“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”
Meditations is a series of personal reflections by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor 161–180 CE, written over a series of years in far-flung places as he led the Romans in military campaigns, quashed revolts, and dealt with the other tribulations of governing the Empire. It is best described as a spiritual journal, containing a record of the emperor's philosophical exercises.
Aurelius wrote the 12 books of the Meditations as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement. The writings take the form of quotations varying in length from one sentence to long paragraphs. He covers topics as diverse as the question of virtue, human rationality, the nature of the gods, and his own emotions, spanning from doubt and despair to conviction and exaltation. Aurelius also sets forth his ideas on Stoic philosophy.
The influence Meditations has had over centuries of thought is immeasurable. This "unendingly moving and inspiring" work is often cited alongside Jean Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions and St. Augustine’s Confessions in discussions of the most profoundly spiritual works outside of the Bible.
Recently, former U.S. President Bill Clinton called Meditations his favorite book.
This special edition of Meditations includes a newly revised and remastered text that has been optimized for digital reading. The translation is the rarely-seen Meric Casaubon version. There is an image gallery showcasing representations of Marcus Aurelius, his world, his family and detailed maps of the Roman world during the time of his reign. There are also links to free unabridged audio recordings of Meditations.