Meditations by Marcus Aurelius Review & Biography – Stoicism – Marcus Aurelius Biography & Review

What occupied the mind of an ancient and powerful Emperor of Rome? Meditations by Marcus Aurelius provides the answer. Let’s review Marcus Aurelius Meditations and look at a biography.

First part of the video: An introduction and a history of the reign of Marcus Aurelius and his adopted brother Verus.

Second part of this video: An introduction to the basics of Stoicism as taught by Epictetus in his discourses and other written works. And how it influenced Marcus Aurelius and Seneca.

Third part of this video: Meditations Marcus Aurelius review – We read some of the passages from Meditations and try to figure out the meaning and significance. The best translation of the ancient greek text to read is that by Gregory Hays.

In this video we also cover the book “Marcus Aurelius A Biography” by Anthony R. Birley. And discuss Seneca, Epictetus, Epicurus, Socrates and stoicism where applicable.

About Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (Gregory Hays translation):
A translation of one of the most important texts of Western philosophy. Few ancient works have been as influential as the MEDITATIONS of Marcus Aurelius. A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behaviour, it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus’s insights and advice – on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others – have made the MEDITATIONS required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style. In Gregory Hays’s new translation – the first in thirty-five years – Marcus’s thoughts speak with a new immediacy. In fresh and unencumbered English, Hays vividly conveys the spareness and compression of the original Greek text. Never before have Marcus’s insights been so directly and powerfully presented.
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (Gregory Hays):

Marcus Aurelius A Biography by Anthony R. Birley:
Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher-emperor who ruled the Roman Empire between AD 161 and 180, is one of the best recorded individuals from antiquity. Even his face became more than usually familiar: the imperial coinage displayed his portrait for over 40 years, from the clean-shaven young heir of Antonius to the war-weary, heavily bearded ruler who died at his post in his late fifties.
His correspondence with his tutor Fronto, and even more the private notebook he kept for his last ten years, the Meditations, provides a unique series of vivid and revealing glimpses into the character and peoccupations of this emporer who spent many years in terrible wars against northern tribes.
In this accessible and scholarly study, Professor Birley paints a portrait of an emporer who was human and just – an embodiment of the pagan virtues of Rome.

About this video: Meditations Marcus Aurelius review and historic context and perspective based on the Marcus Aurelius Biography by Anthony Birley. The Meditations are the private notebook that the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius kept for himself. It was written in ancient greek on a papyrus roll and never intended for publication. Marcus Aurelius also had no title for the notebook, so Meditations is something attached later. We don’t know who preserved the notebook or when it gained a wider readership. Even today The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius stands tall as a classic in litterature for good reason. Marcus Aurelius implemented ideas from the Philosophy Stoicism but was not a dogmatic Stoic. Marcus Aurelius is also known to day as the Philosopher King as defined by Plato as the ideal leader. The translation by Gregory Hays is modern and concise. Marcus Aurelius died at age 58 by natural means of illness. Commodus his only son by Faustina succeded him but was assasinated later as he slid into tyranny.

The Hollywood movie “The Gladiator” is entirely fictional (except from some of the names like Marcus Aurelius, Commodus and Lucilla) and the General Maximus is also completely made up.

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