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The Meditations of Marcus Auerlius: Selections Annotated & Explained (SkyLight Illuminations) Paperback – September 1, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

George Long (1800–1879) was a British classical scholar. He held professorships in Greek and Latin at the University of London and the University of Virginia. His translation of Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius was published in 1862 and is considered the gold standard of Aurelius translations.



Russell McNeil, PhD, is a popular lecturer on the classics. He has been a columnist and commentator in newspaper, radio and television, and is founder and Web editor of Malaspina Great Books series, one of the largest Web resources for classic literature. He is a former professor at Malaspina University-College in British Columbia.

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Product Details

  • Series: SkyLight Illuminations
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: SkyLight Paths; 1 edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594732361
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594732362
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,178,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Suzie on December 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have read numerous self-help books over the years, as well as several books on the pursuit of happiness, but none have ever spoken to me the way this book has. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius brings Marcus Aurelius back to life. The annotations are well explained which make the meditations easy to understand. This is a must read for anyone who is in search of a better quality of life.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Pimentel on September 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is written in contemporary American English, so it's easier to read than George Long's original translation. The annotations helped me understand the passages/verses better and were insightful.

At the end of the book in the Notes section, I beg to differ with McNeil when he writes that Aurelius' would be pro-Karl Marx and sympathetic to the Communist cause if Aurelius were alive today. Moreover, he writes about the evils of Capitalism, and why Aurelius would naturally reject it. The section is heavily slanted in favor of Communism in my opinion. You can read it, and form your own opinion about it. I feel that McNeil's belief that Aurelius would be a Communist if he were alive today, better reflects Russell McNeil's own political proclivities rather than that of Aurelius, and should not have been included in the book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By michael gose on May 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have already read Russell McNeil's The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius three times. The time was very well spent. McNeil brings Aurelius alive with wisdom, perspective, timeliness. Frankly, I am ordinarily annoyed by annotations and explanations, but in this case they are indispensable to the reading, and do the Aurelius selections full justice. It felt like McNeil was "channeling" Aurelius, that the additional commentary would have been what Aurelius would have added. Want to live a better life? McNeil has brought us Aurelius' still authentic and relevant answers.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Haspert on August 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read the Great Books of The Western World version of "Meditations" and found it interesting but challenging, because Aurelius repeats himself, but not exactly. Discussions of and comments on the same topic were scattered throughout the text. I kept thinking, "Wait, didn't he say something similar but differing enough to notice, somewhere in the last 80 pages?" Is he paraphrasing himself or making a subtle distinction?

So, McNeil's sorting Aurelius's words by topic was exactly what I wanted. For each topic in the table of contents, McNeil has gathered up relevant quotes and presented his commentary on the facing page. An excellent plan!

McNeil has a political axe or two to grind, but don't let that bother you.
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