Meditations

By Marcus Aurelius, Robin Waterfield (translator),

Book cover of Meditations: The Annotated Edition

Book description

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was the sixteenth emperor of Rome -- and by far the most powerful and wealthy man in the world. Yet he was also an intensely private person, with a rich interior life and deep reservoirs of personal insight. He collected his thoughts in notebooks, gems which have…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Meditations as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is the most recent translation of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, at the time of writing but I’m mainly including it because of Robin Waterfield’s very thorough annotations, which are invaluable when it comes to understanding some of the more obscure passages. They provide historical and philosophical context that’s otherwise missing and make it much easier to appreciate what Marcus was trying to say.

From Donald's list on modern books on Marcus Aurelius.

Can you imagine being the ruler of most of the known world, a Roman Emperor, and yet still having the humility to look deeply within your own soul? Here was one of the most powerful men there ever was, who offered his personal reflections on learning to practice understanding, kindness, and acceptance. His concern was about becoming a better man, not a bigger man. 

“If you work at that which is before you, following right reason seriously, vigorously, calmly, without allowing anything else to distract you, but keeping your Divine part pure, as if you should be bound to give…

There are numerous translations of the Meditations available at the moment. Which one is best?

And given there are so many, surely there’s no point in anyone translating it again. Well, there’s now another, brand new version available, and I think there are good reasons for it to become people’s first choice.

It’s by Robin Waterfield, who is a highly experienced and accomplished translator of both Greek history and philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Xenophon, Herodotus, Plutarch, and more). Robin doesn’t just know his Greek; he has a thorough command of Greek philosophy too.

What this volume gives, then, is an excellent…

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