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The Thoughts of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus - Limited Edition

Easton Press Collectors

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Jan 3, 2011, 11:10pm Top

Attached are some photos of EP's most recently released Limited Edition. At about $200 this is their most affordable limited edition. The nicest thing about this book is the hand placed color "tipped in" pages, each in beautiful full color and separated from the print pages by a tissue. The outside embossing is comparable to most EP books, although the gold on mine seemed to be somewhat thick and was not nearly as fine as the cover pictured on their website. This does include the slipcase for those who like slipcases, and it looks to be the same green fabric as some of their other limited edition slipcases.

This is translated by George Long and illustrated by W Russell Flint. Just a note, this is listed as "Meditations of Marcus Aurelius" on their site, but the book is clearly only titled The Thoughts of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. Not sure why the difference, although it appears the two titles may be somewhat interchangeable. Someone with a more classical education might be able to clarify why.

I've included Moby Dick in the first photo just as a size comparison.


Jan 3, 2011, 11:58pm Top

Hamletscamaro, how do you like Long's translation? I find it a bit archaic; although, probably no more so than the Meric Casaubon translation in my EP Famous Editions copy.

Jan 4, 2011, 12:31am Top

Gorgeous photos - thanks for posting!!

Jan 4, 2011, 10:29am Top

Thanks, Hamletscamero. That looks like a beautiful edition.

How do you like having the illustrations tipped in? I have to admit that the fact that the illustrations were tipped in almost put me off buying the FS LE Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Having boought the volume I have grown to accept the tipped in illustrations, although I still prefer the illustration to be printed on the page.

Edited: Jan 4, 2011, 1:04pm Top

>2 kdweber:, I haven't actually started reading it yet. I'm trying to finish Livy's History of Rome, which I am enjoying more than I thought I would since I had not read that before. It is not uncommon for me to acquire the books faster than I can read them. But I'm sure I am the only person on this forum to have this problem.

>4 Quicksilver66:, I actually like having the tipped in illustrations. It allows continuity on the standard page stock while still allowing the illustrations to be printed on glossy paper. Yes it makes the pages inherently more fragile, but a book like this you are not going to be reading to your baby. Well I wouldn't, maybe someone who subscribes to the "My Baby Can Read" program would.

Jan 4, 2011, 1:05pm Top

"But I'm sure I am the only person on this forum to have this problem."

5: Haha! Hilarious! I think we all have that disease.

Mar 30, 2011, 7:16pm Top

Thanks for the beautiful photos. I am thinking of buying this book. But isn't there a conflict between the form and the message? Marcus Aurelius was a stoic philosopher after all. Not really sure that beautiful paintings of nudes are the best way to represent his message. Nor is my, or anyone's, desire to possess this beautiful book a tribute to understanding his text!

Mar 31, 2011, 6:19am Top

7: true, he was a stoic but I don't see any conflict between form and message. The stoics loved nature, and the nude body is natural. I disagree with your last statement. The mere fact that someone purchased this book is indicative that he/she will read the book, and thus understand what Aurelius was thinking. At any rate, totally up to you. However if you're really upset that they are releasing such a beautiful book, you are certainly free to purchase the book, tear out the pictures, perhaps throw a little dust into the book, and then it will truly only be worth reading, since it will no longer be "beautiful" physically :)
Although I have to tell you, I don't think Zeno would agree with that...

Mar 31, 2011, 4:40pm Top

Hmmm. I am new to this site.
I was kidding. I said I was thinking of purchasing the book but wondered if my desire to possess it really was a tribbute to the view that one should limit one's desires. But maybe I need to buy it and reread Marcus Aurelius? Maybe I am confusing the stoics with the eipicureans?
From what I recall about Zeno, I probably would never finish the book, but then I would probably never receive it in the first place. Or I could never finish this message or......
Oh wait, there was another Zeno than the Eleatic wasn't there? It has been a long time since college.
Maybe it would help my clever jokes if I knew what I was talking about. Anyway, the book looks beautiful in the photos
Anyone who owns it recommend it?

Apr 1, 2011, 2:00am Top

I do not own the EP version of this book but, I enjoyed reading the copy I currently own.

Apr 1, 2011, 11:45am Top

I read it last year in a contemporary translation from Modern Library. I was a little surprised how much I liked it. The book is really more like a personal journal than a treatise. Aurelius wrote down his thoughts in little snippets, usually while on military campaigns and tours. He is mostly a Stoic, but he's not always consistent in his philosophy. Sometimes, he reflects epicurean ideas. At times, he even sounds like a precursor to the existentialists. A lot of times it sounds like he is trying out ideas. I'm sure if he every intended to publish it, he would have rewritten it, but he was a thinking man acting in the world as opposed to being a writer/teacher with greater time to polish his prose and work through his ideas. I think more than anything, the books is a glimpse into the mind of a very fascinating and complicated man 2,000 years ago.

Edited: Apr 2, 2011, 8:37pm Top

I carried a paperback copy of this around with me throughout officers candidates course and later acquired a little hardback copy of it. (by some book club which printed classic books in the form of very inexpensive books. I cannot remember the publisher but the cover was of a rough tan material with the title within a red block on it's spine.) Anyway I liked dipping into the book when I could during field exercises or pulling a night duty officer. I felt a certain affinty with the author as being on military exercises while MA wrote his work on the German frontier. I have ten or so versions of the book and I never get tired reading them. (Edited for spelling.)

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