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Meditations

Meditations

Paperback Penguin Classics

Edited by Martin Hammond, Translated by Martin Hammond, By (author) Marcus Aurelius, Introduction by Diskin Clay

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  • Publisher: PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 127mm x 196mm x 23mm | 295g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2006
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0140449337
  • ISBN 13: 9780140449334
  • Edition: Annotated
  • Sales rank: 2,610

Product description

Originally written only for his personal consumption, Marcus Aurelius' "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' 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".

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Author information

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.

Review quote

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 Marcus is well served by this new translation. Hammond has a pithy turn of phrase to match the emperor's own ... His notes abound in helpful explanation and illuminating cross-reference. Diskin Clay contributes a sparkling and sympathetic introduction. The combination of introduction, translation and notes is as good as they get -- John Taylor Journal of Classics Teaching

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 Trade Paperback edition.