book hack

Meditations

Marcus Aurelius, George Long, William Kaufman

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Meditations is a collection of 12 books written by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, who'll introduce you to Stoic philosophy, the concept of logic, self-discipline and give you faith that the course the world runs is a good one.

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Meditations

Meditations

by Marcus Aurelius

Overview

If you've ever wondered what Bill Clinton's favorite book is, now you know. Meditations by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius was probably never meant to be published, but in 1558 someone at Heidelberg University in Germany decided that these 12 books full of wisdom were too valuable to remain hidden from the world – and printed them.

If you've often got your head in the clouds, always planning far ahead, making up grand schemes, not fretting much about what goes wrong today, then some ancient Greek stoicism, which Marcus Aurelius bases his writings on, will speak to you. Opposite to the Epicureans, who sought as much pleasure as they could in the here and now, for tomorrow they could die, the Stoics believed in the goodness of things, no matter how bad they were at any given time.

Favorite quote

Put an end once and for all to this discussion of what a good man should be, and be one.

- Marcus Aurelius

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