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Meditations (Dover Thrift Editions) [Kindle Edition]

Marcus Aurelius
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Stirring reflections on the human condition from a warrior and emperor provide a fascinating glimpse into the mind and personality of a highly principled Roman of the 2nd century. Recognizing that suffering is at the core of life, he counsels stoic detachment in the face of inevitable pain, loss and death.

Editorial Reviews


“Here, for our age, is [Marcus’s] great work presented in its entirety, strongly introduced and freshly, elegantly translated.” —Robert Fagles

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Latin

Product Details

  • File Size: 962 KB
  • Print Length: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (March 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008TVLRU4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,253 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
220 of 225 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book of practical philosophy ever written December 1, 1998
By A Customer
The style is direct and unpretentious. The message is simple but extraordinarily powerful: life is short, the past and the future are inaccessible, pain and pleasure have no meaning, but inside each one of us there is a ruling faculty that is touched only by itself. Only that which makes us better capable of confronting our condition with resolution and courage can be said to be good, and only that which makes us worse and more unsatisfied can be said to be bad. The only thing that is of any importance is our own private quest for perfection, which no external power can ever destroy. Marcus Aurelius delivers many insightful and inspirational observations about human nature and the human condition, and he makes an excellent rational argument for seeking the good and for acting modestly and continently. I cannot think or a more satifying and moving work, and it is all the more poignant because it was written by a man who wielded almost absolute power and lived surrounded by the luxury, yet managed to keep things in perspective and to occupy himself only with what truly matters. One sentence captures perfectly the spirit of his writings: "Where a man can live, there he can also live well." An extraordinary testimony of wisdom and fortitude.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy that pulls no punches August 20, 1998
By A Customer
My first exposure to Marcus Aurelius was "Silence of the Lambs" (when Hanibal Lector quotes Aurelius to Clarice). I was intrigued. After reading Meditations, I was even more intrigued, and started buying copies for my friends. I have read Nietzche, Plato, Sartre. But this book tells it like it IS. Aurelius did not shy away from discussing topics we find too embarrassing today: from death to sex, perversity to honesty. This small volume is PACKED with life-giving, refreshing wisdom. And the price??? An unbelievable value.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful-a friend in dark times November 2, 1999
By A Customer
I love Marcus. He is noble, sensitive, and trying his best to live right despite being emperor and stuck leading an army near the Danube. A great soul, a friend, someone who understands all you have suffered. Indispensable.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Little Dry, But Great August 31, 2003
This edition of Marcus Aurelius' 'Meditations' is an excellent rendition of what may be the most profound book of insight meditation ever written. It is an updating of George Long's venerable 1862 translation, with long sentences untangled and thee's and thou's modernized to you's . At first I found it a little dry and underemphatic, but as I continued reading, I became thoroughly engaged by its clarity and precision. As a literal reading, the Dover edition is a lot more readable than Loeb's Haines translation, and more direct than Staniforth's Penguin edition. And at this price, you almost can't afford not to have it. 'Meditations' really can help you be a better person.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prescient+Powerful Completely Relevant 2500 yr Philosophy February 11, 1999
By A Customer
I found this book so powerful, I was moved to memorize large parts of it.
Each paragraph, while following a theme of the section, is completely relevent in itself.
The book can be picked up and read from any page and any paragraph, and the user will need no context to the previous paragraph, and will find each paragraph sufficient unto itself.
The book accomplishes this by driving, in pure and unadulterated form and words, the main theme quickly and directly to the reader.
Accerpt from memory:
"Let it be thy earnest and Incessant Care as a Roman and Countryman to do whatever it is that thou are about with true and unfeigned gravity, natural effection, freedom and a sense of justice. As for all the other cares and imaginations, how shalt thou ease thy mind of them ? Which thou shalt do, if though shall go about every action as though it were thy last, free from all vanity and self love....."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars like turning base metal into pure gold November 26, 2014
In many important ways, the reflections of Marcus Aurelius (121-180) crystalize the philosophical wisdom of the Greco-Roman world in a diary written to himself whist emperor fighting a war out on the boarder of the Roman Empire, a little book know to us as The Meditations.

The Roman philosophers are not as well knows or as highly regarded as Greek philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus or Zeno the Stoic - and for a simple reason: the Roman thinkers were not primarily interested in abstract theory; rather, they were concerned with behavior, that is, understanding how to live in the everyday world and putting their understanding into practice; the goal being to live the life of an authentic philosopher, to be a person of high character and integrity, to develop inner strength and a quiet mind and value such strength and quietude above all else. Indeed, to accomplish such a lofty goal, the Romans realized the need for radical transformation, a complete overhauling of one's life through rigorous mental and physical training, like turning base metal into pure gold. And once a person takes on the role of a philosopher, their deeds must reflect their words - no hypocrisy, thank you! Thus, it isn't surprising the Romans put a premium on memorizing and internalizing simple proverbs and maxims and employed the metaphor of philosophy as the medicine to cure a sick soul.

Turning now to Marcus Aurelius, we can appreciate how he imbibed the wisdom not only from the Stoics (along with Seneca and Epictetus, Marcus is considered one of the three major Roman Stoics), but he was also willing to learn from the schools of Epicurus, Plato and Aristotle. In the Greco-Roman world, being an eclectic was perfectly acceptable; truth was valued over who said what.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it. I read it in like a week
I loved it. I read it in like a week. I did not read it for a class, I bought it for fun, and I really enjoyed reading it.
Published 22 hours ago by Omar Alayoubi
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It's a book full of proverbs, essentially.
Published 8 days ago by GMAN
4.0 out of 5 stars The Meditations never fail to calm me down.
The Meditations are always effective philosophy in these "worst of times". However, I was not too pleased with this translation.
Published 11 days ago by Cassandra
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a guide on how to be a better human being
Don't let its size fool you - this book has more substance to it than most textbooks. It's a guide on how to be a better human being, from a truly unique perspective. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Jabber
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Only 100 pages, but takes a very long time to read. The content is extremely thought provoking. A classic!
Published 16 days ago by Scott Pelkowski
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
everyone should read this
Published 16 days ago by Andrew W. James
5.0 out of 5 stars Advice from a virtuous man and Emperor of Rome.
This is a translation of the writings of Marcus Aurelius Verus, a Stoic-type who is sometimes called "The last of the good emperors" of the Roman Empire. Read more
Published 19 days ago by JonPittsburgh67
5.0 out of 5 stars Friends, Countrymen, Lend Me $1
Timeless essays on human character and such. Seminal framework. Probably the greatest thing ever purchased for $1.
Published 23 days ago by BigCityChicken
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is one of those few philosophies that are so great that it...
Very few things can withstand the test of time - especially ways of thinking.

This book is one of those few philosophies that are so great that it will never lose its... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Ian
5.0 out of 5 stars Bed side volume for life.
This is one of the books I wanted to accompany me trough out my life and one that I want to read and re-read and meditate on it. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
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