Meditations: with selected correspondence (Oxford World's Classics)

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9780199573202: Meditations: with selected correspondence (Oxford World's Classics)
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The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius is one of the best-known and most popular works of ancient philosophy, offering spiritual reflections on how best to understand the universe and one's place within it. In short, highly charged comments, Marcus draws on Stoic philosophy to confront challenges that he felt acutely, but which are also shared by all human beings--facing the constant presence of death, making sense of one's social role, grasping the moral significance of the universe. They bring us closer to the personality of the emperor, who is often disillusioned with his own status and with human activities in general; they are both an historical document and a remarkable spiritual diary. This translation by Robin Hard brings out the eloquence and universality of Marcus' thoughts. The introduction and notes by Christopher Gill take account of the most recent work on Marcus and place the Meditations firmly in the ancient philosophical context. A newly translated selection of Marcus' correspondence with his tutor Fronto broadens the picture of the emperor as a person and thinker.

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One measure, perhaps, of a book's worth, is its intergenerational pliancy: do new readers acquire it and interpret it afresh down through the ages? The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, translated and introduced by Gregory Hays, by that standard, is very worthwhile, indeed. Hays suggests that its most recent incarnation--as a self-help book--is not only valid, but may be close to the author's intent. The book, which Hays calls, fondly, a "haphazard set of notes," is indicative of the role of philosophy among the ancients in that it is "expected to provide a 'design for living.'" And it does, both aphoristically ("Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now take what's left and live it properly.") and rhetorically ("What is it in ourselves that we should prize?"). Whether these, and other entries ("Enough of this wretched, whining monkey life.") sound life-changing or like entries in a teenager's diary is up to the individual reader, as it should be. Hays's introduction, which sketches the life of Marcus Aurelius (emperor of Rome A.D. 161-180) as well as the basic tenets of stoicism, is accessible and jaunty. --H. O'Billovich

From the Back Cover:

The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus embodied in his person that deeply cherished, ideal figure of antiquity, the philosopher-king. His Meditations, written in moments snatched from military campaigns and the rigors of politics, reveal a mind of exceptional clarity and originality, and a spirit attuned to both the particulars of human destiny and the vast patterns which underlie it.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780486298238: Meditations (Dover Thrift Editions)

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Publisher: Dover Publications, 1997
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Pengui..., 2006
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9780679642602: Meditations: A New Translation (Modern Library (Hardcover))

Modern..., 2002
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9781420951103: Meditations

Digire..., 2015
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