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The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Paperback – 10 Jul 2012


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The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus + Letters from a Stoic: Epistulae Morales Ad Lucilium (Classics) + The Obstacle is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage
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Product details

  • Paperback: 56 pages
  • Publisher: RareBooksClub.com (10 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0217125158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0217125154
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 0.3 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 695,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Written in the mid second century by the philosopher Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Meditations presents a noble approach to life. Schooled in the classic tradition, Marcus Aurelius reflects the mature harvest of the Stoic school of philosophy. His philosophy is best summed up by the saying "Do not be too concerned, for tomorrow you die". Lest this sounds too bleak, the awareness of mortality motivates a good, noble and upright life. Since we all die, the best thing is to live nobly and honestly. This is not only the way to live well, but also the way to avoid suffering. Meditations is composed of aphorisms and insights from Marcus Aurelius that allow his philosophy to be lived out.

The translator, Gregory Hays, is assistant professor of classics at the University of Virginia. Hays provides a clearly written introduction in which he explains the philosophical influences on Marcus Aurelius as well as the political and familial pressures he experienced. The translation itself is crisp and lucid. The result is a handsome collection of short exhortations and aphorisms that encourage a noble, if stoical approach to life. Marcus Aurelius always sheds light on life, but that light is always dappled with shadow. There is no hope and little humour in Marcus Aurelius. In the end, his outlook is pessimistic, and he makes one realise how refreshing and unique the Christian virtues of faith, hope and charity really are. Nevertheless, Meditations is a cornerstone of the practical philosophy genre and this new translation will make up a vital part of a classic bookshelf. --Dwight Longenecker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Lots of good feedback on this wonderful book, including calls from Andrew Roberts and AC Grayling to say how much they are enjoying it. This is translating very well in to coverage. With radio features including FRONT ROW (BBC RADIO 4) on Wednesday 5 April which included not only a clip from the film Gladiator but also from the lovely Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs who wasa fan. And the producer says this generated the most calls they've had for along time, asking for further details of the book. THE VERB (BBC RADIO 3) included an interview with the translator Gregory Hays. "See the movie, read the book. Hard on the heels of Richard Harris's portrayal of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in Gladiator comes a new translation of that ruler's celebrated Meditations." JOAN SMITH, THE INDEPENDENT "Sparky and slangily readable, and for those who know Marcus only as the Richard Harris character in Ridley Scott's Gladiator, this is a chance to become better aquainted" BLAKE MORRISON, THE GUARDIAN We are expecting good review and thinkpieces including THE EVENING STANDARD, and THE OBSERVER with a feature in the DAILY MAIL tbc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul Bowes TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent pocket edition of one of the most famous and enduring works of classical philosophy. The 200 pages of text are divided into twelve books; each book consists of a series of musings or reminders to himself jotted down by the author perhaps over the course of ten years. Together they form a practical manual of self-conduct and a guide to dealing with others and the world that in many respects has simply not dated. The excellent translation (2003) by Gregory Hays gives us a Marcus Aurelius unobscured by old-fashioned English, and catches his tone perfectly: direct, unaffected, penetrating, stoical.

This Phoenix edition is genuinely pocket-sized. The reader who wants to know more will have to look elsewhere - there are no notes, and no bibliography or index. But these are not necessary to a first reading of the 'Meditations', one of the most lucid and readable books that has come down to us from the Roman period.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Thompson on 18 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Meditations is really just a great book. Gregory Hays is also a fantastic translator. His writing stays very lucid throughout and keeps things pretty straightforward.

However, the publisher, Phoenix, has left out all of the notes that Gregory Hays uses to clarify things throughout the text. This is EXTREMELY annoying. Why would you do this?

Regardless, I am looking forward to perusing this book during my travels. I suppose I will just have to eventually buy a different copy to get those notes.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By alaskadoggie on 23 July 2003
Format: Hardcover
Marcus Aurelius, the emperor-philosopher, ruled the immense Roman Empire from 161 untill 180. He is the last representative of the Stoa. In this book, also known by the name "Diaries of M.A.", written between 170 and 180 in his army camp, he reflects about his ideals and his doubts. In his meditations one can (constantly) very well distinguish the ideas of a living human being, a man ... ruled by the universe of the divine providence, where all men live as fellow citizens of the gods. With far more warmth than one may expect from a stoic, Marcus Aurelius emphasizes the social "duties" and the feelings of solidarity that originate of them.
Another ever-recurring motive is the personal liberty, freedom of the individual. This is quite normal because ALL DEPENDS on our judgments (in the sense of 'impression') of the circumstances. Very often WE SUFFER FAR MORE OF OUR JUDGMENT of something or of a situation that we consider "terrible", THAN OF THE SUBJECT ITSELF !! For example a poor constitution (of the body) and other adversities cannot/could NOT HAVE influence our own inner compass...
Top of the shelf literature, STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to ALL OF YOU!!
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By Mikhail on 1 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's amazing how thoughts and problems of people are staying the same independent of the times and social status
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived on time, as described. My favourite book in the world. Delighted. Thanks
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Still relevant after all those centuries.....
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By Jug Jug on 29 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love it, fantastic and inspirational.
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