December 15, 2003


by Marcus Aurelius; translated by George Long


Originally published in 1909

​​Meditations is Marcus Aurelius's private book of reflections, 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 described as a spiritual journal, containing a record of Marcus' philosophical exercises. The book is an example of Stoic thought and is a document of the inner life of a Roman emperor. It bears witness to a journey of the human spirit and speaks to us across the millennia about perennial human problems.


Marcus Aurelius became Emperor in 161 C.E. at the age of forty. While his philosophical training encouraged toleration and even compassion, his duties as Emperor often required a harsher approach. Marcus thus embodies the paradox of the philosopher-king who must enforce the law and administer justice while looking beyond politics to the cosmic vantage point from which the tribulations of politics come to seem trivial.


In his translation Ralph Manheim has taken care to give an exact English equivalent of Hitler's style, including his occasional grammatical errors. This English version of Hitler's own story of his life, his political philosophy, and his plans for world domination is a compilation of prison writings, the bible of National Socialism, and the blueprint for the Third Reich.  


- adapted and revised from publisher


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