Stoic Meditations

This is the first of two volumes in the Marcus Aurelius Complete Works in the Stoicism in Plain Englishseries.

Meditations by Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-180 CE) is probably the most beloved, uplifting, and widely read classic of Stoic philosophy. Marcus ruled the greatest empire the world had seen up until his time. Yet he faced several problems, both personal and political.

His empire was repeatedly invaded, Cassius revolted against him, his wife was unfaithful, and his son was incompetent and, later, cruel. But Aurelius was a Stoic and took everything in his stride.

As he got closer to the end of his life, he began writing his thoughts in his journal. There were twelve “books” in all. They were not meant for publication and had no titles. These twelve books were collectively known as To Himself, and are now generally called Meditations. This is the plain English translation, updated by Chuck Chakrapani of The Stoic Gym.