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Meditations

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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  93,781 ratings  ·  4,836 reviews
Written in Greek, without any intention of publication, by the only Roman emperor who was also a philosopher, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) offer a remarkable series of challenging spiritual reflections and exercises developed as the emperor struggled to understand himself and make sense of the universe.
Ranging from doubt and despair to conviction and
...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published December 6th 1993 by Shambhala (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).…moreAristotle was the teacher of Alexander the Great and the student of Plato, who was the student of Socrates (the founder of western philosophy). (less)

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Glenn Russell
Nov 25, 2014 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
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Brad Lyerla
Oct 06, 2010 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
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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
Look within: do not allow the special quality or worth of anything to pass you by.

I love this quote and I love the wisdom that runs through this book. It’s such a simple idea and it is also a very true one. Make the most of everything and everyone, of every situation and chance that life throws your way because when they have passed, we may not get them again.

Marcus Aurelius is full of logic and revealing comments about life, death and the universe. His meditations are very open and very
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Riku Sayuj
Sep 22, 2011 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
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Manuel Antão
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Wearing Mismatched Socks at Work is Empowering: "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius, Gregory Hays (trans.)



“Concentrate every minute like a Roman— like a man— on doing what’s in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. And on freeing yourself from all other distractions. Yes, you can— if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop
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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
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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
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Walter
Dec 03, 2007 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
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Jan-Maat
Ah I had a far better review in my mind, but it has, like morning mist, cleared out from my mind leaving a jumble of words and impressions, so you will have to endure that, or skip to another GR update instead :)

The weaknesses of Marcus Aurelius's jottings and musings, his inconsistencies, vaguenesses, intellectual messiness, the lack of exploration of any particular idea in detail are it's strengths. There is a Marcus Aurelius for everyone, or perhaps for everyday of the year (Selections from
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Richard
Aug 18, 2007 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.
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
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Jon Nakapalau
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, favorites
“The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.” After reading this book I realized that there was a wealth of wisdom from some of the greatest minds in history; all I had to do was take the time to meet them through books.
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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Evan
Mar 05, 2009 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.
Chrissie
Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor living 121-180 CE. He was born to a prominent, prosperous family in Rome. Emperor Hadrian sponsored his education. Later he was adopted by Hadrian’s successor, Emperor Antonius Pius, whose daughter he married. He became Pius’ confidant and friend, in effect ruling alongside him for ten years. At Pius’ death, in 161 CE, Marcus Aurelius and his adoptive brother, Lucius Aurelius Verus, ruled together as co-Emperors. It is thought that Meditations was written over ...more
B. P. Rinehart
Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to B. P. 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
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Daniel Clausen
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2018
The element that stands out in in Aurelius's meditations, other than his stoicism, is his utter thankfullness for the blessings around him. Every wise book I have written has marveled at the absolute wonder that is existence and understood what a gift it is. The other aspect of the writing that stands out is the injunction towards mildness. Excesses come in all forms, including philosophy, which can be corrupted by sophists and unneeded study. Not a flattering appraisal for someone like me who ...more
Hirdesh
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Greatest Book I've ever read.
"What a book is this, I'll kept it with me until my death."

Everyone should read it once in a life to know Philosophy Of Life.
"The best provision for a happy life is to dissect
everything, view its own nature, and divide it into
matter and form. To practise honesty in good earnest,
and speak truth from the very .soul of you. What
remains but to live easy and cheerful, and crowd
one good action so close to another that there may
not be the least empty space between
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Rachel
Jul 17, 2008 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 ...more
Olivier Delaye
Oct 31, 2013 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
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G.
Mar 30, 2009 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
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Giorgi
Oct 16, 2011 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
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Amina
Aug 11, 2015 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..
Clif Hostetler
Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180 AD) wrote this material in his own personal journal for his own edification. It was found and published after his death. Marcus was a practitioner of Stoicism and these writings are a significant source of our modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy. It is considered by many commentators to be one of the greatest works of philosophy.

The following is an excerpt of the one place where Marcus Aurelius mentions Christians:
What a great soul is that which is ready,
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Jill Mackin
A peaceful, thought provoking read.
Bradley
Not so much the emperor's autobiography but a mild and easily readable collection of ruminations on wisdom that quickly devolves into a fairly dense listing of aphorisms.

It's almost like Nietzsche said, "Hey, let's read Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor, and model my own weird crap on his style." And voila! He did.

Honestly, other than the whole death of fire becomes air crap, I have nothing overly critical to say about any of his homey wisdom pieces, whether political (which read like Lao Tzu's
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Mohamad Almokhllati
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book Has been on my to-read list for a long time. I am glad I have read it. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote the gist of his thoughts and wisdome in several books which later were put in one book and preserved for posterity.It is highly obvious how Marcus was influenced by Stoicism and it is core principles. The logos( the reason) is the super power that produced the world with all its animate and inanimate entities. It permeates everything and run the universe in orderly manner. All ...more
T.J. Wray
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of good principles here to live your life by. But I think I would have rather spent my time reading a book with a good story line or and adventure. This book reminded me of reading the Bible. I guess I would recommend it ,but probably not for everyone....TJ
Ray
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Marcus Aurelius was Roman Emperor from AD 161 to 180. His Meditations are a series of notes to self, reflecting his interest and training in philosophy. Reportedly not intended for publication Meditations nonetheless provides a wonderful insight into the mind of a powerful ruler and times long gone.

This was a slow read for me. I had to read and re-read many of the passages to fully grasp its intent. The effort was well worth it as this is a great little book.

What struck me most was how
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AB
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Although a depressing read, I feel that it was well worth it. The meditations is such a profound look into the mind of an emperor and at that one that struggled with the concept of death, court interactions and maintaining his stoic ideals. For the first time, I got to understand an emperor not just as a historical figure but also as a human being and for that I am extremely grateful.
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