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on 2 December 2017
The original material is very interesting, and the translation and method of presentation is both accessible and pleasant.
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on 26 November 2017
great. thanks.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 2 June 2017
{NB. This is a review of the paperback Penguin Classics edition of the Hammond translation, not any other.}

To begin with, here are three disparate, virtually random quotes from this astonishing book of meditations, aphorisms, and the wisdom of years by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius {AD 121-180}:

A stone thrown in the air: nothing bad for it on the way down or good for it on the way up.

He who sees the present has seen all things, both all that has come to pass from everlasting and all that will be for eternity: all things are related and the same.

The Pythagoreans say, 'Look at the sky at dawn' ~ to remind ourselves of the constancy of those heavenly bodies, their perpetual round of their own duty, their order, their purity, and their nakedness. No star wears a veil.

That first one could easily be a zen koan, the second could be from the pen of Rumi, the third leaves me speechless before its haunting beauty and strangeness. They were written down {mainly for his own use} by a man schooled in the Stoic tradition, though his concerns and his compassion transcend mere Stoicism. The timelessness of his wisdom and often austere clarity of thought could be from almost any school in any age.
One could use this book as a guide through life, much as the Tao Te Ching or the Dhammapada, or even the Essays of Montaigne. {This is no Bible or Qu'ran; there is little if any dogma here.}
I have looked in a few editions of this much-translated work and, by a whisker, prefer the Penguin Classics edition, translated by Martin Hammond. He seems to reproduce the cool clarity and meditative concision of the passages. It is also a rather splendid paperback to own, with a suitably sober-looking detail from a sculpture of the emperor on the cover.
With its excellent introduction by American Classical scholar Prof. Diskin Clay, a chronology and full notes and index at the back, this is a book to treasure through life, and is so much more than some kind of smug 'self-help' guide or New Age 'you are the star of your own life' guff. This is a man who thought deeply, and gathered together ~ with no ideas of publication ~ his considered and meditated-upon thoughts and ruminations for, as it turned out, a lucky and grateful posterity.
One last quote:

That all is as thinking makes it so ~ and you control your thinking. So remove your judgements whenever you wish and then there is calm ~ as the sailor rounding the cape finds smooth water and the welcome of a waveless bay.

Never meant to be a book, nevertheless this has rightly become one of the world's great books, and a repository of clear-eyed, endless wisdom and, yes, beauty ~ surely the two qualities go together.

Essential reading for anyone with a pulse.
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on 2 December 2017
Amazing book! My only regret is not getting it years ago
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on 3 March 2017
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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on 16 June 2017
Great book. Broadens the mind and helps you find peace in what can be a hectic world in which we now live. Would recommend to anyone who enjoys something different from your everyday book. This can be picked up and read from anywhere giving an insight into a truly marvellous mind of Marcus Aurelius. I'm 24 years old and can relate to a lot of the stuff described, only downside is it is slightly tedious. Better to read it over a period of time instead of all together.
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on 9 April 2017
Cheap and cheerful print quality but good for the price and can't fault this life-changing book.
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on 6 March 2015
Classic
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on 29 March 2017
Though, as a Roman, his Stoic ideas were derivative, Aurelius expressed them so well his ideas have never gone out of fashion. E being.g. on life and mortality in one's own hands, "If the hut smokes, quit it."
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on 5 June 2016
beautiful
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