Marcus Aurelius

The Meditations

Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus was the model of what we call a philosopher-king. Though his rule was troubled by war and conflict, he remained a thoughtful and even-handed ruler.
Meditations isn’t a complete book, but rather a collection of his personal diary entries written over a ten-year campaign in Greece. The entries were never meant to be published; instead, they were a reminder to himself of how to remain calm, tranquil, and kind, even in the worst of situations. In them we see the emperor working out how to deal with the everyday problems all of us face: annoying coworkers, difficult family members, the expectations of others, unrealized goals and achievements, and, ultimately, happiness.
The episodic nature of Meditations makes it hard to follow at times, but in exchange, we get a deeply personal window into the life of one of Rome’s most unique emperors, and more importantly, a handbook of thoughtful advice on how to live a tranquil, satisfied, and productive life.
179 printed pages

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Quotes

    Marie Bøttcher Christensenhas quotedlast month
    Since it is pos­sible26 that thou may­est de­part from life this very mo­ment, reg­u­late every act and thought ac­cord­ingly27.
    Helena Schwartz Fussinghas quoted2 months ago
    Sup­pose any man shall des­pise me. Let him look to that him­self. But I will look to this, that I be not dis­covered do­ing or say­ing any­thing de­serving of con­tempt. Shall any man hate me? Let him look to it. But I will be mild and be­ne­vol­ent to­wards every man, and ready to show even him his mis­take, not re­proach­fully, nor yet as mak­ing a dis­play of my en­dur­ance, but nobly and hon­estly
    b5870199008has quoted3 months ago
    If souls con­tinue to ex­ist, how does the air con­tain them from etern­ity?

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