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1. Meditations
2. Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius
3. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius:
4. The Essential Marcus Aurelius
5. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
6. Marcus Aurelius: A Life
7. The Emperor's Handbook: A New
8. The meditations of Marcus Aurelius
9. Meditations - a Little Flesh,
10. Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
11. The Apology, Phaedo and Crito
12. Meditations
13. Marcus Aurelius (Loeb Classical
14. HARVARD CLASSICS: The Apology,
15. Marcus Aurelius: A Biography
16. The History of Roman Literature
17. Marcus Aurelius: A Life
18. Meditations
19. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
20. The Spiritual Teachings of Marcus

1. Meditations
by Marcus Aurelius
Paperback: 172 Pages (2009-02-02)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$6.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1438509480
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Marcus Aurelius was Emperor of Rome from 121 to 180.Marcus Aurelius believed that human happiness arises in part from man's acceptance of his duties and responsibilities.He believed that one should accept calmly what cannot be avoided and perform one's duties as well as possible.From the introduction " By the irony of fate this man, so gentle and good, so desirous of quiet joys and a mind free from care, was set at the head of the Roman Empire when great dangers threatened from east and west.For several years he himself commanded his armies in chief. In camp before the Quadi he dates the first book of his Meditations, and shows how he could retire within himself amid the coarse clangour of arms.The pomps and glories which he despised were all his; what to most men is an ambition or a dream, to him was a round of weary tasks which nothing but the stern sense of duty could carry him through.And he did his work well. His wars were slow and tedious, but successful. With a statesman's wisdom he foresaw the danger to Rome of the barbarian hordes from the north, and took measures to meet it. As it was, his settlement gave two centuries of respite to the Roman Empire; had he fulfilled the plan of pushing the imperial frontiers to the Elbe, which seems to have been in his mind, much more might have been accomplished. But death cut short his designs."Amazon.com Review
One measure, perhaps, of a book's worth, is its intergenerational pliancy: do new readers acquire it and interpret it afresh down through the ages? The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, translated and introduced by Gregory Hays, by that standard, is very worthwhile, indeed. Hays suggests that its most recent incarnation--as a self-help book--is not only valid, but may be close to the author's intent. The book, which Hays calls, fondly, a "haphazard set of notes," is indicative of the role of philosophy among the ancients in that it is "expected to provide a 'design for living.'" And it does, both aphoristically ("Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now take what's left and live it properly.") and rhetorically ("What is it in ourselves that we should prize?"). Whether these, and other entries ("Enough of this wretched, whining monkey life.") sound life-changing or like entries in a teenager's diary is up to the individual reader, as it should be. Hays's introduction, which sketches the life of Marcus Aurelius (emperor of Rome A.D. 161-180) as well as the basic tenets of stoicism, is accessible and jaunty.--H. O'Billovich ... Read more

Customer Reviews (130)

1-0 out of 5 stars Worst book production ever
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.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Reading When You're Tired of the Bible
I find Marcus Aurelius to be a wholly likeable guy. Maybe he would have made a great president today. Who knows. Maybe he was a jerk and this book was just a PR effort in those days of empire.

I find it remarkable that a man's wisdom from centuries back can dovetail in a world full of facebook narcissists and text messaging hollow-brains. His reflections on life and leadership give much to think about. Makes a good follow up to Machiavelli's Il Principe.

3-0 out of 5 stars CONFUSED over the 2002 edition by Hays
I am looking for a review on the 2009 edition not the 2002 edition by Hays.The reviews on the page of the 2009 edition relate to the 2002 edition.This includes the offical Amazon review.

Any input on the 2009 edition?

2-0 out of 5 stars meditations
I really like Marcus Aurelius and his meditations, but I really did not like this interpretation. The author uses words like "hath" and "feareth". These meditations were originally written in Greek and this book was published in 2009, so I don't see any good purpose for the pontificating classical English interpretation. And such a translation warrants a warning of some kind. "This material is an inaccurate contextualization of the original work, which suggests a time and place disconnected from the actual time and place the author lived in. The original work has been interpreted using a language style foreign to both, the original author and the modern reader". That being said, it may really appeal to Shakespearean junkies.

This is NOT the Hays 2002 translation and edition.The mistake is Amazon's, evidently, not the booksellers':the Amazon summary refers to the Hays 2002 translation, although the image is different.Amazon and the booksellers need to clear this up! ... Read more

2. Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius
by Emperor of Rome Marcus Aurelius
Paperback: 98 Pages (2010-03-07)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$18.00
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Asin: 1153727862
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The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Readers; Rome (Italy); ... Read more

3. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius: Selections Annotated and Explained
by Russell McNeil
Paperback: 288 Pages (2007-09-30)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$11.55
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Asin: 1594732361
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Stoicism is often portrayed as a cheerless, stiff-upper-lip philosophy of suffering and doom. Yet as experienced through the thoughtful and penetrating writings of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-180 CE), the Stoic approach to life is surprisingly rich, nuanced, clear-eyed and friendly.

With facing-page commentary that explains the texts for you, Russell McNeil, PhD, guides you through key passages from Aurelius's Meditations, comprised of the emperor's collected personal journal entries, to uncover the startlingly modern relevance his words have today. From devotion to family and duty to country, to a near-prophetic view of the natural world that aligns with modern physics, Aurelius's words speak as potently today as they did two millennia ago.

Now you can discover the tenderness, intelligence and honesty of Aurelius's writings with no previous background in philosophy or the classics. This SkyLight Illuminations edition offers insightful and engaging commentary that explains the historical background of Stoicism, as well as the ways this ancient philosophical system can offer psychological and spiritual insight into your contemporary life. You will be encouraged to explore and challenge Aurelius's ideas of what makes a fulfilling life--and in so doing you may discover new ways of perceiving happiness. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not just a markup
I've read the Great Books of The Western World version of "Meditations" and found it interesting but challenging, because Aurelius repeats himself, but not exactly. Discussions of and comments on the same topic were scattered throughout the text. I kept thinking, "Wait, didn't he say something similar but differing enough to notice, somewhere in the last 80 pages?" Is he paraphrasing himself or making a subtle distinction?

So, McNeil's sorting Aurelius's words by topic was exactly what I wanted. For each topic in the table of contents, McNeil has gathered up relevant quotes and presented his commentary on the facing page. An excellent plan!

McNeil has a political axe or two to grind, but don't let that bother you.

4-0 out of 5 stars Marcus Aurelius -- Poster Boy for the Communist Manifesto?
The book is written in contemporary American English, so it's easier to read than George Long's original translation.The annotations helped me understand the passages/verses better and were insightful.

At the end of the book in the Notes section, I beg to differ with McNeil when he writes that Aurelius' would be pro-Karl Marx and sympathetic to the Communist cause if Aurelius were alive today. Moreover, he writes about the evils of Capitalism, and why Aurelius would naturally reject it.The section is heavily slanted in favor of Communism in my opinion. You can read it, and form your own opinion about it. I feel that McNeil's belief that Aurelius would be a Communist if he were alive today, better reflects Russell McNeil's own political proclivities rather than that of Aurelius, and should not have been included in the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Timely Meditations
I have already read Russell McNeil's The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius three times.The time was very well spent.McNeil brings Aurelius alive with wisdom, perspective, timeliness.Frankly, I am ordinarily annoyed by annotations and explanations, but in this case they are indispensable to the reading, and do the Aurelius selections full justice.It felt like McNeil was "channeling" Aurelius, that the additional commentary would have been what Aurelius would have added.Want to live a better life?McNeil has brought us Aurelius' still authentic and relevant answers.

5-0 out of 5 stars An awesomebook!
I have read numerous self-help books over the years, as well as several books on the pursuit of happiness, but none have ever spoken to me the way this book has. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius brings Marcus Aurelius back to life. The annotations are well explained which make the meditations easy to understand. This is a must read for anyone who is in search of a better quality of life. ... Read more

4. The Essential Marcus Aurelius (Tarcher Cornerstone Editions)
by Jacob Needleman, John Piazza
Paperback: 144 Pages (2008-01-10)
list price: US$10.00 -- used & new: US$2.90
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Asin: 1585426172
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This inaugural-and all new-Tarcher Cornerstone Edition presents a stunningly relevant and reliable translation of the thoughts and aphorisms of the Stoic philosopher and Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, properly placing the philosopher-king's writings within the vein of the world's great religious and ethical traditions.

The late antique world possessed no voice like that of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-180 CE). His private meditations on what constitutes a good life have withstood the centuries and reach us today with the same penetrating clarity and shining light as the words of Shakespeare, Emerson, or Thoreau.

In this remarkable new translation, bestselling religious philosopher Jacob Needleman and classics scholar John P. Piazza have retained the depth of Marcus's perspective on life. They have carefully selected and faithfully rendered those passages that clarify Marcus's role as someone who stood within the great religious and ethical traditions that extend throughout every culture in human history. The voice that emerges from their translation is a universal one, equally recognizable to students of Christ, Buddha, the Vedas, the Talmud, and to anyone who sincerely searches for a way of meaning in contemporary life. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars forever good
Marcus Aurelius book is an absolute classic! it is a tribute to the Greek Stoic thought with its clarity, honesty, and nobility!
Helpful and precious to read when faced with everyday life's people and circumstances and the thought of death.
The translation is fine and simple, the introduction too ( some parts are repeated) and the edition is easy to read and carry. The star that is missing corresponds to the part of the book that has not been translated and was omitted.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Essential Marcus Aurelius

Can be used as a companion to 'Lost Christianity' and also to other books by
Jacob Needleman.

5-0 out of 5 stars Universal significance
Marcus Aurelius' Meditations is among the most popular works to survive from antiquity. In the introductory 30 pages of The Essential Marcus Aurelius, Jacob Needleman and John Piazza provide the historical setting and background information so that the reader can gain a better understanding of the 12 books (chapters) of Aurelius' meditations. The passages chosen are intended to convey the universal significance of Aurelius' writings for people in all walks of life. The meditations will make the reader pause and think, as they are an inner exploration about problems and questions of life. We find that humans are basically the same, even almost 2,000 years later, for he wrote about situations that many of us ponder. Even an emperor of the huge Roman Empire had to grapple with problems and had questions about life.

-- Alice R. Berntson, New Connexion Journal

4-0 out of 5 stars Ancient wisdom for modern goodness
This book is an amazing treatise on traditional wisdom and what it is to live a "good" life. There are marks of ancient philosophies from around the world and practical knowledge from a man whom many consider to have greatly impacted the course of history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Marcus Aurelius offers his wisdom, so take it
The Essential Marcus Aurelius is a short book, broken up into shorter blurbs. It's perfect to pick up anytime and gain a small piece of advice that can go a long way or to sit down and read and ponder... ... Read more

5. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
by Marcus Aurelius Antonius, George Long
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-11-30)
list price: US$0.99
Asin: B002ZCYCF0
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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FROM my grandfather Verus I learned good morals and the government of my temper.

From the reputation and remembrance of my father, modesty and a manly character.

From my mother, piety and beneficence, and abstinence, not only from evil deeds, but even from evil thoughts; and further, simplicity in my way of living, far removed from the habits of the rich. From my great-grandfather, not to have frequented public schools,and to have had good teachers at home, and to know that on such things a man should spend liberally.... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Daily Dose of Philosophy
Open this book at any page, read a line or two and take the daily dose of ancient philosophy through your day with you. That's the way I read Marcus, anyway. ... Read more

6. Marcus Aurelius: A Life
by Frank McLynn
Hardcover: 720 Pages (2009-08-11)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$10.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0306818302
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Marcus Aurelius (121–180 AD) is one of the great figures of antiquity who still speaks to us today, more than two thousand years after his death. His Meditations has been compared by John Stuart Mill to the Sermon on the Mount. A guide to how we should live, it remains one of the most widely read books from the classical world.

But Marcus Aurelius was much more than a philosopher. As emperor he stabilized the empire, issued numerous reform edicts, and defended the borders with success. His life itself represented the fulfillment of Plato’s famous dictum that mankind will prosper only when philosophers are rulers and rulers philosophers.

Frank McLynn’s Marcus Aurelius, based on all available original sources, is the definitive and most vivid biography to date of this monumental historical figure.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on the "best-ever Roman emperor"
Frank McLynn has written an excellent book, in my opinion, on the "best-ever Roman emperor" (his quotes although I agree after reading this book).For anyone interested in the Roman empire, this is a must read book.It is much more than a book on philosophy although it uses a couple of chapters to lay out Marcus Aurelius' philosophy and analyzes his book, Meditations.It also compares Marcus with a number of philosophers over the years and comes to the conclusion that he is a rare "man for all ages" since he is that rare breed of man who was a "soldier, statesman and writer".In this final chapter, he compares Marcus with many individuals over the years from Cardinal John Henry Newman to U.S. Grant.(I especially liked the comparison to Grant because he also was a statesman, soldier and a writer, and good, in my opinion at all three like Marcus Aurelius.)

He calls Marcus Aurelius the best-ever Roman emperor in spite of at least two main failings: (1) his pick of Commodus (probably the worst-ever Roman emperor), and (2) his persecution of the Christians.The conclusion that comes to this is made over a couple of chapters when comparing him to Caesar, Trajan, Hadrian, Augustus, etc.I won't get into the details of that because that would make this review too long, and is a major reason for a student of Roman history to buy this book.

The other reason to buy this book is the excellent review of the history of the Roman empire prior to Marcus' reign (coverage of Hadrian and Antonius Pius) through the horrible reign of Commodus.As many students of Roman history recognize, the reign of Marcus Aurelius was one of almost continuous warfare.The battles with the Germanic tribes is covered better than any other book that I have read of this period.Also, many students of Roman history recognize that a "plague" hit Rome during Marcus' reign.According to the book, and based upon the analysis of Galen, the best physician of the period, this plague was probably smallpox.This plague killed millions and, according to the book, was a major reason for the decline of the Roman Empire.

The book goes through the plague and the wars and other reasons why the empire declined after Marcus' reign, including the horrible reign of Commodus and the follow-up impact.As the book stated, in a direct quote from Churchill, this was "the end of the beginning" of the Roman empire.From here, it was all downhill and the book does the best job that I have read of explaining why, including the facts that the economy of the Roman empire was built on slavery and continual conquest (and the financial impact of taking the assets of the conquered nation).

For all these reasons, I highly recommend this book, although it is long, 537 pages, and at times can be somewhat monotonous.However, especially for the student of Roman history, it is worth the read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Uneven Reading Experience
A decent biography that could have been pared down by about 200 pages, Marcus Aurelius, A Life, covers it all, in addition to tangents in which the author appears to fluff the volume up a bit. When describing events of Marcus' reign(and even those of Hadrian, Antoninus, and Commodus), the reading for me was enjoyable, but the sections on philosophy, religion, and their respective founders and leaders were exhaustingly dry and verbose. On turning a page during these chapters, I groaned inwardly at the walls of text greeting me and fought off the urge to skip ahead to Avidius Cassius' rebellion. The book ends with a comparison between Marcus and some latter day philosophers like Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, and others complete with little mini-bio's which are also despensable.
I found McLynn's interpretation of events and motives interesting and certainly plausible, but would recommend Anthony Birley's biography far above this one.

4-0 out of 5 stars A detailed--and solid--biography of the philosopher-emperor
Plato, in his "Republic," spoke of the value of the philosopher-king, arguing that that government would be best which was headed by philosophers, who understood "truth." If so, then Marcus Aurelius should have been one of the great rulers of his era. This book explores, in considerable detail and with a broad scope, his philosophy, his life, and his rule.

He was designated as a future ruler by Hadrian, to follow what was expected to be a short reign by Antoninus Pius (who was rather elderly when he took the throne)--who, however, lived quite some time. Thus, Marcus Aurelius became emperor (actually, co-emperor) at an age older than otherwise expected.

The book is good at providing context. At the outset, McLynn notes the importance of this work (Page xi): ". . .the only voice that still seems to have contemporary relevance is that of the man who ruled the Roman empire from 161-180 AD." He also observes that (Page 9): "We continue to use the tag 'Marcus Aurelius' for a ruler who is wise." Then, he discusses the Roman economy (including the role of slaves, which was not altogether positive in its impact on the economy) and government. Given the importance of the emperor Hadrian, the book spends some time discussing his rule and the effects of his exercise of power. Hadrian was a hard person, willing to "take out" those whom he thought might endanger his rule. McLynn refers to him as a "very dark character." Indeed, one characteristic of this volume, and one that sometimes becomes obtrusive, is his running commentary and highly judgmental comments in the middle of his narrative. Personally, I would have preferred his analysis to come at the end. On the other hand, the reader as always aware of the author's perspective, and that has its own merit.

The childhood and early adulthood of Marcus Aurelius is well described, including his education, his belief in Stoicism, and his experience with the world of Roman politics. Hadrian designated Marcus to become emperor, and the volume describes the logic nicely. Under the emperorship of Antoninus, Marcus was kept in Rome, involved in administrative tasks. He was never really trained or developed any experience with respect to war and command of the Roman legions. Thus, he had to learn while doing later on (although he did reasonably well in command of his forces, generally good generals to assist him. We learn of his family life and of his son, the horrific Commodus, one of the most wretched of emperors (well described in the text). Indeed, some judge Marcus Aurelius negatively for having such faith in a son who turned out so vilely.

Upon his accession (with a mediocrity as co-emperor), Marcus set about the task of keeping the empire on solid footing. There were many challenges. The economy was beginning to creak, and this he stage for future deterioration. His effort to link philosophy with rule is touched on, showing the great challenges facing a philosopher who would be king. He did not like the spectacles of Rome, but had to fund them to keep the people happy, for instance. War fi8nally broke out to the north and east, and he performed pretty well as commander-in-chief--against the Germans and others who wished to break free from Roman rule.

McLynn sometimes seems to wander back and forth in judgment of Marcus' rule. Sometimes, he seems to note that he never lived up to his promise; at other times he observes that he did about as well as anyone could, given the emerging problems of the empire. The last chapter does a very solid job of putting Marcus Aurelius in a larger context.

All in all, if one be interested in Marcus Aurelius the person, the philosopher, and the emperor, this book would be well worth reading. . . .

2-0 out of 5 stars ~Waste of Time~
This book is a complete waste of time!There is really little known about Marcus Aurelius and to pretend for 700 pages that there is really makes for a poor read and poor analysis.Like another reviewer stated just because you pluck a random quote from the meditations doesn't give your point any validity. It just seems like the author painted a picture of how he wanted Aurelius to be and not how he might have been which is a big difference.All in all I would recommend buying the meditations of Marcus Aurelius the Gregory Hays translation which has a well written introduction that will give you a more accurate biography than this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars A life, and so much more. And a doorstop, too!
I have to admit that I felt a bit intimidated by Frank McLynn's Marcus Aurelius: A Life.At 550+ pages, plus 100+ pages of notes, it is a hefty tome.That, and McLynn's previous book, Richard and John, was extremely interesting while also being very dry and hard to get through.And it was shorter!Still, my continuing interest in many things Roman made me decide to pick it up.Much like the previous book, McLynn made me both happy and sad that I had made that choice.

The first thing I have to say about the book is that it's extremely detailed and well-researched.There are 120-200 notes in every chapter giving the source for various passages in the book.Many of them are from Aurelius' own writings, the Meditations; still others are from the Historia Augusta, a relatively contemporary (within a couple hundred years of Marcus' life) or from various other histories written at the time.He uses letters written by Marcus to his mentor, Cornelius Fronto, and letters between Marcus and other philosophers or tutors.There is a lot of original sourcing in the book, though I don't know about the strengths of these sources, never having studied them in any great depth.The copious notes do add some authority to McLynn's writing, however.

Unlike some history books, where the notes are only important to give you the author's source, McLynn uses some of the notes to expand on the point raised in the main narrative, making it important to at least periodically glance at the notes, all of which are at the back of the book.Thankfully, they're numbered notes, or I wouldn't have bothered.I tended to have one bookmark in the notes section and one denoting where I currently was in the reading of the book.

The problem with Marcus Aurelius, however, is that it seems very bloated for what is supposed to be a biography (at least that's what the subtitle "a Life" means to me).McLynn spends a lot of time at the beginning of the book giving the reader a primer on stoicism (the main area of philosophy that Marcus espoused), going on for what seems like 100 pages about it.He does use examples of Marcus' writings as well as his debates or disagreements with other philosophers to illustrate his points, but I don't believe we need such an in-depth study of the philosophy in order to understand how Marcus thought.What's even worse is that the first appendix is even more about it!

Further to that, there are instances like Marcus' wars against the German tribes.McLynn isn't content to just give a brief overview of the history of Roman wars with these Germans to set up Marcus' actions.He gives an extremely detailed account of these wars dating back to Julius Caesar, which is about 300 years.McLynn also does this with Roman life while Marcus was growing up, giving a detailed history of Rome under Antoninus Pius (Marcus' adopted father), giving great detail about how the Roman society and economy worked and a (thankfully) briefer history of Roman interaction with (and occasional persecution of) Christianity.Basically, the book often seems like a history of Rome rather than a biography of Marcus.It doesn't help that the second appendix is an even more detailed history of Rome under Pius.

Much like Richard and John, McLynn's writing style can be hard to get through sometimes though the information he provides is extremely interesting.Paragraphs are sometimes a page long or more, the information contained within very valuable but the prose working against the reader trying to actually get through it.I found my pace through the book was plodding along, like sowing a field of grain by hand:you know the results are going to be worth it, but what a chore to actually do it.

That's ultimately why I give Marcus Aurelius a middle-of-the-road grade.The information within is fascinating stuff.I was startled when Marcus died with 100 pages still left in the main narrative, but McLynn also gives us how Marcus has affected human thought throughout the ages, even up to the modern day.He addresses the impact Marcus made, not just at the time he lived, but in future generations when his writings were rediscovered.Once I was finished with the book, I was very happy that I had made my way through it.

It's unfortunate that it has to be such a struggle to get through, because it's definitely worth the trip.Marcus was an intriguing man, with his writings sometimes contradicting the policies he put forth as emperor when the realities of Roman existence conflicted with the philosophy he tried to follow.Many loved him.Many others hated him.Sadly for the Empire, he left it in the care of his psychotic and paranoid son, and thus the Empire's downfall began.

McLynn tells you all about that, too.

Originally published on Curled Up With a Good Book © David Roy, 2009 ... Read more

7. The Emperor's Handbook: A New Translation of The Meditations
by Marcus Aurelius
Hardcover: 160 Pages (2002-11-05)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$12.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743233832
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Essayist Matthew Arnold described the man who wrote these words as "the most beautiful figure in history." Possibly so, but he was certainly more than that. Marcus Aurelius ruled the Roman Empire at its height, yet he remained untainted by the incalculable wealth and absolute power that had corrupted many of his predecessors. Marcus knew the secret of how to live the good life amid trying and often catastrophic circumstances, of how to find happiness and peace when surrounded by misery and turmoil, and of how to choose the harder right over the easier wrong without apparent regard for self-interest.

The historian Michael Grant praises Marcus's book as "the best ever written by a major ruler," and Josiah Bunting, superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute, calls it "the essential book on character, leadership, duty." Never intended for publication, the Meditations contains the practical and inspiring wisdom by which this remarkable emperor lived the life not of a saintly recluse, but of a general, administrator, legislator, spouse, parent, and judge besieged on all sides.

The Emperor's Handbook offers a vivid and fresh translation of this important piece of ancient literature. It brings Marcus's words to life and shows his wisdom to be as relevant today as it was in the second century. This book belongs on the desk and in the briefcase of every business executive, political leader, and military officer. It speaks to the soul of anyone who has ever exercised authority or faced adversity or believed in a better day. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
This book is filled with wisdom for life and living.I have gotten much sustenance from it's pages.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book should change your life!
Next to the Bible, this book has had the greatest influence on my life of anything ever written.This vibrant translation of personal reminders that Emperor Marcus Aurelius used to keep himself humble & focused is shockingly poignant and timeless in its applicability.It is divided nicely into bite-sized paragraphs & "verses" (except for a couple longer passages).You can, and should, spend a lifetime learning to live out Aurelius' principles.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best English Translation
I first read Marcus Aurelius when I was 14 years old.I didn't really understand it, but it was clear that the book was worth re-reading when I got older.In the four decades since, I've reread the book many times, in many different translations.I don't read Greek, so I cannot say how accurate the translation is, but as a reader, Scot and David Hicks have produced the best English translation available.Their translation does an excellent job of conveying the "spirit" of the text.If Marcus Aurelius had written in American English, I suspect his words would read very much like this translation.

Buy copies for your friends and family, especially young ones.The world could use more Stoic virtue.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great
I bought this book for my daughter for her English assignment, and she said it was a great book and had some great information. From her opinion I think it is a great book to reference to.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ancient wisdom
I recently became interested in ancient philosophy and read three translations of Aurelius. For someone just starting out, this is the best introduction. The intro essay is useful. Yes, the translation slips into one too many Hallmark moments, but overall the translation is concise and pointed and, well, more modern. Compare this translation with the Penguin Classic and you'll see what I mean. Here is the Penguin classic:"...both the longest lived and the earliest to die suffer the same loss. It is only the present moment of which either stands to be deprived:and if indeed this is all he has, he cannot lose what he does not have."A bit long winded. Here is the Hicks translation: "...the man who dies young loses not a jot more time than the man who dies old. A man can only be deprived of the present monent, for this is all he has, and how can a man lose what he doesn't possess?" And, Aurelius strikes me as someone who would not write or speak in the more manneredand formal Penguin classic way butinstead as someone who cuts clearly to the nub. Get both books, but start with this one. ... Read more

8. The meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
by Marcus Aurelius
Paperback: 128 Pages (2009-08-08)
list price: US$6.44 -- used & new: US$6.43
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0217125158
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free.This is an OCR edition with typos.Excerpt from book:not reference to the things of God. And the converse of this maxim is equally true.14 Stray no further. Thou wilt never read those commentaries of thine, those tales of old-time Greece and Rome, that anthology thou wast reserving for old age. Then hasten to the goal; fling aside these empty hopes, and, if thou carest for thee and thine, succour thyself before it be too late.JS Men know not how varied are the meanings of the words ' stealing,' ' sowing,' ' buying,' ' resting,' far less of the injunction' to look what ought to be done '; for this is seen not by the eyes, but by a far other vision !16 There are three things: body, soul, and mind. Of the body is sensation; of the soul, impulse; of the mind, principles. To receive inward impressions of external things is given even to the beasts of the field : to respond to the strings of impulse is a power common to the brute creation, to those who have made themselves neither man nor woman, to a Phalaris or a Nero, to the atheist and the traitor, and to the wretches who deem no act too gross when once they have closed their doors. If then all else is common to the creatures we have mentioned, there is but one thing left that is the peculiar property of the good man : to follow the guidance of his intellect towards the things he sees to be his duty, to welcome with pleasure all that fate has interwoven with his life, to defile not the godhead implanted in his breast nor break into its calm with a rabble of impressions, but to preserve it tranquil, following thedivine will indecency, and sinning not in word or deed against truth and justice.Such a man, though all should mistrust him and sneer at his claim to live a simple, modest, and cheerful life, displays no anger at any of these, nor swerves a jot from the path that... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars This is an OCR edition with typos.
As per the product description. Be careful with the version of the book you order. The edition published by General Books LLC is an OCR edition, with typos. As per the publishers website, there's absolutely NO editing done after this has been scanned in. The "Look Inside" view is of another publisher's book. General Books LLC has about half a million books available, all created by OCR scanning. Very poorly done and the prices does not reflect the very low quality.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic thoughts
Certainly Marcus Aurelius Antonius is one of the great philosophers.Known as a "stoic", it might be better to look at him as a rather common-sensical person who has thought long and hard about the world and humans' place in it.This is a good book for reading just before going to bed.The tone is peaceful, quiet and lends itself very well to contemplation.If you have not read any of his material, this book is a good place to start. ... Read more

9. Meditations - a Little Flesh, a Little Breath, and a Reason to Rule All - That is Myself
by Marcus Aurelius ( Maxwell Staniforth - Translation )
Paperback: 176 Pages (2004)
-- used & new: US$3.99
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Asin: 0141018828
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Readable snippets of wisdom
"Philosophy" may often seem daunting, a hulking behemoth that one cannot tackle. However, with this version of Marcus Aurelius' 'Meditations', reflections on life, humanity, love, greed, power, and all the things associated with being human are presented succinctly, and written in an accurate and easy-to-understand manner. No archaic sayings or pompous literary acrobatics here.

The book is small, lightweight and thin yet packs so much to reflect upon, that this is a constant travel companion for me. It is definitely a book to read and re-read, and each time, still brings new, refreshing insights. A great source of encouragement and reflection, especially when one is on the road for long journeys.

Don't be put off by the idea of this being a philosophical work. It is highly-accessible, meaningful, and most importantly, READABLE. Get it for yourself, or as a gift. This book is part of a whole series of philosophical works. Try searching for the box set and the other series if you're keen to explore the full collection.

P/S: The letter-pressed cover is pretty darn cool too. Love the design!

5-0 out of 5 stars a superlative translation
Other reviewers here have commented about the work itself, so I would just add a note about this specific translation.

One of the most difficult tasks for a reader interested in non-English language work (and works from classical times in particular) is to choose an appropriate translation.Of course, what counts as `appropriate' is somewhat subjective.

What I was looking for was a translation that is clear and accurate; one that manages to convey something of a feeling for the both the person who wrote, and the times they wrote in.In this Staniforth excels.

Unlike say, the Benjamin Jowett translation of Plato which (at least to my ears) has a distinctly Victorian ring, or the popular new age paraphrases of many of the Stoics (and in truth they are paraphrases or adaptations rather than translations), to me Staniforth (whose translation dates from 1964) strikes just the right balance.

The words of Marcus Aurelius are rendered intelligibly and with a dignity and awareness of the historical context.The reader is neither forced to re-read and ponder (i.e., speculatively re-translate), nor wince at inappropriate colloquialisms of 21st century English.Better still, one can immediately perceive and appreciate the times in which the work was written. No mean accomplishment, to say the least.

Of course, each reader needs to make this judgment for themselves.Amazon provides an excellent (and free) way of doing this with its `search inside this book' feature, which is enormously useful for anyone making this decision.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow...
The little snippets of ideas represented in this book have been like a punch in the gut to me, philosophically, personally, in every way. Love it. Wish I could write more, but I don't have time; just wanted to make sure I put the five-star rating in here.
"You may break your heart, but men will still go on living as before."

5-0 out of 5 stars A bright, glittering treasure
Marcus Aurelius is a bright star, and if you like reading non-fiction books written by truly brilliant people then this is a book for you. In it, Marcus derives and explains his fundamental aspects of life and death and offers plenty of solid, timeless advice applicable to our `modern' times. At first I wondered what Marcus would think of us reading through his journals in the year 2010. Now I have the distinct feeling he would pass it off like a breeze across his shoulders. What an amazing man. To his subjects he was a Roman General and Emperor, to himself only a man dressed in sheep's hair dyed by purple `fish gore', with fate itself at his elbow.

Though imminently useful for our times, the passing references to ancient events like Pompeii and Herculaneum bring back the ancient nature of the book and how some things never change. It's a great bed-side book in that you can just flip it open and start reading from anywhere, and then ponder the mind of a truly great man as you drift off to sleep (hopefully to wake up later, but if not, well, that's nature's prescription and decision, right Marcus? : ) ).

I purchased this particular edition of Meditations as other reviewers elsewhere said this was the one to get as it had the best translation and was not junked up by some third-party writer trying to explain things. That was good advice as Marcus does plenty well in explaining things himself. What a treasure!

5-0 out of 5 stars 2000 year old wisdom at your fingertips
I couldn't help chuckling and nodding my head continually while reading Marcus' Meditations. His thoughts and life principles can be seen as repetitious through out Meditations (the books within it pretty much cover the same territory over and over, but actually cement his views firmly within your mind)yet they will give you great pause and reflection upon your own life.

I can't think of any better primer for living in today's crazed, money-obsessed, celebrity-driven and unbelievably shallow world. He is a Stoic by definition, of course, but the man really knew the world and Man all too well and he would find no surprise in the opinionated, self-righteous nature of the 21st century. It's a short book, but is best read slowly and savored intellectually.

I couldn't help but feel that all the Tony Robbins, Eckhard Tolles, Wayne Dyers, Deepok Chopras and Dr's Phils of our silly world pale next to his simple, yet solid principles and to some degree their books are derivitive of Aurelius' work. Highly recommended!

I never reread books - there are too many wanting my time, but I will do so with this one. In truth it's a startling honest and insightful book of how to run your life and should be stuck in your backpack or suitcase for those times when you lose your patience with people, grow disillusioned and world-weary, or just want to travel back through time and communicate with a man that actually ran the entire Western World for a while, a man who took never took himself or the trappings of the world all that seriously.
... Read more

10. Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
Paperback: 140 Pages (2009-03-26)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$6.94
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Asin: 1604595841
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The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus is one of the most important books of meditations and maxims ever written. It is doubtful that Marcus Aurelius Antoninus ever intended for this book to be published. Thus the reader will find that the wisdom expressed within these pages are free of pretense and utterly honest. Do not feel exasperated or defeated or despondent because your days aren't packed with wise and moral actions. But get back up when you fail, to celebrate behaving like a human-however imperfectly-and fully embrace the pursuit you've embarked on.-Marcus Aurelius Antoninus ... Read more

11. The Apology, Phaedo and Crito of Plato; The Golden Sayings of Epictetus, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (Harvard Classics series)
by Plato, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius
Hardcover: 345 Pages

Asin: B00168O5QU
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12. Meditations
by Marcus Aurelius
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-10-04)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B002RKRUEA
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Memoirs of an Amazing Leader
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.

4-0 out of 5 stars I found his meditations fascinating
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. ... Read more

13. Marcus Aurelius (Loeb Classical Library)
by Marcus Aurelius
Hardcover: 448 Pages (1916-01-01)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$19.20
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Asin: 0674990641
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Marcus Aurelius (121–180 CE), Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher, born at Rome, received training under his guardian and uncle emperor Antoninus Pius (reigned 138–161), who adopted him. He was converted to Stoicism and henceforward studied and practised philosophy and law. A gentle man, he lived in agreement and collaboration with Antoninus Pius. He married Pius's daughter and succeeded him as emperor in March 161, sharing some of the burdens with Lucius Verus.

Marcus's reign soon saw fearful national disasters from flood, earthquakes, epidemics, threatened revolt (in Britain), a Parthian war, and pressure of barbarians north of the Alps. From 169 onwards he had to struggle hard against the German Quadi, Marcomani, Vandals, and others until success came in 174. In 175 (when Faustina died) he pacified affairs in Asia after a revolt by Avidius. War with Germans was renewed during which he caught some disease and died by the Danube in March 180.

The famous Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (not his title; he simply calls them 'The matters addressed to himself') represents reflections written in periods of solitude during the emperor's military campaigns. Originally intended for his private guidance and self-admonition, the Meditations has endured as a potent expression of Stoic belief. It is a central text for students of Stoicism as well as a unique personal guide to the moral life.

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Customer Reviews (5)

2-0 out of 5 stars Like reading the King James Bible
If you like the prose in the King James Bible you will love this translation.I would look for something in modern english.

2-0 out of 5 stars can't recommend the Greek or English for NT Greek learners
I am assuming that a lot of people who might be interested in this are people learning NT Greekand this review is intended for them.I bought this after being very satisfied with the Loeb Epictetus.(See my review.) But Aurelieus' Greek is harder and less elegant (more optatives, more vocab that does not appear in the NT, more eliptical expressions) and this translation is simply AWFUL.Again and again I found I had to refer back to George Long's older translation to unpack the Greek, which defeats the purpose of a diglot.Aurelius is still wonderful for Christians, but until a diglot with a better translation comes out, I would skip this and focus on other non-biblical Greek.

2-0 out of 5 stars Great Book, Ridiculous Translation
While the other reviewers wax eloquent on the topic of Marcus Aurelius and the incredibly insightful quality of his thinking, both neglect to mention C.R Haines actual translation, which, unless you know ancient Greek pretty well, is what you will actually spend your time reading. It is the fussiest, pseudo-archaic travesty of translation I have ever encountered. Never mind that the use of 'thee', 'thou' and the accompanying creaky verb forms have been out of vogue for over half a century, Haines mined the motherlode of obscurities and what I suppose is would-be poetic creativity. Thus you will encounter words like 'encairned', 'decensive', 'quotha', 'perforce', 'wroth', 'guerdon', and 'aye'(used like pepper throughout the text), all of which may be summed up in Haines' funniest quote,'Man, what art thou at?' It's hard to imagine that even in 1915 this translation did not seem ridiculously effete for a work of such practicality and clear sense! It is equally remarkable that Loeb had not modernized this turkey by 1987, anyway. If you want to consider the Greek text, this is the one to get. Otherwise you will find better and clearer English elsewhere!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Philosopher, the Emperor, and the Good Life
A review of this treasure of wisdom and thought may border on the presumptious. Perhaps it may be of value for those coming to the book for the first time or for those who wish to compare another person's thoughts on the book with their own.Also, I find writing these notes helps me to understand my own reading.

Marcus Aurelius was the Emperor of Rome from 161--180 A.D.During the years he was absent from Rome leading wars against barbarian invaders, he set down his own thoughts during his moments of repose.His thoughts were appropriately titled "To Himself"; although they have come down to us under the more usual title of "Meditations".Marcus Aurelius never intended the publication of this work.As C.R. Haines states at the outset of his introduction to his edition:"It is not known how this small but priceless book of private devotional memoranda came to be preserved for posterity.But the writer that in it puts away all desire for after-fame has by means of it attained to imperishable remembrance."

I think it is important in the reading of this book to remember that it is Marcus Aurelius communing with himself in his position of Emperor.The reader will need to understand the book as an exercise in self-reflection to allow the book to work on his or her own capacity for self-reflection.

The book is in short, repetitive paragraphs and should not, with the exception of the opening chapter, be read as a discursive, continuous argument.Because Marcus Aurelius did not intend his reflections for publication, the language sometimes is crabbed and consise and needs effort to read.This assists in thinking through with the Emperor to the heart of what he has to say.

Marcus Aurelius teaches a philosophy that is usually described as stoicism which teaches control of the emotions and the subjection of the passions to what he describes as reason.For Marcus Aurelius the reason in each person is part of the overriding reason that pervades the cosmos.Marcus Aurelius teaches restraint, thought, modesty, friendliness and love to all, humility, a counsel against the quest for fame, and bravery and acceptance in the face of sorrow, pain and death. He teaches the need to perform the duties of one's position in life, without regret or complaint or ambition, as Marcus Aurelius himself, as it happened, was called upon to perform the duties of Roman Emperor. His teaching is eclectic and relies on Plato and Heraclitus in particular in addition to his stoic mentors, specifically the Greek slave Epictetus.

I read this book when young and it has been many years before I have returned to it.It is a good book to read in small
sections.I read much of it over several weeks while commuting back and forth on the Metro.The book also serves to put one's mind in the proper framework and perspective for the world of work.

The Loeb edition of this much-translated work is valuable because of its small size, the perceptive introduction by Haines and most importantly because it includes the original Greek on facing pages.This may seem unnecessary to the many people who would benefit from reading Marcus Aurelius who do not know Greek.I find it valuable to see and to read the original text in a language which, likewise, I studied briefly many years ago.

This is a great and lasting book.Wherever you may be in life, you will enjoy it and benefit from it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A handbook to transform consciousness
I have read several translations of this work and have found the C.R. Haines version to be the best in terms of clarity and annotation.The format is also excellent, measuring just 4by 6inches, making it easy to keep in your pocket for daily reading.

"...when philosophers are kingsand kings are philosophers..." Plato

If you ever hear someone turnthe phrase, "when philosophers are kings," remember this; they already wereand, that's right, you missed it. You missed it by about 1,820 years, giveor take a few.

After some 25 or more years of training, a man bornMarcus Annius Verus ascended to the Imperial throne of the Roman Empire andis known to history as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus or just Marcus Aurelius. Probably the best qualified ruler the world has known, Marcus Aurelius wasa man and a ruler to whom historians most frequently point as someone whoalways placed the welfare of the people above all else.

Marcus Aurelius,the last in a series of philosopher emperors, spent most of the lastthirteen years of his life in the damp and gloomy forests along the Danube. Beset by treason, incompetence and corruption he waged relentless war onthe first few of uncounted waves of barbarian invaders who would ultimatelydestroy the Romans so thoroughly that not even their language wouldsurvive.

During this time he kept a diary of sorts. I use the word diaryin the sense that Marcus wrote this book for himself alone, with no carewhether any other should ever read it.He called his little book "ToHimself."

What Marcus ultimately produced is a sometimes scatteredyet concise handbook on how to live contented under any circumstances.Itis here for us to inspect, to read and learn the inner thoughts of one ofthe greatest philosophers and humanitarian leaders in the history of theWest.

There is to be found, if we are but willing to read, a definitesystem for controlling our thoughts and therefore our lives and ourhappiness.This "handbook" on how to be the source of your own happiness,commonly known as The Meditations, teaches a system of thought that, with abit of practice, will show that you really are the only possible source ofyou own happiness - a source without limits and without end.This way ofseeing the world also has side effects which are; greater participation inlife, less frustration and little if any anxiety, anger or depression.

(2007) I must add: the new translation - "The Emperor's Handbook: A New Translation of The Meditations" by the Hicks brothers is a superb contemporary English version.There have been other attempts but they don't even come close to the work of David and C. Scot Hicks.Look it up. ... Read more

14. HARVARD CLASSICS: The Apology, Phaedo and Crito of Plato, the Golden sayings of Epictetus, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
by Charles (edited by) Eliot
 Hardcover: Pages (1980)
-- used & new: US$6.30
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Asin: B000K09KX8
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15. Marcus Aurelius: A Biography
by Anthony Richard Birley
Hardcover: 320 Pages (1999)
-- used & new: US$14.50
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Asin: 0760711860
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars There's NO Reason to Read This Book....
... unless you have a particular interest in the history of the Roman Empire and/or the life of Marcus Aurelius. It does not read like a novel, as one previous reviewer claimed. It's quite long and detailed, and utterly devoid of salacious gossip. It does not advance any paradigmatic explanation for the 'decline and fall' of Rome, In fact, it scrupulously avoids all "post-modernist" leaps of speculation; author Anthony Birley examines his sources and presents ample documentation of his narrative, much of it from surviving correspondences of the principals, without over-drawing conclusions. This is a modestly stated, drily documented, dispassionate biography, without any hoopla or frills. And, as the song says, " that's the way I like It! Uh uh huh!"

I do have a particular interest in Roman history. I studied Latin and I can still read it. Then I have lived in Rome, in a building constructed on the ruins of the Teatro Marcello, where Julius Caesar was assassinated. Every day I used to walk through the ruins around the Capitoline, past the Forum, often through the Arch of Titus and past the bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. It gets under your skin, Rome does. It's like penetrating the Mind of Time and fingering Memory itself. Memory is what explains things in flux - history, biological evolution, geology, and astrophysics. I also have a persistent interest in Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher emperor. So for me, this dry text was like rain on a parched cornfield or gelato to a footsore tourist.

4-0 out of 5 stars well written biography
I thought Anthony Birley's biography on Marcus Aurelius proves to be his best work. Its well written, easy to read and thanks to many sources, quite complete and informative. The biography centered more around the man instead of politics or warfare. You won't learned much about the Roman military history during the period of Marcus Aurelius but you will read quite a bit on what drove this man, how he thought and why.

Birley write with certain objectively and with fairness regarding Marcus Aurelius. He allowed the readers to understand his subject and allowed the readers to make their own judgement on his subject. Overall, one of the better books on a Roman Emperor, I just wished that there were more attention paid to Marcus Aurelius' military life.

5-0 out of 5 stars A history book that reads like a novel
This book about the emperor-philosopher who ruled the Roman empire in the late second century AD is pure joy. Written by Anthohy Birley, a professor of Ancient History, the book is a learned and comprehensive account ofAurelius' life and times. Marcus Aurelius was a fascinating figure - notonly was he a mighty emperor, spending long years in the battle field anddealing with a horrible plague ravaging throughout the Roman Empire but hewas also a philosopher who recorded his stoic reflections of commitment tovirtue above pleasure in his "meditations". Birley manages in hisbook to bring this extraordinary man of 1800 years ago to life for today'sreader, and I would recommend this book not only to scholars, studyingRoman history, but also to anyone who likes quality reading - this is awell written history book that reads like a very good novel! ... Read more

16. The History of Roman Literature From the earliest period to the death of Marcus Aurelius
by Charles Thomas Cruttwell
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-10-04)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B002RKR108
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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

17. Marcus Aurelius: A Life
by Frank McLynn
Paperback: 720 Pages (2010-08-10)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.53
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Asin: 0306819163
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Marcus Aurelius (121–180 AD) is one of the great figures of antiquity whose life and words still speak to us today. His Meditations remains one of the most widely read books from the classical world, and his life represents the fulfillment of Plato’s famous dictum that mankind will prosper only when philosophers are rulers. Based on all available original sources, Marcus Aurelius is the definitive biography to date of this monumental historical figure.
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18. Meditations
by Emperor of Rome Marcus Aurelius
Paperback: 248 Pages (2010-03-06)
list price: US$10.54 -- used & new: US$10.54
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Asin: 1443252727
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Ethics; Stoics; Life; Philosophy / Ethics ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
When I read passages from authors from Ancient Rome like Flavius Renatus, Cato the Elder, Livy etc... I feel a tone of pride and sometimes even haughtiness and self-righteousness. I can almost here them speak it in their native tongue of Latin when they were still alive. The Meditations is the first book, authored by a Roman, that is very humbling and reverent to me.

Marcus Aurelius is someone I now respect since reading his book. He seems to have flaws and either accepts it or knows it. And yet he tries to remedy and adapt to it. He resolves to act on living the right way. He is a reluctant heir to control an empire and turned out to be good at his duties as an Emperor. One of the good Emperors in fact.

Aurelius even have questions that we still have until today regarding death and the after-life; the universal links of nature; etc. Reading The Meditations is like listening to someone long gone for over two thousand years ago speak to you, the reader. And it tells you: live in modesty, not to pass judgement on others, to become disciplined despite the difficulty, to become tolerant, and other virtues a civilized person try to attain. Great book. Marcus Aurelius is very human. It made me realize that after all these centuries, human beings are still the same.
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19. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antonius
by Marcus Aurelius
Paperback: 120 Pages (2010-04-16)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$12.95
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Asin: 1452801711
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The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antonius, written by legendary author Marcus Aurelius is widely considered to be one of the greatest classic and historical texts of all time. This great classic will surely attract a whole new generation of readers. For many, The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antonius is required reading for various courses and curriculums. And for others who simply enjoy reading timeless pieces of classic literature, this gem by Marcus Aurelius is highly recommended. Published by Classic Books International and beautifully produced, The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antonius would make an ideal gift and it should be a part of everyone's personal library. ... Read more

20. The Spiritual Teachings of Marcus Aurelius
by Mark Forstater
Paperback: 288 Pages (2001-06-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$5.50
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Asin: 0060955104
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Written as a personal diary for spiritual development, Marcus Aurelius's "meditations" were not meant for publication nor posterity, yet the Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher has provided inspiration and guidance for more than eighteen centuries.  Now, after nearly two thousand years, Mark Forster has adapted the ideas and principles relevant to the Roman world of the second century and has made them accessible to the twenty-first-century reader.

Amazon.com Review
Abraham Lincoln claimed that the best way to test a man'scharacter was to give him power. Surely, Marcus Aurelius's goldenreign over the Roman Empire, A.D. 161 to A.D. 180, was such atest. Although this well-educated pagan despised wars and battles,"barbarian" tribes constantly besieged his empire on the Asian andGerman borders. As a result, he spent eight miserable winters campedby the frozen Danube River acting as commander-in-chief over histriumphant armies. During those gloomy nights, he wrote many of themeditations that appear in this excellent translation.

The lack of arrogance or self-pity in his ruminations offers proofthat Aurelius passed Lincoln's test of character with flyingcolors. Furthermore, the best way to test a person's writing is togive it time. Once again, Aurelius aced the test. For example,contemporary world leaders would do well to heed his advice under theheading "Talking and Being": "Stop talking about what the good personshould be, and just be that person." Most of these quotes aresimilarly brief as he extols the virtues of working hard, not actingimpulsively, and living in communion with the natural world. Like Thich NhatHanh and Kahlil Gilbran, Marcus Aurelius is an accessible writerof lasting spiritual integrity. --Gail Hudson ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Little Book
Although the founder of Stoicism was Zeno of Citium (circa 333 B.C.), this philosophy had a far reaching influence on the Roman Empire and even Christianity. Marcus Aurelius (161-180 A.D.), mentoree of the Great Emperor, Hadrian, mentor, was the closest to what Plato refers to in his book, The Republic, as The Philosopher King. When thinking of Stoicism we never think of Zeno, but Marcus Aurelius.

Aurelius' text, Meditations, is just as relevant today as it was at the time the philosopher Emperor sat in his tent in the freezing cold with his soliders battling the encroaching 'Barbarians', far from his beloved Rome.

What Mark Forstater has compiled is Aurelius' writings from Meditations in particular catagories, such as "The Cruelty of Anger, "Conceptions of Good", "Meeting Challenges" and my favourite at the moment, as office politics is currently rampant at work, " Social Unity"

"Since you are an integral part of a social system, let every act of yours contribute to the harmonization of social life. Any action that is not related directly or remotely to this social aim disturbs your life, and destroys your unity." (P.105)

Advice that, for me, at least, put the situation(s) in there proper perspective. Do not add to the dis-unity but aim for a concensus, a harmony that all or most can live with.

As an undergraduate, fumbling around the smorgasbord of humanties courses, reading Meditations helped focus my mind towards finding that 'focus' and really begin to learn.

This is a wonderful book to simply "flick" through and discover some relevant advice on life, confrontation, what is the right way to live, love and the soul.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Bad
This book received a lot of bad reviews which I don't think it deserved. First of all it is a modern translation of Aurelius--so therefore a little--I should say--a lot more understandable to a modern day reader. And after having read other more literate versions--I don't think much is lost here. The fact Marcus Aurelius has a lot to say to us today--strangly enough--more so than the people of his own era. The into could have been shorter--but the meat of this book (the sayings) is more than worth the price!

1-0 out of 5 stars Waste of Money
The Spiritual Teachings of Marcus Aurelius by Mark Forstater is not a book recommended for any serious student of Stoic teachings.The book contains no actual text from Aurelius' teachings or meditations, rather it contains only Mr. Forstater's thoughts on what Marcus Aurelius was thinking. Furthermore, since Mr. Forstater is not any type of noted scholar in stoicism, I don't understand what prompted him to tackle such an important historical figure. The book would have had much more value to me had it contained actual translations of Aurelius'teachings but unfortunately it didn't even exceed that hurdle.

1-0 out of 5 stars An uninformed, trivial cash-in on the self-help market
Forstater's book is either an uninformed and trivial glance at one of the masterworks of Western philosophy or a quick-and-dirty attempt to cash in on the self-help market.

Forstater says, in the third paragraph of the preface, "Marcus Aurelius wrote a book of "spiritualexercises" for himself that was in effect the first self-help book ever written."This demonstrates that he never studied Epictetus's Encheiridion; the title itself meaning "ready at hand" or "handbook" in contemporary speech.

This disappointing book is written in two parts. Part One, as said, is a trivial glance at the history and meaning of the Stoa.Part Two consists of some selections from the adequate, Victorian era translation by George Long.These selections have been transliterated into colloquial American with Forstarter's own subjective, subject titles and no references to the original work, such as "Med. XII.1."

Save your money and download the G. Long translation from the net or buy the C. R. Haines translation from Harvard (Loeb Classical Library,) or even the Penguin edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars A superb reading of a superb text
The other reviewers have thoroughly covered the content of this wonderful work so I will simply add that listening to Derek Jacobi's reading of the text is a sublime experience in itself.It's somewhat like listening to awise Dutch uncle and Jacobi's easy conversational tone (never hectoring orlecturing) makes you want to pay attention to what he's saying. After ahard day it's especially soothing to listen these tapes before retiring. ... Read more

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