Meditations

by Aurelius, Marcus

Meditations is a philosophical book written by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in the second century AD. The book is a collection of personal reflections on his own life, the nature of the universe, and the Stoic philosophy which guided his actions. Aurelius discusses topics such as self-discipline, virtue, and the importance of living in the present moment. He also explores the relationship between humanity and the universe, and how one can achieve inner peace and tranquility. Meditations is considered a classic work of Stoic philosophy and continues to be widely read and studied today.

First Edition Identification

Widely known as Meditations today, Marcus Aurelius initially compiled the twelve books that make up the work as private journals. The books were originally written in Ancient (Medieval) Greek by the title (ta eis heauton) which translates to "That which is to Himself".

The earliest reference to the work is from Herodian in the 3rd century, who mentions Marcus Aurelius' literary legacy, and there are later references from Arethas of Caesarea in the 10th century and John Tzetzes in the 12th century. The book was first divided into twelve books by the Suda lexicon published in the 10th century. The text is based mainly on two manuscripts: the Codex Palatinus (P) and the Codex Vaticanus (A), which was printed by Wilhelm Xylander in 1558. 

The modern history of Meditations dates from the issue of the first printed edition (editio princeps) by Wilhelm Xylander, which appeared in Latin in 1558 or 1559. The original manuscript from which it was printed is now lost, so this text has become one of the two principal sources of all modern texts. First English translation was made in 1634 by Meric Casaubon.

Meditations has always been an extremely popular text and it continues to help and inspire readers today.

Other Collectible or Notable Editions

Among collectible editions is a 2002 Easton Press edition, bound in full leather accented in 22kt gold with hubbed spines, smyth sewing and concealed muslin joints. The archival paper has gilded edges.

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Meditations

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by Marcus Aurelius

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by Marcus Aurelius

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