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Meditations Hardcover – 18 Jan 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 327 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Brown (18 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613827148
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613827147
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (327 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,613,539 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 the Paperback edition.

Review

Martin Hammond's translation of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, like his Iliad and Odyssey, is the work of an unusually gifted translator, and one who understands the value added by careful attention to supplementary material. He writes natural English, direct and often eloquent; the text is well supported by effective notes and a characteristically thorough and well-planned index; Diskin Clay supplies a useful introduction. This is a fine volume (Malcolm Heath Greece & Rome Journal)

Marcus is well served by this new translation. Hammond has a pithy turn of phrase to match the emperor's own . . . His notes abound in helpful explanation and illuminating cross-reference. Diskin Clay contributes a sparkling and sympathetic introduction. The combination of introduction, translation and notes is as good as they get (John Taylor Journal of Classics Teaching) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brilliant book, it will change your life for good. only wish I had of come across this book thirty years ago.
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Love this book. The Thoughts of a Roman Emperor, not a novel, but the actual thoughts and observations (assuming a reasonable transmission of manuscripts) .. totally fascinating and a book I often pick up and read through, a book for a lifetime. OK, perhaps not your average life, but still many of the observations can be just as useful or interesting today as then

Always such a pity we haven't got the autobiography of Augustus etc (unless they turn up someday in Ostia or elsewhere)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cheap and cheerful print quality but good for the price and can't fault this life-changing book.
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Technology is not natural but mans curiosity to create such things is. Why resent that which is natural to us? If everything that occurs is as nature prescribes then what is the point in riling and wailing against it?

This book is philosophical logic and pragmatism for life.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
For a 2000-year-old philosophy, stoicism has many applications to the modern day. 'Meditations' is a short book and not too difficult to read. I would recommend it to anyone interested in Ancient Rome (Aurelius was one of Rome's so-called four good emperors) or the stoic philosophy.

As an aside, I also started reading Krishnamurti's 'Think on These Things' at around the same time and I noticed some very interesting parallels between the two philosophies.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Learn to make tough sacrifices and face adversity. Thats it in a nutshell.
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By B on 21 April 2017
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Going to carry this around with me.
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The translation is superbly simple and easy to read, with a few unexpected vulgarities that make me wonder whether Marcus Aurelius had them in mind or if it was the translator's choice.

Definitely worth reading, whether you are attempting to apply Epictetus' Stoicism or just reading to feel comforted and consoled by an ancient who tried to overcome problems very similar to ours.
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