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Without the book cover or title, Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations can pass for an 18th century manuscript; it reads like a modern religious text. Robin Hard’s translation is a masterpiece in clarity and conciseness.
Meditations is a private and self-addressed journal of Marcus Aurelius, a Roman emperor around 161AD. The journal is written mostly during his military campaign in Germany. This particular edition of Meditations is divided into twelve books and includes a selection of private letters between Marcus Aurelius and his mentor, Fronto.
One of the central themes of Meditations is finding one’s place in the universe, as a living being with a purpose. As one of quotes in Meditations illustrates:
“Early in the morning, when you find it so hard to rouse yourself from sleep, have these thoughts ready at hand: Why, then, am I so irritable if I am going out to do what I was born to do….Do you not see how the little plants,….the spiders, the bees, each do their own work and play their part in the proper running of the universe? And will you, then, for your part, refuse to do the work of a human being?”
You may not be able to breeze through Mediations like you do other books. The book is full of difficult sayings that compel deep thoughts. Meditations is for thinkers and for anyone who wants to see human existence from a Stoic point of view.
Publisher: Oxford World Classics
Published Date: Thu 15th Sep 2011
|Meditations (Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics)|