The definitive annotated translation of Marcus Aurelius's Meditations
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was the sixteenth emperor of Rome -- and by far the most powerful and wealthy man in the world. Yet he was also an intensely private person, with a rich interior life and deep reservoirs of personal insight. He collected his thoughts in notebooks, gems which have come to be called his Meditations. Never intended for publication, the work survived his death and has proved an inexhaustible source of wisdom and one of the most important Stoic texts of all time. In often passionate language, the entries range from essays to one-line aphorisms, and from profundity to bitterness.
Marcus wrote to console himself in the face of the shortness of life, the shoddiness of the world, and the challenges of being human. He asks the very same questions that every thinking person must ask themselves today: Does the universe have a moral purpose, and what is my role in it? What exactly is it to be a good person, and how do I get there? Life is short: what does that mean for me? How can I get to know myself better? Anyone who is puzzled by such questions or searching for answers will profit from this timeless book, which is both an important historical document and a personal spiritual diary.
This annotated edition will be the definitive translation of this classic and much-beloved text, with copious notes that will illuminate one of the greatest works of popular philosophy for new readers and enrich the understanding of even the most hardcore Stoic.
Marcus Aurelius reigned from 161 AD to 180 AD - perhaps the only true philosopher-king in the history of the world. In his MEDITATIONS, a series of notes to himself, he formulated his pantheist Stoic beliefs with a passionate religious conviction. The MEDITATIONS were written day by day, in every situation including war. They often appear to be responses to the stress of supreme power, from the imminent fear of death in battle, to the trials of everyday life.