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Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius   By: (121-180)

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"Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius" is a remarkable collection of meditations and philosophical insights by one of the greatest minds of ancient Rome, Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Spanning various themes such as self-reflection, mortality, and the pursuit of virtue, this book offers a profound glimpse into the inner thoughts of the man who occupied one of the highest seats of power in the Roman Empire.

One of the most striking qualities of this work is its timeless relevance. Despite being written nearly two millennia ago, Aurelius' musings continue to resonate with readers today. His contemplation on the fleeting nature of life and the importance of living in the present moment echoes the existential anxieties faced by individuals in the contemporary world.

In addition to the philosophical depth of the text, Aurelius' unique perspective as a philosopher-emperor adds a compelling layer to his insights. As a Roman Stoic, he valued the pursuit of virtue as the highest form of personal fulfillment and believed in the harmony between reason and nature. These principles are masterfully expounded upon in his meditations, offering readers invaluable guidance on ethical living and attaining inner tranquility.

Aurelius' writing style is simple, direct, and concise, which enhances the clarity of his thoughts. Each meditation is short yet impactful, making it an ideal book to contemplate in small doses. Whether read as a daily devotional or delved into as a complete literary experience, "Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius" captivates and inspires.

Furthermore, this edition of Aurelius' meditations features a well-crafted translation that remains faithful to the author's original intentions. The language maintains an eloquent and poetic quality, ensuring an engaging reading experience. The inclusion of insightful footnotes and contextual information also enhances the understanding and appreciation of the Emperor's profound reflections.

One potential criticism of the book is its lack of narrative structure. As a collection of individual meditations, there is no overarching plot or storyline. While some readers may find this format appealing, others might long for a more cohesive flow of ideas. However, it is important to approach the book with an open mind, appreciating each meditation for its standalone value.

In conclusion, "Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius" is a timeless masterpiece that continues to inspire and enlighten readers. Emperor Marcus Aurelius' introspective musings offer invaluable wisdom on the complexities of human existence, morality, and the quest for inner peace. Whether one seeks philosophical guidance or simply enjoys delving into the thoughts of a profound thinker, this book is a remarkable addition to any collection.

First Page:

[TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: All the footnotes have been moved to the end of the text. I have also relabeled the book headings; [I., II., ... XI.] has been changed to [BOOK I., BOOK II., ... BOOK XI.] at the start of each Section. I have also added a "1. " before the first "thought" in each BOOK.]










Perhaps some may question the wisdom of putting out the Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus to be used as a Reader by children in the schools. It may appear to them better suited to the mature mind. The principle, however, that has governed us in selecting reading for the young has been to secure the best that we could find in all ages for grown up people. The milk and water diet provided for "my dear children" is not especially complimentary to them. They like to be treated like little men and women, capable of appreciating a good thing. One finds in this royal philosopher a rare generosity, sweetness and humility, qualities alike suited to all ages.

Adopting the philosopher's robe at twelve, he remains a student all his life. The precepts that he would give for the government of others, he has practised upon himself... Continue reading book >>

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