'Meditations: with Selected Correspondence'
By Marcus Aurelius (Author), Robin Hard (Author), Christopher Gill (Author)
The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius is one of the best-known and most popular works of ancient philosophy, offering spiritual reflections on how best to understand the universe and one's place within it. In short, highly charged comments, Marcus draws on Stoic philosophy to confront challenges that he felt acutely, but which are also shared by all human beings--facing the constant presence of death, making sense of one's social role, grasping the moral significance of the universe. They bring us closer to the personality of the emperor, who is often disillusioned with his own status and with human activities in general; they are both an historical document and a remarkable spiritual diary. This translation by Robin Hard brings out the eloquence and universality of Marcus' thoughts. The introduction and notes by Christopher Gill take account of the most recent work on Marcus and place the Meditations firmly in the ancient philosophical context. A newly translated selection of Marcus' correspondence with his tutor Fronto broadens the picture of the emperor as a person and thinker.
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (often referred to as "the wise") was Emperor of the Roman Empire from 161 to his death in 180. He was the last of the "Five Good Emperors", and is also considered one of the more important Stoic philosophers. His two decades as emperor were marked by near continual warfare. He was faced with a series of invasions from German tribes, and by conflicts with the Parthian Empire in the east. His reign also had to deal with an internal revolt in the east, led by Avidius Cassius.
Marcus Aurelius' work Meditations, written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a government of service and duty and has been praised for its exquisite accent and its infinite tenderness.