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Meditations – Marcus Aurelius

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Translated with notes by MARTIN HAMMOND with an Introduction by DISKIN CLAY

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Description

Written in Greek by the only Roman emperor who was also a philosopher, without any intention of publication, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) offer a remarkable series of challenging spiritual reflections and exercises developed as the emperor struggled to understand himself and make sense of the universe. Ranging from doubt and despair to conviction and exaltation, they cover such diverse topics as the nature of moral virtue, human rationality, divine providence and Marcus’ own emotions. But while the Meditations were composed to provide personal consolation and encouragement, in developing the beliefs Marcus Aurelius also created one of the greatest of all works of philosophy: a timeless collection of extended meditations and short aphorisms that has been consulted and admired by statesmen, thinkers and readers throughout the centuries.
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.

About the Author

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.

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