Amazon Price: $4.00 $4.00 (as of December 11, 2018 12:23 pm –
One of the world's most famous and influential books, Meditations, by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 121–180), incorporates the stoic precepts he used to cope with his life as a warrior and administrator of an empire. Ascending to the imperial throne in A.D. 161, Aurelius found his reign beset by natural disasters and war. In the wake of these challenges, he set down a series of private reflections, outlining a philosophy of commitment to virtue above pleasure and tranquility above happiness.
Reflecting the emperor's own noble and self-sacrificing code of conduct, this eloquent and moving work draws and enriches the tradition of Stoicism, which stressed the search for inner peace and ethical certainty in an apparently chaotic world. Serenity was to be achieved by emulating in one's personal conduct the underlying orderliness and lawfulness of nature. And in the face of inevitable pain, loss, and death — the suffering at the core of life — Aurelius counsels stoic detachment from the things that are beyond one's control and a focus on one's own will and perception.
Presented here in a specially modernized version of the classic George Long translation, this updated and revised edition is easily accessible to contemporary readers. It not only provides a fascinating glimpse into the mind and personality of a highly principled Roman of the second century but also offers today's readers a practical and inspirational guide to the challenges of everyday life.
- Series: Dover Thrift Editions
- Paperback: 112 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications (July 11, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 048629823X
- ISBN-13: 978-0486298238
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
A word of caution
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
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:
and Socrates is my great uncle and Thales is my grand father
I am sincerely pissed that I was not provided a copy of this as a kid growing up. I have devised a work around to the whole “Not growing up with a father figure” issue. I have decided that Marcus Aurealis is my actual father, and Socrates is my great uncle and Thales is my grand father. I realize this sounds nutty to read but I honestly feel more in common with these thinkers then the absent XY chromosome donor.
Excellent Edition of the Greatest Text Ever Written
First, do we all recognize that the author of this text, Marcus Aurelius, was a Roman Emperor? If so, why have I not been forced to read this from a young age? This is quite possibly the most insightful, existential book I’ve ever read. Emperor Aurelius has given us wisdom in its purest form. This should be a manual for every human’s life. Every sentence is mind-numbingly profound. This book is so good, that I might just have the entire text tattooed on my body. I cannot stress enough that the sagacity of this book is beyond what I have ever read. Definitely a must-read and a must-live-by.
This is one of the best books I’ve ever read about anything
You could go your whole life reading the Meditations and Seneca’s letters and still not understand Stoicism the way Hadot can teach you in 300 pages. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read about anything; it is a true masterpiece and a shame that so few people will ever read it. Do yourself a favor and dive in.
This is a book everybody ought to read. And reread. But there are problems…..
There are a lot of translations of the Meditations out there and most of them are very difficult to read. This is because the translators are doing their best to provide the reader with a translation that is faithful to the original language, which was, I believe, Ancient Greek (which seems kind of odd, considering he was a Roman).
He speaks to us all
This is a book you don’t read in 4-5 hours cover to cover and move on. It’s a philosophy. I reread passages, and am on chapter/book 3 right now. Learn and apply. Tame yourself and conquer the world. Excellent book, timeless. He speaks to us all.
One of the Greatest Stoic Philosophers
A hard read, though it is only 93 pages (the Meditations themselves, excluding introduction and notes). Do not however, concern yourself with the stylistic choices of the translation, though at times it may be confusing or simply bland. You cannot blame the translator for translating the Meditations, and you cannot blame Marcus for writing his journal his way, without ever believing anyone else would read it, for that does not matter. I have no criticism, simply I point out this book is not a light read.
Might as well enjoy life
There are many self-help books, but this is more about (what SHOULD be) common sense and little things to remember throughout your days.
Printed new to fulfill my sale.
This translation, by George Long in 1862, although older, is easier to read and comprehend than many newer translations. This includes, in my opinion, the Dover Thrift Edition that is an updated version of this Long translation. It’s a great price to have as your first, primary or supplemental addition of this amazing work.