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Meditations

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Originally written only for his personal consumption, Marcus Aurelius's Meditations has become a key text in the understanding of Roman Stoic philosophy. This Penguin Classics edition is translated with notes by Martin Hammond and an introduction by Diskin Clay.

Written in Greek by an intellectual Roman emperor without any intention of publication, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius 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 exaltation, 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.

Martin Hammond's new translation fully expresses the intimacy and eloquence of the original work, with detailed notes elucidating the text. This edition also includes an introduction by Diskin Clay, exploring the nature and development of the Meditations, a chronology, further reading and full indexes.

Marcus Aelius Aurelius Antoninus (121-80) was adopted by the emperor Antoninus Pius and succeeded him in 161, (as joint emperor with adoptive brother Lucius Verus). He ruled alone from 169, and spent much of his reign in putting down various rebellions, and was a persecutor of Christians. His fame rest, above all, on his Meditations, a series of reflections, strongly influenced by Epictetus, which represent a Stoic outlook on life. He was succeeded by his natural son, thus ending the period of the adoptive emperors.

If you enjoyed Meditations, you might like Seneca's Letters from a Stoic, also available in Penguin Classics.
Rezension
Martin Hammond's translation of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, like his Iliad and Odyssey, is the work of an unusually gifted translator, and one who understands the value added by careful attention to supplementary material. He writes natural English, direct and often eloquent; the text is well supported by effective notes and a characteristically thorough and well-planned index; Diskin Clay supplies a useful introduction. This is a fine volume Malcolm Heath Greece & Rome Journal
Portrait

Marcus Aelius Aurelius Antoninus, 121-180. was adopted by the emperor Antoninus Pius and succeeded him in 161, (as joint emperor with adoptive brother Lucius Verus). He ruled alone from 169. He spent much of his reign in putting down variou rebellions, and was a persecutor of Christians. His fame rest, above all, on his Meditations, a series of reflections, strongly influenced by Epictetus, which represent a Stoic outlook on life. He died in 180 and was succeed by his natural son, thus ending the period of the adoptive emperors.



Diskin Clay is Professor of Classical Studies at Duke University and has published widely in the area of Ancient Greek Philosophy.

Martin Hammond is Head Master of Tonbridge School and has translated Homer's Iliad for Penguin Classics.

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  • Book 1

    Debts and Lessons

    1. My grandfather Verus

    Character and self-control.

    2. My father (from my own memories and

    his reputation)

    Integrity and manliness.

    3. My mother

    Her reverence for the divine, her generosity, her inability not only to do wrong but even to conceive of doing it. And the simple way she lived-not in the least like the rich.

    4. My great-grandfather

    To avoid the public schools, to hire good private teachers, and to accept the resulting costs as money well-spent.

    5. My first teacher

    Not to support this side or that in chariot-racing, this fighter or that in the games. To put up with discomfort and not make demands. To do my own work, mind my own business, and have no time for slanderers.

    6. Diognetus

    Not to waste time on nonsense. Not to be taken in by conjurors and hoodoo artists with their talk about incantations and exorcism and all the rest of it. Not to be obsessed with quail-fighting or other crazes like that. To hear unwelcome truths. To practice philosophy, and to study with Baccheius, and then with Tandasis and Marcianus. To write dialogues as a student. To choose the Greek lifestyle-the camp-bed and the cloak.

    7. Rusticus

    The recognition that I needed to train and discipline my character.

    Not to be sidetracked by my interest in rhetoric. Not to write treatises on abstract questions, or deliver moralizing little sermons, or compose imaginary descriptions of The Simple Life or The Man Who Lives Only for Others. To steer clear of oratory, poetry and belles lettres.

    Not to dress up just to stroll around the house, or things like that. To write straightforward letters (like the one he sent my mother from Sinuessa). And to behave in a conciliatory way when people who have angered or annoyed us want to make up.

    To read attentively-not to be satisfied with "just getting the gist of it." And not to fall for every smooth talker.

    And for introducing me to Epictetus's lectures-and loaning me his own copy.

    8. Apollonius

    Independence and unvarying reliability, and to pay attention to nothing, no matter how fleetingly, except the logos. And to be the same in all circumstances-intense pain, the loss of a child, chronic illness. And to see clearly, from his example, that a man can show both strength and flexibility.

    His patience in teaching. And to have seen someone who clearly viewed his expertise and ability as a teacher as the humblest of virtues.

    And to have learned how to accept favors from friends without losing your self-respect or appearing ungrateful.

    9. Sextus

    Kindness.

    An example of fatherly authority in the home. What it means to live as nature requires.

    Gravity without airs.

    To show intuitive sympathy for friends, tolerance to amateurs and sloppy thinkers. His ability to get along with everyone: sharing his company was the highest of compliments, and the opportunity an honor for those around him.

    To investigate and analyze, with understanding and logic, the principles we ought to live by.

    Not to display anger or other emotions. To be free of passion and yet full of love.

    To praise without bombast; to display expertise without pretension.

    10. The literary critic Alexander

    Not to be constantly correcting people, and in particular not to jump on them whenever they make an error of usage or a grammatical mistake or mispronounce something, but just answer their question or add another example, or debate the issue itself (not their phrasing), or make some other contribution to the discussion-and casually insert the correct expression.

    11. Fronto

    To recognize the malice, cunning and hypocrisy that power produces, and the peculiar ruthlessness often shown by people from "good families."

    12. Alexander the Platonist

    Not to be constantly telling people (
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Beschreibung

Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 304
Erscheinungsdatum 27.04.2006
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-14-044933-4
Verlag Penguin US
Maße (L/B/H) 19.7/12.9/2.7 cm
Gewicht 287 g
Übersetzer Martin Hammond
Verkaufsrang 3609
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Fr. 19.90
Fr. 19.90
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