Meditations Summary

Nearly two thousand years after it was written, Meditationsremains profoundly relevant for anyone seeking to lead a meaningful life.

Few ancient works have been as influential as the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and emperor of Rome (A.D. 161–180). A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, it 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. For anyone who struggles to reconcile the demands of leadership with a concern for personal integrity and spiritual well-being, the Meditations remains as relevant now as it was two thousand years ago.

In Gregory Hays’s new translation—the first in thirty-five years—Marcus’s thoughts speak with a new immediacy. In fresh and unencumbered English, Hays vividly conveys the spareness and compression of the original Greek text. Never before have Marcus’s insights been so directly and powerfully presented.

With an Introduction that outlines Marcus’s life and career, the essentials of Stoic doctrine, the style and construction of the Meditations, and the work’s ongoing influence, this edition makes it possible to fully rediscover the thoughts of one of the most enlightened and intelligent leaders of any era.

Book Reviews


Life changing5 star

Good book highly recommended55


Amazing5 star

Amazing book, very insightful. You can tell it wasn’t written to be published but how the worlds most powerful man was attempting to push himself to get better everyday.55


A view inside his world5 star

Tough to understand at times, but very good book. A lot of insightful views on every day situations, and they are still relative today. His acceptance of all things created a calm and understanding mind. His writings fortify those beliefs.55


So many gems5 star

Broad concepts in concise verbiage. A must read.55

Tacitus K.

Arrogance.5 star

The book itself is a must read, I highly recommend it. It gives a good understanding of Marcus’s journal and his outlook on life. But for one of the reviewers, it seems they have forgotten the meaning of this book, or have simply never learned it. You were to (Review) said book, not complain about others with an apparent and appalling manner. People like you leave me disappointed.55


Great scripture5 star

Beautiful words of wisdom. It’s a breath of fresh air. Being as old as it is, the book gives great detail on how to be more appreciative on your past, present, and future. Gives a great outlook on things and a very positive read.55


Extreme imprecision and over simplification2 star

This translation is what I might recommend to those less educated or capable of grasping the ideas from the more involved translations. Aurelius himself (within the first few pages) talks of the pride he takes in being precise with his words. To me, the extreme simplification in translation is contrary to his sentiments on language and the use of it. Be more ambitious, and get as close to the original text as possible, for falling short of this is a great disservice to yourself. If it is too sophisticated for you to read the other translations, try harder.25


Excellent translation5 star

This is the finest English translation of Meditations of which I am aware, and therefore is well worth it's modest price.55


Great5 star

This is a wonderful translation. This work is something I refer to constantly for inspiration.55

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