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Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor 161–180 CE, setting forth his ideas on Stoic philosophy. Marcus Aurelius wrote the 12 books of the Meditations in Koine Greek as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement. It is possible that large portions of the work were written at Sirmium, where he spent much time planning military campaigns from 170 to 180. Some of it was written while he was positioned at Aquincum on campaign in Pannonia, because internal notes tell us that the second book was written when he was campaigning against the Quadi on the river Granova (modern-day Hron) and the third book was written at Carnuntum. It is not clear that he ever intended the writings to be published, so the title Meditations is but one of several commonly assigned to the collection. These writings take the form of quotations varying in length from one sentence to long paragraphs.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 146 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 29, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1503280462
  • ISBN-13: 978-1503280465
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.8 ounces

Customer Reviews

It’s worth trying different translations

448 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:

A word of caution

159 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.

We haven’t changed.

14 people found this helpful.
 on March 3, 2017
By Amazon Customer
A great way to figure out that all of the technological advancements and greater understanding of nature has not changed man a single bit. We are still the same creatures we were 1,500 years ago.

Best translation I’ve found of a truly great guide to living

38 people found this helpful.
 on August 19, 2014
By Tone
There is so much argument over which translation is the best. I initially obtained the free version from project Gutenberg, but found it to be filled with too many embellishments from old English. I then looked at the modern Hays translation which many people seem to like, but found it to be too colloquial and it seemed to rob the text of its gravity. Finally I found gestalt with this penguin translation. It’s light and clear while retaining a classic grammatical style that lenses the text a feeling of heft and authority. I’ve read many books from stoic philosophers such as Seneca , Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius and there is always a tension in the translation between communicating efficiently and allowing the reader time to linger by breaking away from modern speech patterns. This version of meditations strikes just the right tone.

Meditations – 5stars

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

Excellent Edition of the Greatest Text Ever Written

14 people found this helpful.
 on July 9, 2016
By Chauncey
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.

An excellent edition of the ideas, thoughts and philosophy of Marcus Aurelius.

One person found this helpful.
 on May 13, 2017
By Joseph J. Truncale
It would be highly unusual for you to find any famous quote book without finding numerous contributions coming from Marcus Aurelius, who was a Roman Emperor (A.D. 121-180). He had many great teachers growing up and wrote this book (Meditations: A Dover thrift edition), which is “one of the world’s most famous and influential books.

He speaks to us all

4 people found this helpful.
 on March 2, 2017
By R S
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.

and Socrates is my great uncle and Thales is my grand father

16 people found this helpful.
 on March 7, 2017
By The M4chin3
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.

a superlative translation

357 people found this helpful.
 on August 25, 2010
By garwood
Other reviewers here have commented about the work itself, so I would just add a note about this specific translation.