Marcus Aurelius

This translation is considered the finest and closest to what Marcus Aurelius actually wrote in his journal. I have taken Long's translation and edited it from its original Victorian flavor into standard 21st century English.

I have read a few criticisms of this journal by scholars who consider Marcus' work "pedestrian". To that sort of complain the following counter-argumentation might be clear, given some reflection: First, that these Meditations were the author's private diary and never intended for formal presentation. These jottings really were written "To himself". Second, Marcus's ideas were not intended as a philosophical theory; these were his occasional reflections, often on mundane things. Another thought is that the signal-to-noise in Marcus' journal is, I believe, high when compared to the everyday racket that most of us diarists make. I look at this as philosophical comfort-food, with a substantial amount of profound and nourishing insights. Warming and thoroughly enjoyable.

I expect this work to go thru several drafts before it is complete. This is the first beta-level editing. Date first published: 15feb05
          (Revised: 19dec07) --gary kline

Marcus Aurelius was the emperor of Rome during the second century, A.D. He wrote the Meditations as notes to himself primarily during the many battle campaigns he led against invaders.

Far from being warlike, the Meditations take a spiritual approach to life. The brotherhood of mankind is emphasized, and the power of a gentle, disciplined mind is extolled.

The Meditations represent a school of Greek philosophy known as Stoicism - the Stoic ideals involved living a life of honesty, humility, and personal responsibility. Among the Stoic philosophers, great emphasis was placed on the power of decision and thought.

Marcus Aurelius (121 -- 180) was one of the last great rulers of Rome. His Meditations have been widely published since the middle ages.

The following twelve chapters are my adaptations based on George Long's
The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.
Gary Kline, 2005

Table of Contents

  1.    Book One   
  2.    Book Two   
  3.    Book Three   
  4.    Book Four   
  5.    Book Five   
  6.    Book Six   
  7.    Book Seven   
  8.    Book Eight   
  9.    Book Nine   
  10.    Book Ten   
  11.    Book Eleven   
  12.    Book Twelve   

Click here for a biography of this philosopher-king.