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The Meditations MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged

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Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc; Unabridged edition (28 Dec. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400165490
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400165490
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 18.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,211,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By weiver on 18 Mar. 2013
Format: MP3 CD Verified Purchase
Had heard a copy of this by a different reader which I found more easy to listen to. It is a very interesting philosophical work but how it is read impacts greatly on your understanding. Probably not easy to read aloud as it is not a story and so does not flow as such.
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By robert morgan on 29 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
excellent book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 59 reviews
62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Memoirs of an Amazing Leader 27 Sept. 2010
By Nick - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When it comes to Stoic philosophy, Marcus Aurelius is second to Epictetus in the discussion of avoiding the indulgence of emotion. However, Aurelius' "Meditations" is different simply because it's the first leadership memoir based on Stoic philosophy.

The book is raw - it seems that these were never going to be published, so it had a bluntness to it and an honesty rare for a military leader, let alone one of the best Roman Emperors in history. He was a spiritual man, and tried to rationalize his duties. It lacks rhetorical flourish but it's honest.

I don't know if the book stands alone as a philosophical work, but it is an interesting work about self improvement, duty and service. Despite his reputation as a "philosopher king," the book remains a valuable book in leadership and history.

The Kindle version itself is pretty well laid out with ample enough notes and historical background on Aurelius himself to help you better understand the man himself. His notes range in length from a few sentences to multiple pages, so there's no real orderly format to the book (to me, this makes it more appealing.)

Since the Kindle version is free, give it a try. You'll find yourself better for it.
100 of 106 people found the following review helpful
Great book, bad Kindle file 28 Mar. 2011
By Karl Janssen - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
(Just to be clear, the Meditations is a five-star book. My two-star rating applies only to this Kindle edition.)

Marcus Aurelius, emperor of Rome, may be the closest mankind has ever come to producing the philosopher king that Plato envisioned in The Republic. A reluctant ruler and a reluctant warrior, much of his reign was spent in battle, defending the frontiers of the empire from the "barbarian" hordes. Fortunately for us, he carried a notebook along on his military campaigns, and thus we have the Meditations. Marcus's writings reveal him to be the last and greatest of the classical Stoics. Stoicism is a school of thought that asserts we have no control over our lives, only control over our perceptions. It advocates that the best life is the life that is lived in accordance with nature (not "nature" as in grass and trees, but "nature" as in the order of the universe). By concentrating one's thoughts and choices on what is good and virtuous, and disregarding the unimportant distractions of everyday life (even life and death are said to be neither good nor bad, but "indifferent"), we can avoid negative emotions like fear, anger, grief, and frustration, and live a life of happiness and tranquility. That's an oversimplification, of course. If you really want to know what Stoicism is and how it works read Epictetus or Seneca. What Marcus provides us with are the reflections of a man who studied and lived the Stoic life, and was its ultimate exemplar. Even if you don't buy into Stoicism, or have no interest in Philosophy with a capital P, you can still find inspiration and solace in the Meditations, as Marcus instructs us in dealing justly with others, overcoming emotional hardship, living life to the fullest by overcoming the fear of death, and resigning oneself to the insignificance of man in the universe.

The Meditations are divided into twelve books. Each book contains anywhere from 16 to 75 numbered paragraphs, ranging in length from a sentence to a page. The paragraphs are arranged without regard to sequence or subject matter. This haphazard method of compilation is really the book's only flaw. What the Meditations has always needed is a good index, but I've never found a volume that has one.

The Kindle edition that's offered for free on Amazon, which is the same as the one downloadable from Project Gutenberg, contains one major flaw. There is an interactive table of contents which allows you to click on the twelve books; that's fine. Following that, however, there is another clickable table of contents that lists the first line of every paragraph in the Meditations. That's a wonderful idea, in theory, but in practice it's a major pain. This extended table of contents is written as one long page of links, so it takes forever to load. You spend minutes staring at a blank screen waiting for the type to show up, then minutes more until you can actually move your cursor. Sometimes the screen saver kicks in before you even get to that point. I wish someone would go into the file and break that table up into twelve separate pages so it might actually be useful. In this edition there are no notes to the text, other than a few translator's notes. Unless you know a heck of a lot about ancient Rome and Stoicism, notes are pretty necessary for a book like this. There's a small glossary of proper names, and an appendix of correspondence between Marcus and his teacher Fronto. I like having a portable copy of the Meditations on my Kindle, but this is one case where the e-book is no substitute for a paper edition.
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
I found his meditations fascinating 14 May 2010
By Jeffrey Van Wagoner - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I love history, philosophy, and religion. This book covered all three subjects and kept my interest. It is not often that you get a philosopher emperor to write down his thoughts, but this is what happened here. You have a man who by all accounts was a great leader and a good man and we get to see what was important to him and what his underlying assumptions were about life.

His values are quite universal. For example, he values self-mastery, and doesn't like complainers. As an engineer, I enjoyed hearing about how he thought things worked. Many are out of date, but several are what we would consider accurate.

I got a better feel for Stoicism from his discussions and it helped me understand how the Romans thought prior to adopting Christianity. He did make a disparaging comment about the Christians; he thought they were fanatics that didn't work well with others. I noticed from history that he was involved in their persecution in Gaul.

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in philosophy. It got me thinking and sparked more interest in Marcus Aurelius.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Classic of Personal Reflection Literature 6 Feb. 2011
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor from the second part of the second century AD. He is considered the last of the five "good emperors," and he ruled around the time of empire's greatest extent. However, even in his own time many cracks that were later to undermine the entire political and social structure of the empire were becoming visible. The Roman world was experiencing constant turmoil, from triumphant victories on the battlefield to internal strife and constant civil disturbances. Many citizens of the empire sought some semblance of stability and meaningfulness amidst all these uncertainties, resorting to various new religious movements or to philosophical schools of thought. One of these schools of philosophy - Stoicism - enjoyed a significant following with the Roman elite. Marcus Aurelius was probably the most prominent example of this trend, and comes closest to a Platonic ideal of philosopher-king.

"Meditations" were written in Greek (the language of learning and education at the time) during several military campaigns between 170 AD and 180 AD. They were intended as personal reflections on various aspects of one's life, the values that one has espoused, and the way that these have played out in the real world situations. These are quintessentially personal musings that don't aim to establish or further the Stoic school of thought, even thought they are firmly based in this philosophical tradition. Nonetheless, it is this straightforward genuineness coupled with an easy and accessible style that has made "Meditations" into a classic. By reflecting on them we can appreciate the timelessness of some fundamental human concerns and gain a greater insight into the human condition that transcends even our own metaphysical outlooks. At the very least we realize that we have much more in common with the 2nd century Roman emperor than we had ever thought to be the case.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Worst book production ever 23 Oct. 2010
By J. DEHAAN - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This edition was slapped together using the modern inventions of optical character recognition and just-in-time one-off printing (the day I ordered it). But nobody bothered to review, let alone edit, the result! Let me share a few of the many "gems". The following is exactly as it appears in the book.

- From the cover: "...Marcus Aurelius was Emperor of Rome from 121 to 180." On the first page: "Marcus Aurelius Antonius was born on April 26, A.D. 121." Note: he became emperor in 161.
- On page 62: "That rational essence that doth govern it, bath in itself no cause to do evil. It bath no evil in itsell."
- On page 99: "The sun seemeth to be shed abroad. And indeed it is diffused but not effused. For that diffusion of it is a [-r~Jo-tc] or an extension. For therefore are the beams of it called [~i-~m,~] from the word [~KTEIVEO-Oa,,] to be stretched out and extended."

Do yourself a favor and pay a little more for an edition that benefited from a flesh and blood editor who actually cared about quality.
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