[Read books] MEDITATIONS: (Illustrated)Author Marcus Aurelius – Collateralloan.co

One measure, perhaps, of a book s worth, is its intergenerational pliancy do new readers acquire it and interpret it afresh down through the ages The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, translated and introduced by Gregory Hays, by that standard, is very worthwhile, indeed Hays suggests that its most recent incarnation as a self help book is not only valid, but may be close to the author s intent The book, which Hays calls, fondly, a haphazard set of notes, is indicative of the role of philosophy among the ancients in that it is expected to provide a design for living And it does, both aphoristically Think of yourself as dead You have lived your life Now take what s left and live it properly and rhetorically What is it in ourselves that we should prize Whether these, and other entries Enough of this wretched, whining monkey life sound life changing or like entries in a teenager s diary is up to the individual reader, as it should be Hays s introduction, which sketches the life of Marcus Aurelius emperor of Rome AD as well as the basic tenets of stoicism, is accessible and jaunty H O Billovich The Meditations remain, unendingly moving and inspiring, the communings with itself of a thoughtful and devout soul upon the greatest of human issues They are not, and do not claim to be, a work of original philosophy, nor yet a systematic exposition of a tradition of thought They speak for themselves Only by the slenderest of chances have they come down to the modern world at allbut the number of times they have been publishedand above all translated into a vast variety of tongues, would have filled their author with amazement from the Introduction by D A Rees

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