to get an idea of the language used by the author and see if it’s something you’d like to read, or if a different translation suits you better.

It’s worth trying different translations

609 people found this helpful.
 on September 25, 2013
By davidhmorgan
I don’t know who did the translation for this one but I found it very difficult to follow. This prompted me to look around and I found another translation by George Long (Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus 1862). Even though it’s not a recent translation, Long’s version is often easier to understand. Compare the translations of the first paragraph for example:

Meditations – 5stars

180 people found this helpful.
 on May 11, 2014
By Alex
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

As someone who’s engaged in a similar journaling practice for …

 on October 15, 2017
By Todd X
As someone who’s engaged in a similar journaling practice for 15-years, I partly read it to sniff for similarities….as far as could possibly exist between myself and a Roman emperor! I was surprised to find quite a few. Beyond that, this is of course a classic that’s full of timeless self-awareness and wisdom. Sometimes it’s hard to keep in mind that these were written as a journal; when he says “you”, he was speaking of himself. I periodically found myself having to check and adjust the perspective.

Excellent !

2 people found this helpful.
 on November 10, 2014
By CascadeMike
This is a collection of thought provoking and uplifting paragraphs and bullet points by one of Rome’s greatest emperors. Each section provides perfect reading for a quiet moment. Each section can be reread profitably, and should be considered carefully. The ideas are simple, but profound.


2 people found this helpful.
 on January 5, 2017
By Alfonso Rojas Alvarez
One of the most consequential books you can read in your lifetime. Marcus Aurelius’ stoicism is not only a set on thoughts, but a reminder of the struggles that virtuous life presents, even at the highest levels of power. The introduction is also very well done, providing a clear historical and philosophical guideline to understand better each of the sections of the book. In general, you shouldn’t miss this book, ever.

New Translation

8 people found this helpful.
 on May 3, 2011
By Marshall Crutcher
The Meditations was the first philosophy book I randomly pulled of my parents’ shelves when I was a boy of 12. It was a marvel for me, with the short paragraphs of advice and humble insights from a Roman emperor writing by lamplight in his campaign tent. It seemed penned directly to me from over 2000 years ago. Magic. The irony of my adolescent romance with a stoic has amused me since, but there is some logic to it, as I was then starting to manage my own thinking and hormones at the same time while looking for form and guidance from the word outside my immediate family. The paragraphs were short, and I was inspired that I had discovered this dusty old book, so I could excavate my youthful way through the older, stiffer translation.

This is a classic for a reason.

One person found this helpful.
 on February 24, 2017
By Billy Rubin
This is a classic for a reason. I didn’t like it at first because I blew through it. Later I picked it up again and read it slowly to give it time to sink in. I’m glad I did.

A Stoic Primer

 on November 10, 2017
By John D.
The journal of the Emperor who learned from the stoics how to comport oneself that still has validity in modern situations. There are some parts of the book that didn’t translate well or that had some difficult to understand phrasing but generally a worthwhile examination of how to deal with others and be true to yourself. Well worth the investment of time.