This definitive annotated translation of Marcus Aurelius's Meditations is an insightful look into the mind of Ancient Rome's sixteenth emperor.
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 CE) was the sixteenth emperor of Rome—and by far the most powerful man in the world. Yet he was also an intensely private person, with a rich interior life and one of the wisest minds of his generation. He collected his thoughts in notebooks, gems that have come to be called his Meditations. Never intended for publication, the work has proved an inexhaustible source of wisdom and one of the most important Stoic texts of all time. In often passionate language, the entries range from one-line aphorisms to essays, from profundity to bitterness. This annotated edition offers the definitive translation of this classic and much beloved text, with copious notes from world-renowned classics expert Robin Waterfield. It illuminates one of the greatest works of popular philosophy for new readers and enriches the understanding of even the most devoted Stoic.
About the Author
Robin Waterfield is a British classical scholar, translator, and editor, specializing in Ancient Greek philosophy. He lives in Greece.
“Robin Waterfield has given us a splendid translation of Marcus: accurate and idiomatic, it captures the personal tone of the Meditations wonderfully. The notes and introduction are detailed but clear, authoritative both historically and philosophically, telling modern readers what they need to know. This is the best translation of the Meditations available today.”—Brad Inwood, William Lampson Professor of Philosophy and Classics, Yale University
“This is a valuable addition to our stock of modern translations of the Meditations. The translation is accurate but also accessible and powerful. The full and informative introduction and the notes, helpfully placed at the foot of each page, make this a book that offers much to a wide variety of readers.”—Christopher Gill, emeritus professor of ancient Thought, University of Exeter, and author of Greek Thought
“Do we need another translation of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations? Yes, especially when it is so thoroughly and informatively annotated as Waterfield's. The introduction alone is worth the price of admission.”—Massimo Pigliucci, author of How to Be A Stoic
“Robin Waterfield, a leading classical scholar and translator, has given us a dazzling new translation of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. Readers: Do not skip the introduction. In hard-hitting and eloquent prose, Waterfield explains the personal and private meditations of an emperor who turns to Stoicism for exercises in becoming a better person and a better world leader. The tension in juggling those worlds is part of Marcus’s enduring legacy. This modernized scholarly edition of the Meditations will quickly find its home on the modern Stoic’s bookshelf as well as on the reading lists of those of us who teach ancient Stoicism. It’s a most welcome addition to ancient Stoic scholarship.”—Nancy Sherman, professor of philosophy, Georgetown University
“The best of both worlds: a lively, readable, and engaging translation, supplemented by extensive notes drawn from up-to-date scholarship. This edition can be studied in a graduate seminar or presented to an interested amateur for their casual enjoyment. Waterfield’s wide experience as a translator of Plato, Xenophon, and Plutarch has equipped him to tackle Marcus’ idiosyncratic musings, and he has improved the text with numerous corrections. Marcus emerges from the mists of time with a clear voice and a compelling vision.”—Tad Brennan, professor of philosophy and classics, Cornell University