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The Emperor's Handbook: A New Translation of The Meditations

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4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  48,727 Ratings  ·  2,194 Reviews

BEAR IN MIND THAT THE MEASURE OF A MAN IS THE WORTH OF THE THINGS HE CARES ABOUT.

IF IT IS GOOD TO SAY OR DO SOMETHING, THEN IT IS EVEN BETTER TO BE CRITICIZED FOR HAVING SAID OR DONE IT.

ARE MY GUIDING PRINCIPLES HEALTHY AND ROBUST? ON THIS HANGS EVERYTHING.



Essayist Matthew Arnold described the man who wrote these words as "the most beautiful figure in history." Possib
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Hardcover, 160 pages
Published November 26th 2002 by Scribner (first published 180)
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    David It's modern English. Many of the quotes on the quotes page will tell you how the writing is done. You can also look to different translations to find…moreIt's modern English. Many of the quotes on the quotes page will tell you how the writing is done. You can also look to different translations to find one that is easiest for you to read. Or go straight to Latin!(less)
    Sean Aristotle was the teacher of Alexander the Great and the student of Plato, who was the student of Socrates (the founder of western philosophy).

    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30)
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    Glenn Russell
    Jan 04, 2017 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


    In many important ways, the reflections of Marcus Aurelius (121-180) crystallize the philosophical wisdom of the Greco-Roman world. This little book was written as a diary to himself while emperor fighting a war out on the boarder of the Roman Empire and today this book is known to us as The Meditations.

    The Roman philosophers are not as well known or as highly regarded as Greek philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, or Zeno the Stoic - and for a simple reason: the Roman thinkers were n
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    Brad Lyerla
    Jan 17, 2017 Brad Lyerla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: favorites
    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."

    The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius did not hang motivational posters for inspiration. Instead, he kept a journal in which he collected his thoughts about how to live well. MEDITATIONS is that book.

    Most people have heard
    ...more
    Riku Sayuj
    Jan 18, 2014 Riku Sayuj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: r-r-rs, direct-phil

    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
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    Phyllis Eisenstadt
    THINK ABOUT IT!

    Never before have I given a five star rating to a book of which I had only read 9%. However, this book is special in many ways, and if the beginning is any indication of the author's thoughts and reflections, it merits this rating. I eagerly await my future readings of this splendid work.

    Like the Bible, it can be opened to any page, and the passage will resonate with most people at various times in their life. Each passage stands by itself and is not dependent upon what had preced
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    Walter
    Dec 03, 2007 Walter rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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    Ahsan
    Dear Marcus, wherever you rest, I pray that 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 scattered 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
    ...more
    Maru Kun
    Marcus gives us wise advice about using the Internet, particularly social networking sites:
    “...because most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you'll have more time and more tranquillity. Ask yourself at every moment, is this necessary…”

    He shares his opinions on the worst types of modern professional. He does not approve of lobbyists and is rightly worried about their influence on the legislative process. We should heed his words:
    “...so long as the law is safe, so i
    ...more
    Camille Stein
    May 01, 2016 Camille Stein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition









    Aunque debieras vivir tres mil años y otras tantas veces diez mil, no obstante recuerda que nadie pierde otra vida que la que vive, ni vive otra que la que pierde. En consecuencia, lo más largo y lo más corto confluyen en un mismo punto. El presente, en efecto, es igual para todos, lo que se pierde es también igual, y lo que se separa es, evidentemente, un simple instante. Luego ni el pasado ni el futuro se podrían perder, porque lo que no se tiene, ¿cómo nos lo podría arrebatar alguien? Ten sie
    ...more
    Evan
    Mar 15, 2009 Evan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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.
    Parthiban Sekar
    “Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.”

    This little book is the most personal work existent on the surface of the Earth, floating across all continents and countries, in all language, from time to time. Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor and unmistakably, a Stoic philosopher, through his reflective aphorisms and repetitive admonitions, captivates us to inquire about our living, review our doings, and eliminate our misconceptions. This was not targeted for
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    Richard
    Aug 28, 2007 Richard rated it did not like it  ·  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.
    Pavle
    Aug 30, 2016 Pavle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: džep-toalet-bus
    Čitao sam Aurelijeve Meditacije u onih praznih pet minuta pred neki izlazak, na bajsu u audio formatu, pa i u toaletu (toaletno štivo - najbolje štivo). Njena fragmentirana (kratki pasusi, ponekad dužine svega jedne rečenice) gradja za to je i idealna. Zato je malo i potrajalo, ali šta da se radi.

    Stoička filozofija i ovde, kao kod Seneke, nije ništa novo, ništa monumentalno, ali ono što izdiže ovu knjigu i ono što je čini posebnom, za razliku od Senekinog dela, jeste to što Aurelije ovo nije že
    ...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.
    Ken Moten
    Jan 09, 2016 Ken Moten rated it it was amazing  ·  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
    Giorgi
    May 28, 2012 Giorgi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Apr 22, 2009 Gary Christensen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Olivier Delaye
    Jan 03, 2017 Olivier Delaye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    The timeless manual of Stoicism, a philosophy that some will find incredibly useful to help them face life's challenges, while others will find it a little too self-centered and heavy-handed with fate and predestination. Well, to each his own, as they say. Written 1,850 or so years ago, Marcus Aurelius's Meditations are by no means a waste of reading time and are still very relevant today. Provided, that is, that philosophy is your cup of tea!

    OLIVIER DELAYE
    Author of the SEBASTEN OF ATLANTIS seri
    ...more
    Sawsan
    Jul 29, 2016 Sawsan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    التأملات كتبها الامبراطور والفيلسوف الروماني ماركوس أوريليوس, من الفلاسفة الرواقيين وعُرف بالفيلسوف الجالس على العرش, حكم الامبراطورية الرومانية ما بين عامي 161- 180م
    دَون تأملاته, وعرض آراؤه عن الحياة والأخلاق وتهذيب النفس وفضائل الحكمة والعدالة, وأيضا فكره وأسلوبه في الحكم والإدارة
    من أقواله " إذا ما استطاع إنسان أن يثبت لي أني على خطأ ويبين لي خطئي في أي فكرة أو فعل, فسوف أغير نفسي بكل سرور, إن أريد إلا الحق وهو مطلب لم يضر أي إنسان قط, إنما الضرر هو أن يصر المرء على جهله ويستمر في خداع ذاته"
    Rachel
    Sep 09, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    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
    Amina
    Aug 16, 2015 Amina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    My review will be postponed until I go through this book once again, no wonder Marcus Aurelius was one of the greatest roman emperors ever, this book is endless wisdom, and a sea of vertues, you do your best to memorize, you even take notes but you end up willing to read it once more..
    Robert
    Nov 23, 2014 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, which are perhaps best read in the Modern Library translation by Gregory Hays, are a sequence of thoughts, or self-talk, Rome’s best known philosopher emperor did not mean as a book. The most extraordinary thing that can be said about them, and this should be said quickly, is that what Marcus Aurelius thought in his maturity (165-175 A.D.) prefigures some of the best thinking current today. His version of Stoicism in many ways is virtually identical to what g ...more
    Abailart
    Aug 03, 2010 Abailart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    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
    Ana Rînceanu
    Once in a while I come across a book that makes me aware of a particular fault I have. Whenever I feel someone who is different from me is trying to tell me how to live, I just tend to brush his/her opinions under the rug unless they present a strong, intriguing argument.

    I got this sense of deja-vu as soon as I started this book. I was not impressed with the beginning of this book. While he was mentioning his thanks to his teachers for the virtues they had imbued in him, I felt like he was givi
    ...more
    Tariq Alferis
    Mar 05, 2014 Tariq Alferis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

    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
    Alexandra Petri
    This basically consists of Marcus Aurelius repeating, "Get it together, Marcus" to himself over and over again over the course of 12 chapters.

    SPOILER ALERT:
    -The time during which you are alive is very very brief compared to the time during which you did not exist and will not exist.
    -People who wrong you only do so from ignorance, and if you can correct them without being a jerk about it, you should do so.
    -You are a little soul dragging around a corpse.
    -Whether or not things injure you lies in
    ...more
    Nelson Zagalo
    As "Meditações" foram escritas sob a forma de diário, sem qualquer intenção de publicação, e desta forma mais do que comunicar com o outro, Marco Aurélio procurava encontrar-se a si mesmo. Como o oleiro que molda peça atrás de peça em busca do ideal total, Marco Aurélio tecia considerações sobre a realidade que vivia e as leituras que fazia, colocava-as em confronto, gerava questões e procurava respostas. Foi esta abordagem, possibilitada por uma curiosidade incessante, que tornou Meditações num ...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
    Dec 16, 2015 Jon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
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    Stoic Book Club: Meditations group read 2 46 Nov 03, 2013 08:17PM  
    Natty Knights: Meditations 10 55 Jul 09, 2013 10:41AM  
    • Letters from a Stoic
    • The Discourses
    • On the Good Life
    • Musonius Rufus: Lectures and Sayings
    • Plutarch's Lives, Vol 1
    • The Way Things Are: The De Rerum Natura
    • The Essential Epicurus
    • The Art of Rhetoric
    • Gorgias
    • The Complete Essays
    • Mencius
    • A Treatise of Human Nature
    • Philosophy As a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault
    • The Moral Sayings of Publius Syrus: A Roman Slave
    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
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    “Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” 2918 likes
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