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Publisher's Summary

What’s the big idea? Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius believed that in a palace or a soldiers’ camp, one can live a life free of envy and desire, neither pursuing pleasure nor fearing pain as one performs the duties life has assigned. 

The Meditations are shot through with Stoic thought. Stoicism was the dominant philosophy of the era - not perhaps how we see philosophy today, as an academic inquiry into life and the world. Instead, the ancients looked upon philosophy and therefore Stoicism as a guide to living life correctly.

The core tenet of Stoicism is that happiness is found by accepting each moment as it presents itself. One should not pursue pleasure, nor fear or pain. One should try to understand the world and nature’s plan and try to live according to that understanding. But The Meditations are a wider-ranging work, touching on, among other things, the existence of God or gods, the persistence of evil and injustice, and the value of knowledge. He wonders about the birth and growth of a child from a little seed. 

I have worked to make the book as understandable as possible, not worrying about the literalness of the translation so much as clarifying the meaning of a given passage. By the end of the book, the emperor’s philosophy will be crystal-clear.

So please travel back almost 2,000 years ago and join Marcus Aurelius as sits in his camp in the evening, meditating on life.

©2021 Bill McGann (P)2022 Bill McGann

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