Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Karl White
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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


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


into 12 books totalling 486 entries. This is an editorial convention, as is the title of the work. Although occasionally…

2881 words

Citation: White, Karl. "Meditations". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 February 2006 [, accessed 30 May 2024.]

3656 Meditations 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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