Marcus Aurelius: Meditations

(2881 words)
  • Karl White (University College Cork)

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius is a collection of personal reflections, exhortations and maxims, stemming from the Stoic tradition of philosophy, written in Greek by the emperor in the latter years of his life, most likely between 177 and 180 (Book One concludes with the epitaph “Among the Quadi, on the River Gran”). The oldest manuscript has the words “To Himself” above the first page. This phrase is perhaps more apt than the title Meditations as it appears Marcus wrote only for his own edification in his private notebooks and had no intention of having his thoughts circulated for a wider public. Modern editions of Marcus' work divide the Meditations into 12 books totalling 486 entries. This is an …

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Citation:
White, Karl. "Meditations". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 February 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3656, accessed 30 September 2014.]