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by Marcus Aurelius
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One measure, perhaps, of a book's worth, is its intergenerational pliancy: do new readers acquire it and interpret it afresh down through the ages? The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, translated and introduced by Gregory Hays, by that standard, is very worthwhile, indeed. Hays suggests that its most recent incarnation--as a self-help book--is not only valid, but may be close to the author's intent. The book, which Hays calls, fondly, a "haphazard set of notes," is indicative of the role of philosophy among the ancients in that it is "expected to provide a 'design for living.'" And it does, both aphoristically ("Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now take what's left and live it properly.") and rhetorically ("What is it in ourselves that we should prize?"). Whether these, and other entries ("Enough of this wretched, whining monkey life.") sound life-changing or like entries in a teenager's diary is up to the individual reader, as it should be. Hays's introduction, which sketches the life of Marcus Aurelius (emperor of Rome A.D. 161-180) as well as the basic tenets of stoicism, is accessible and jaunty. --H. O'Billovich
?Here, for our age, is [Marcus?s] great work presented in its entirety, strongly introduced and freshly, elegantly translated.? ?Robert Fagles
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
Text: English, Greek (translation)
<P>Few ancient works have been as influential as the <I>Meditations</I> of Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and emperor of Rome (A.D. 161�).</P> <P>A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus's insights and advice—on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others—have made the <I>Meditations</I> required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style.</P><P>For anyone who struggles to reconcile the demands of leadership with a concern for personal integrity and spiritual well-being, the <I>Meditations</I> remains as relevant now as it was two thousand years ago.</P><P>In Gregory Hays's new translation—the first in thirty-five years—Marcus's thoughts speak with a new immediacy. In fresh and unencumbered English, Hays vividly conveys the spareness and compression of the original Greek text. Never before have Marcus's insights been so directly and powerfully presented.</P><P>With an Introduction that outlines Marcus's life and career, the essentials of Stoic doctrine, the style and construction of the Meditations, and the work's ongoing influence, this edition makes it possible to fully rediscover the thoughts of one of the most enlightened and intelligent leaders of any era.</P><HR><P>"The emperor Marcus Aurelius, the proverbial philosopher-king, produced in Greek a Roman manual of piety, the <I>Meditations</I>, whose impact has been felt for ages since. Here, for our age, is his great work presented in its entirety, strongly introduced and freshly, elegantly translated by Gregory Hays for the Modern Library."<BR> ROBERT FAGLES</P><HR>
Inside Flap Copy
A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, Marcus Aurelius?s Meditations remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus?s insights and advice?on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others?have made the Meditations required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style.
In Gregory Hays?s new translation?the first in a generation?Marcus?s thoughts speak with a new immediacy: never before have they been so directly and powerfully presented.
From the Back Cover
“Here, for our age, is [Marcus’s] great work presented in its entirety, strongly introduced and freshly, elegantly translated.” —Robert Fagles
About the Author
Marcus Aelius Aurelius Antoninus (121180) became joint emperor in 161 with adoptive brother Lucius Verus, and ruled alone from 169.
Diskin Clay is professor of classical studies at Duke University.
Martin Hammond is headmaster of the Tonbridge School and has translated Homers Iliad for Penguin Classics.
Excerpted from Meditations of Marcus Aurelius [E-BOOK: MICROSOFT READER] by Marcus Aurelius. Copyright © 2000. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved
BEGIN the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busy-body, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil.
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