Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Meditations (edition 2012)

by Marcus Aurelius

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,39447807 (4.09)95
Authors:Marcus Aurelius
Info:Simon & Brown (2012), Paperback, 106 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:non-fiction, philosophy, ancient literature, ancient rome, 2nd century, read in 2012

Work details

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

  1. 20
    Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar (cometahalley)
  2. 01
    Markings by Dag Hammarskjöld (andejons)
    andejons: Two very different world leaders put down their philosophies. They turn out to be remarkably similar.
  3. 01
    Over levenskunst : de grote filosofen over het goede leven by Joep Dohmen (BartVanDerMeij)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 95 mentions

English (42)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (47)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
The main attraction of this book is that it is a book of philosophy written by an emperor. If it was written by someone of more lowly stature it would surely have been forgotten. It is a good insight into his mind but an unfortunate boon to those who love to think the best rulers are those who think philosophically. It would be more interesting to me if it was written by some unknown blacksmith, tailor or farm slave. At least then the question of how they acquired an education in Stoic philosophy would be interesting speculation. Nonetheless, there is some wisdom in the writings and it is encouraging to know that in the midst of such grueling military campaigns he could find time to compose a journal of something other than the progress of the legions against the barbarians. ( )
  riskedom | Mar 21, 2015 |
Marcus Aurelius was Emperor of the Roman Empire from 161 to 180 CE. Considered the last of the Five Good Emperors, he oversaw his empire with stoicism and equality. In his Meditations, written while on a military campaign in the last decade of his life, he sets forth a series of aphorisms, letters, and principles that he tried to live by. As a stoic, he thought that powerful emotions were the cause of errors in life and so sought to live a life of a more moral and intellectual manner.

The Meditations aren’t really written for an audience, and this translation is a little stilted. But what you can tell is that Marcus Aurelius is trying to reflect upon a rather interesting life. There are times when he is contented in good memories and times when the ennui of his stoic life gets to him. But the overall message is to live a good life (“Death hangs over you: while you live, and while you may, be good”) and try not to be too overly swayed by things outside of one’s control. “It is not right to vex ourselves at things,” he says, “for they care not about it.”

In the end, Marcus Aurelius’s message is both honorable and interesting. The writing takes a little getting used to, so it would behoove readers to find a good translation. It is, however, a rather good beginning look into stoicism and its effectiveness in the proper hands. Marcus Aurelius, when set against the likes of Nero and Domitian, rules in the vein of a philosopher king and tries desperately to do right by his people. All in all, a refreshing and intellectual book. ( )
1 vote NielsenGW | Nov 12, 2014 |
"Meditations" is a collection of aphorisms, musings, quotes, and, essentially, diary entries from a Roman emperor who would have been one of Plato's Philosopher-Kings. Concerned greatly with his philosophy (a Stoicism mixed with other influences) and how he should live his life, these are essentially notes and reflections meant for himself. As such, it must be admitted that there is quite a lot of repetition here. In some sense that is actually not bad: it becomes quite obvious that Marcus Aurelius struggled often and greatly to live up to the values and ethics he believed in.

Note: this is not the kind of book you sit down and read through, but rather pick through over days. If you do try to just run through it the above-mentioned repetition will somewhat ruin it. ( )
  dcunning11235 | Jan 27, 2014 |
I have read this book a number of times and always gain something new each time I revisit it. Although I find aspects of Stoic thinking quite foreign, there is unquestionably a disciplined and humble mind behind these words. I wish more of our contemporary leaders could muster the courage to be as humble. ( )
  joeodeg | Sep 29, 2013 |
This was a gift from my father, more than ten years ago. Some bits of it really resonate for me, while others leave me cold. The stoic philosophy recommends a sort of emotional uninvolvement, a resignation that I can't really accept. At the same time, there is something intensely comforting about Aurelius' unwavering faith in a reasonable, well-ordered universe, presided over by gods who are ultimately just. So on a big-picture level, I can't really relate to his philosophy -- yet, the book is full of these little bite-sized admonitions, some of which can be relevant regardless of your personal philosophy. It did make me think about things in a slightly different way. So three stars, and I'm keeping it not just because it was a gift, but to read again in the future, when I'm sure I will interpret it very differently. ( )
  wirehead | Jul 9, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (112 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marcus Aureliusprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ahonen, MarkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clay, DiskinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Collier, JeremyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
García Gual, Carlossecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gill, ChristopherIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hammond, MartinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hard, RobinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hicks, C. ScotTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hicks, David V.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Long, GeorgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Needleman, JacobTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Piazza, John P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Segura Ramos, BartoloméTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Staniforth, MaxwellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wester, EllenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
My grandfather Verus: Character and self control.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (5)

Book description
Marcus Aurelius wrote 'Meditations' around 170 - 180, whilst on a campaign in central Europe, most probably in what is now Serbia, Hungary and Austria.
The 12 books that make up 'Meditations' were not written as an exercise in explaining his philosophy but rather as a personal notebook for self-improvement and study.
'Meditations' illustrates just how important the Stoic Epictetus was to Marcus as he quotes the Greek philosopher's famed 'Discourses' on more than one occasion. Epictetus was a legendary figure in Greek philosophy and many claim he is the greatest of the Stoics; texts that remain in existence from the period suggest that in his native Greece, he was even more popular than Plato.
As was previously mentioned, 'Meditations' was not written for public consumption but rather as an aid to personal development. Marcus wanted to change his way of living and thinking and to do this he embarked on a set of philosophical exercises. He would reflect on philosophical ideas and by writing them down and by repeating them he hoped to re-programme his mind and find his own philosophy to live by.One of the key exercises in the book discusses Marcus attempting to look at the world from 'the point of view of the cosmos' in a bid to try and look at life and the universe outside of the common and limited parameters of individual concerns.
“You have the power to strip away many superfluous troubles located wholly in your judgment, and to possess a large room for yourself embracing in thought the whole cosmos, to consider everlasting time, to think of the rapid change in the parts of each thing, of how short it is from birth until dissolution, and how the void before birth and that after dissolution are equally infinite.”
Marcus Aurelius died on March 17, 180, in the city of Vindobona which was situated where Vienna is today.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140449337, Paperback)

A new translation of the philosophical journey that has inspired luminaries from Matthew Arnold to Bill Clinton

Written by an intellectual Roman emperor, the Meditations offer a wide range of spiritual reflections developed as the leader struggled to understand himself and the universe. Marcus Aurelius covers topics as diverse as the question of virtue, human rationality, the nature of the gods, and his own emotions, spanning from doubt and despair to conviction and exaltation.
* Includes an introduction, chronology, explanatory notes, general index, index of quotations, and index of names

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:52 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

"Written in Greek by an intellectual Roman emperor without any intention of publication, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) offer a wide range of fascinating spiritual reflections and exercises developed as the leader struggled to understand himself and make sense of the universe. Spanning from doubt and despair to conviction and exultation, they cover such diverse topics as the question of virtue, human rationality, the nature of the gods and Aurelius's own emotions. But while the Meditations were composed to provide personal consolation, in developing his beliefs Marcus also created one of the greatest of all works of philosophy: a series of wise and practical aphorisms that have been consulted and admired by statesmen, thinkers and ordinary readers for almost two thousand years." -- Publisher's website.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.09)
1 6
1.5 1
2 22
2.5 13
3 123
3.5 23
4 215
4.5 42
5 260


7 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140449337, 0141018828, 0143566326

Liberty Fund, Inc

2 editions of this book were published by Liberty Fund, Inc.

Editions: 0865975116, 0865975108

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 96,167,542 books! | Top bar: Always visible