Meditations
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Meditations

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  21,776 ratings  ·  973 reviews
Stirring reflections on the human condition from a warrior and emperor provide a fascinating glimpse into the mind and personality of a highly principled Roman of the 2nd century. Recognizing that suffering is at the core of life, he counsels stoic detachment in the face of inevitable pain, loss and death.
Paperback, 99 pages
Published July 11th 1997 by Dover Publications (first published 174)
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sckenda
Nov 29, 2013 sckenda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Interested in Stoic Wisdom
Expect the worst, and you will never be disappointed. Hear now, Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of Rome:
“Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill will, and selfishness-- all of them due to the offender’s ignorance of what is good and evil. That people of a certain type should behave as they do is inevitable. To wish it otherwise were to wish the fig-tree would not yield its juice.
Marcus Aurelius (A.D.121-181) ruled Rome d...more
Riku Sayuj

Marcus Aurelius must have been a prolific reader. He sure was a prolific note-taker, for these meditations are surely his study-notes(?- after all he was a 'philosopher' from age 12). I don't know of the publishing system at the time but where are the detailed footnotes and references? Marcus Aurelius is quite a wise man or at least he read enough wise men. He sure nailed it as far as boring a reader is concerned. No better way to establish your book's wisdom quotient.

I am being needlessly caust...more
Brad Lyerla
When I was a freshman in college, I lived in a dorm. My roommate was on the football team. He would write inspiring things on poster board and hang them in our room often on the ceiling above his bed to motivate himself. He favored straightforward sentiments like "never give up."

Meditations is an entire book of motivational advice to inspire us in the ways of stoicism. It is a manual for being a complete, mature adult. It is a guide for living a dignified, thoughtful life.

Consider: "Suppose that...more
Walter
Dec 03, 2007 Walter rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: human beings
Another great influence in my life; this was the personal philosophical diary of the last "good emperor" of the Roman Empire. In this work Marcus Aurelius draws a picture Stoicism as a philosophy that I call "Buddhism with balls". It is a harsh self discipline that trains its practitioners to be champions (of a sort). Champions of what? Mastery of the self.

The heart of the book is that in order to make oneself free, they must train themselves to become indifferent to externals. The externals ar...more
Giorgi
Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill.
my favorite quotation

Stoic philosopher, and a Roman Emperor from 161 to 180
try to imagine this man was a roman emperor as Nero, caligula and dioclite BUT why was he different ?he has a very good introduction about his education,


The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it...more
Gary Christensen
I view this work as a valuable resource, after all, it's not often one knows the private thoughts of an individual, let alone one of the more successful Roman Emperors. Only occasionally does it feel like the work of a Roman Emperor. Never do we get the feeling that it's written mid battle and amid the varied intrigue attending empire maintenance. Most often it's a welcome blend of philosophical pondering and practical advice.

My favorite Books were One, Eight, and Eleven.

It's appropriate, and p...more
Evan
Like the Tao Te Ching, this is a collection of short, powerful statements. If only Aurelius had as much humor as Lao Tzu, or as generous a view of life. Still, some of Aurelius's reflections have a cold, wintery beauty about them. Best read as poetry rather than any philosophy to take to heart. Only readable in small bites, which makes it perfect for the subway.
Richard
Aug 28, 2007 Richard rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Emo Kids
By today's standards, a bog-standard blog.

The only reason that this was preserved in the first place is that the author happened to be a Roman emperor. (That, and that ancient Rome didn't have LiveJournal.)

The only reason that Meditations is still being published today is that once a book gets labeled "classic," hardly anyone who reads it has the grapes to admit that it just wasn't that good. Well...the emperor has no clothes.
Rachel
I give a four to Marcus Aurelius (since he seemed like a pretty fascinating dude but I don't totally agree with him on everything) and a five to translator Gregory Hays for his readable, immediate translation as well as his thoughtful and unpretentious introduction. You can tell he really likes Aurelius, thinks of him as a buddy almost, but is willing to admit that he doesn't completely have his shit together. There's a warmth to his writing as well as a critical eye. It's easy to assume that "a...more
Ahsan
Dear Marcus, wherever you rest, I pray you rest in peace. Thank you.

Update: after I wrote the above line, I tried to find out where Aurelius was really buried and it seems that his ashes used to be kept at the Castel Sant' Angelo in Parco Adriano, Rome. But in 410, these ashes and those of other emperors were scatted during the Visigoth sack of Rome. I mention this because I think Aurelius would have found it very amusing to have been scattered into the river, confirming his view of life and dea...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called literary "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label

Essay #67: Meditations (160-180 AD), by Marcus Aurelius

The story in a nutshell:
Written essentially as a private journal from around 160 to 180 AD, by one of...more
فائق منيف
اقتباسات من الكتاب:


أوريليوس: إن اللطف لا يقاوم، طالما كان أصيلا بدون ابتسامات زائفة أو تظاهر

أوريليوس: إن غضبنا وضيقنا يؤذياننا أكثر من الأشياء التي تغضبنا وتضايقنا

أوريليوس: لا تضع مزيدا من الوقت في مناقشة كيف يكون الرجل الصالح؟ كن واحدا من هؤلاء الرجال

أوريليوس: اترك أخطاء الآخرين حيث ارتكبت

أوريليوس: امح الخيالات، وتحكم في الاندفاع، واطفئ الشهوة، واجعل من عقلك سيدا لك

أوريليوس: إذا أردت أن ترفع من معنوياتك، ففكر في فضائل أصدقائك

أوريليوس: إن كان من الصعب عليك أن تقوم بعمل ما، فلا تستنتج من ذ...more
Mel Vincent
This is truly one of the finest and best philosophical books that I have ever come across. This book has all the Mitch Albom books plus the Art of War of Sun Tzu plus the Machiavelli's the prince, Hobbes, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle's political and humanistic view points times the values and lessons of the Last Lecture.

A remarkable book that narrates and explains the different viewpoints in the natural life of Marcus Aurelius. This book is one of the most complex yet simple philosophy books ever...more
Vanja Antonijevic
Marcus Aurelius was a good emperor, and also a good philosopher. He is fundamentally a Stoic, but he is not a typical Stoic (see Epictetus). Instead, Aurelius is a Stoic with inner turmoil and conflict. He is not sure at times whether he can follow the Stoic path, and also seems to have a less extreme philosophy. In other words, Aurelius seems to be more humane, and you will not catch him saying anything like this:

"Never say of anything, "I have lost it"; but, "I have returned it." Is your chil...more
Ken Moten
Jul 08, 2013 Ken Moten rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Ken by: Peter Adamson? Mike Duncan? Can't remember
(The edition I read from was translated by Meric Casaubon)

"X. These two rules, thou must have always in a readiness. First, do nothing at all, but what reason proceeding from that regal and supreme part, shall for the good and benefit of men, suggest unto thee. And secondly, if any man that is present shall be able to rectify thee or to turn thee from some erroneous persuasion, that thou be always ready to change thy mind, and this change to proceed, not from any respect of any pleasure or credi...more
Laura Leaney
Jul 14, 2014 Laura Leaney rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Will at UCLA
This is the collection of the private thoughts of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who wrote them (I imagine) under conditions both conducive and dangerous. I haven't the foggiest notion how the words survived, but if I close my eyes I can see him bowed over a camp desk, small quill in hand, castigating the weaknesses of mind and body through words. They call him the philosopher-king, but to me that implies a kind of lolling about in some gorgeous Roman courtyard, while Marcus Aurelius fought alongs...more
Abailart
Or 'reading' again. I don't usually bother to find the actual edition of a book, but although I'd already five starred this one that rating was a familiarity with the book over 20 years. Something to return to.

I am now actually in possession of this particular and fairly recent edition. Very good introduction, excellent notes with cross-referencing, and a very useful index of key words, concepts and ideas.

The Meditations still has, I believe, something to offer us, more in the way of agenda set...more
jeremy
a collection of accumulated wisdom, insights, and assorted aphorisms from the 2nd century roman emperor, meditations, if nothing else, will likely leave a reader with the sense that human nature has not changed over the last two millennia - encumbered and distracted as people are (and were) by pettiness, triviality, doubt, and the doings of others. marcus aurelius, stoic philosopher that he also was, wrote of an approach to life that can succinctly be summarized as such: "doing what's right, acc...more
Anand Patel
It reads like a long affirmation and reaffirmation of Aurelius's beliefs, punctuated by very clever and thoughtful moments. A majority of it felt like a rather painful slog through repetitive discourses on Stoic philosophy. I certainly can't blame the author - it's clear that he never intended for this to be read by anyone other than himself. Nevertheless, there's clearly value in reading this book - I just wouldn't call it a page-turner.

I think the two most interesting parts of the book are (1)...more
Jon
I don't think I've read so short a book that took me so long to read. The form (aphorism upon aphorism) makes for a slow but memorable digestion.

Wisdom from a moral Roman leader!:

"Display those virtues which are wholly in your own power: integrity, dignity, hard work, self-denial, contentment, frugality, kindness, independence, simplicity, discretion, magnanimity. Do you not see how many virtues you can already display without any excuse of lack of talent or aptitude? And yet you are still conte...more
Hadrian
The inner thoughts of a Roman emperor. Profound and for some, inspiring. A mournful, yet strong man, philosopher-king, which we don't see too often anywhere.
Samantha
Mar 19, 2008 Samantha rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone with time on their hands.
i recommend the reader go over each verse with a fine tooth comb; it is amazing what you can learn.

not something that you can read in a day, and for all of those "i am a fast reader" people out there, slow down and actually understand what you are reading. marcus' philosophies are so simple they are complex. he follows stoic teachings, with heavy reliance on nature, fate, and natural goodness. i didn't really derive any answers as to why people aren't, then, inherently good. maybe you will, tho...more
Conrad
As an admirer and proponent of the Stoic philosophy that originated well before him, Aurelius outdoes his masters. Meditations reads (almost eerily) like if Buddha had written a guidebook to maintaining moral and emotional equilibrium while running a large empire. Marco Aurelio himself is still admired among Romans to this day, 1800 years later, as a generous and wise leader; no wonder.
Tariq Alferis

من ليبيا ، ومن أمام موج البحر المتلاطم على شواطيء السرايا الحمراء في مدينة طرابلس القديمة، وتحديداً من تحت سقف قوس ماركوس أوريليوس الروماني القديم ،قام اعضاء نادي الكتاب والثقافة بجامعة طرابلس

مناقشة كتاب الامبراطور الروماني "التاملات " تحت اهم معلم يخلد ذكري ماركوس...

في البداية تم نقاش تاريخ القوس بصفة خاصة واهم معالمه ونقاش النقوش الموجودة فيه عبر العصور ، من رسوم الالهة الي الخربشات ونقوشات الاسبان وحتي العرب منذ الفتح قديما ...!



ثم مناقشة الكتاب في القنصلية الانجليزية القديمة (دار النويجي )...more
Daniella
Aug 31, 2011 Daniella rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in philosophy, or Roman emperors, or both.
The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius is not your typical book on philosophy. It does not contain carefully constructed arguments establishing or supporting a particular school of thought, as you might expect, but rather the reflections of a man who was ruler of arguably the greatest empire in antiquity. These are thoughts on the qualities and virtues Marcus held in esteem, on his personal beliefs and his views on the world around him, sometimes religious, sometimes social, and his exhortations to...more
Miguel Mayher
Video Review at BookVIM -> Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
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Meditations is a book that doesn't age.

Written almost two millennia ago, it is today just as relevant as in the times of Roman splendor it was written.

Marcus Aurelius was an emperor with a hard life: his wife died, his relationship with some was troublesome, he endured war during most of his reign. During his 50s, he decided to write a code for living a good life, a sort of self-prescription for proper living as a human being. The re...more
Bruce
The writing in the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, written by this wise Roman Emperor, is very flowing, personable, and readable, almost like a personal letter in tone, easy to understand as a man’s journal and thoughts for himself. Reading it makes me wish that I could have sat in Aurelius’s presence and listened to him, talked with him. Having his writings is the next best thing, and one can read him as if one were in his presence.

“Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one...more
J4
Bury me with this book. Written in AD 121 to 180 this book is a collection of thoughts, short essays and quotes. Almost 2000 years old, the words of Marcus Aurelius echo through to this day.

From book 5, 22 - This reminded me of Hurricane Catrina and our failure in New Orleans.
"What is not harmful to the city, cannot harm the citizen. In every fancied case of harm, apply the rule, 'If the city is not harmed, I am not harmed either.' But if the city should indeed be harmed, never rage at the culpr...more
Aaron Wolfson
The masterwork of Stoicism, the ultimate practical philosophy. Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor, lays it down in this collection of memoranda he wrote for his own reference, to remind himself how to live.

Well, Marcus, this bad boy got out, and through its wisdom you've been guiding us every since.

Reading this book helps me to focus on what's truly important in life. I can't help it, since Marcus is reminding me every other page that I'll be dead soon (and so will everyone at my funeral). It's not...more
Abraham
In writing this book, Marcus Aurelius had one strong, guiding principal: to answer the question, "How should a man live?" or, more accurately, "How should I live?" And while he attempted, in true philosophical style, to discuss and explain all aspects of the universe, he doesn't seem to have broken any new ground in most areas. In other words, he was walking roads already heavily trodden by his predecessors and contemporaries, mostly Stoics.

His true triumphs were in the areas of personal conduc...more
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Stoic Bookclub: Meditations group read 2 22 Nov 03, 2013 08:17PM  
Natty Knights: Meditations 10 29 Jul 09, 2013 10:41AM  
  • The Discourses
  • Letters from a Stoic
  • The Way Things Are: The De Rerum Natura
  • The Nicomachean Ethics
  • The Enneads
  • Fragments
  • On the Good Life
  • An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
  • The Complete Essays
  • Early Greek Philosophy
  • Theaetetus
  • The Consolation of Philosophy
  • Ethics
  • The Essential Epicurus (Great Books in Philosophy)
  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
  • Philosophy As a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault
17212
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (often referred to as "the wise") was Emperor of the Roman Empire from 161 to his death in 180. He was the last of the "Five Good Emperors", and is also considered one of the more important Stoic philosophers. His two decades as emperor were marked by near continual warfare. He was faced with a series of invasions from German tribes, and by conflicts with the Par...more
More about Marcus Aurelius...
The Essential Marcus Aurelius The Inner Citadel: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Marcus Aurelius in Love Pensées: Livres I Vi

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“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” 1682 likes
“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” 1613 likes
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