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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.
- 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
A word of caution
572 people found this helpful.
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
838 people found this helpful.
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
308 people found this helpful.
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
This is one of the best books I’ve ever read about anything
19 people found this helpful.
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.
My modern day bible
2 people found this helpful.
I had been anxious to read the work of Marcus Aurelius for quite a while. I had very favorable impressions of him from movies and what not.
13 people found this helpful.
I am not familiar with any other books by Hadot, but this one is phenomenal. He takes a rather terse subject and presents it in a very clear manner by breaking the philosophy down into three major components. He then dedicates a chapter to each component while giving many examples from Aurelius, but also, and this is one of the great parts, from Epictetus and Seneca. Hadot’s choice of the translations of the ancient works tend to be the more user friendly versions, if one reads reviews of different translations of Meditations on Amazon, one finds that some are horribly dry and complex. (i.e. poor translations exist)
This is a book everybody ought to read. And reread. But there are problems…..
6 people found this helpful.
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).
Easy, enjoyable read with practical insights.
3 people found this helpful.
The book is a little bit difficult to follow because the text is written as a long series of short statements, which are often rather disparate in their subject matter. Rather than a flowing story or thought, you are provided with an onslaught of often very short sentiments of value, purpose, and wisdom. I enjoyed the book and found the concepts simple and straight forward to apply to every day life. At the risk of perverting or desecrating this great work, I think it would be valuable to have it converted in to one of those “inspirational quote of the day” flip calendars. Someone get on that!
A timeless book
7 people found this helpful.
While I’ve not read any other translations of Meditations, I think that the Hays translation will be the easiest one for most people to read and understand, these days. It’s definitely written in a much more modern language that, while it’s not 100% the same thing that Aurelius wrote, Hays gets the point across effectively. You MUST read the lengthy introduction by Hays to help understand these types of linguistic liberties taken, and to also understand why there are particular omissions in the text itself.
Every human being should read
2 people found this helpful.
Stoicism is having a heyday recently it seems and it’s not hard to see why. No review of this work can do it justice, either it clicks or it doesn’t.