Most likely written between 170 and 180 CE, Meditations is a remarkable work, a unique insight into the thinking of one of the most conscientious and able Roman emperors, Marcus Aurelius, who ruled at the apex of Roman might in the late second century CE. It was never intended to be widely circulated. Indeed, it was almost unknown until the 16th century. The work is like a series of jottings, written for its author's own improvement; it has no formal structure and its arguments follow no obvious pattern. Yet it has an immediacy that makes it one of the best and most accessible accounts of what is known as Stoic philosophy. Its distinctive approach, and its belief that philosophy can serve as a practical way of living a more balanced life, chime perfectly with our modern-day concerns. Meditations has won many admirers, including former US president Bill Clinton and Wen Jiabao, premier of China from 2003 to 2013.
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- Sebastian huerta