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Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180 AD) was Roman Emperor from 161
to 180, and is considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers.
What today we call the "Meditations" take the form of a
personal notebook, which wasn’t intended for publication. Aurelius
called them “Writings To Myself.” They were written in
Greek, although his native tongue was Latin, and were probably composed
while he was on military campaigns in central Europe, c. AD 171-175. He
died, most likely from the plague or cancer, on a military campaign in
present-day Austria. The work is divided into 12 short books.
/>"Meditations" is perhaps the only document of its kind ever
made. It is the private thoughts of the world’s most powerful man
giving advice to himself on how to make good on the responsibilities and
obligations of his positions. Trained in Stoic philosophy, Marcus
Aurelius stopped almost every night to practice a series of spiritual
exercises—reminders designed to make him humble, patient,
empathetic, generous, and strong in the face of whatever he was dealing
with. It is imminently readable and perfectly accessible. You cannot
read this book and not come away with a phrase or a line that will be
helpful to you the next time you are in trouble.