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Meditations (Penguin Classics)

Meditations (Penguin Classics)


Book Overview: Meditations (Penguin Classics)

A leading translation of Stoic philosophy in wise and practical aphorisms that have inspired Bill Clinton, Ryan Holiday, Anna Kendrick and many more.

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 the values of leadership. 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.

To provide a full understanding of Aurelius's seminal work, this edition includes explanatory notes, a general index, an index of quotations, an index of names, and an introduction by Diskin Clay putting the work in its biographical, historical, and literary context, a chronology of Marcus Aurelius's life and career.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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Marcus Aurelius, born on April 26, 121 AD, was a Roman emperor from 161-180 AD, noted as one of the Five Good Emperors of the Roman Empire. He is also recognized as a significant Stoic philosopher. His enduring piece of work, Meditations, recorded his private thoughts and principles, serving as a significant philosophical text on Stoicism. His rule marked the end of a period of relative peace in the Roman Empire, and he spent much of his reign dealing with various military conflicts. Despite facing numerous adversaries and personal issues, he remained committed to the principles of Stoic philosophy until his death in 180 AD.

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