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The Emperor’s Handbook: A New Translation of The Meditations



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Amazon Price: $22.00 $12.76 You save: $9.24 (42%). (as of January 17, 2018 4:27 am – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

In the tradition of The Art of Living and Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations—a practical book of timeless advice from one of the most powerful individuals in history—available for the first time in a highly accessible translation, including several unique features for contemporary readers and users of daily wisdom guides.

Essayist Matthew Arnold described the man who wrote these words as “the most beautiful figure in history.” Possibly so, but he was certainly more than that. Marcus Aurelius ruled the Roman Empire at its height, yet he remained untainted by the incalculable wealth and absolute power that had corrupted many of his predecessors. Marcus knew the secret of how to live the good life amid trying and often catastrophic circumstances, of how to find happiness and peace when surrounded by misery and turmoil, and of how to choose the harder right over the easier wrong without apparent regard for self-interest.

The historian Michael Grant praises Marcus’s book as “the best ever written by a major ruler,” and Josiah Bunting, superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute, calls it “the essential book on character, leadership, duty.” Never intended for publication, the Meditations contains the practical and inspiring wisdom by which this remarkable emperor lived the life not of a saintly recluse, but of a general, administrator, legislator, spouse, parent, and judge besieged on all sides.

The Emperor’s Handbook offers a vivid and fresh translation of this important piece of ancient literature. It brings Marcus’s words to life and shows his wisdom to be as relevant today as it was in the second century. This book belongs on the desk and in the briefcase of every business executive, political leader, and military officer. It speaks to the soul of anyone who has ever exercised authority or faced adversity or believed in a better day.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (November 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743233832
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743233835
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces

Customer Reviews

A word of caution

471 people found this helpful.
 on July 23, 2016
By Nom de Bloom
Amazon lumps different translations together as merely variations on how the book is delivered. In this case, the Hays translation is the hardcover, while the authors who translated the paperback and Kindle versions aren’t specified. So use the tools available (look inside, free sample) to get an idea of the language used by the author and see if it’s something you’d like to read, or if a different translation suits you better.

It’s worth trying different translations

726 people found this helpful.
 on September 25, 2013
By davidhmorgan
I don’t know who did the translation for this one but I found it very difficult to follow. This prompted me to look around and I found another translation by George Long (Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus 1862). Even though it’s not a recent translation, Long’s version is often easier to understand. Compare the translations of the first paragraph for example:

Meditations – 5stars

246 people found this helpful.
 on May 11, 2014
By Alex
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

great book from a great man

One person found this helpful.
 on April 14, 2017
By eric
great book from a great man. its relevant even if you aren’t a practicing stoic. and its especially helpful IF you are a stoic. i’d recommend it to anyone who wants a different way of dealing with life

Deep and simple philosophical read.

 on September 26, 2017
By David E. Aeh
This is a nice philosophical read. To the point and amazingly simple to absorb. Is a bit dry but this is written by a warrior king who appears to be pretty much done with trying to find an answer to all of life’s riddles.

Very Good Book

One person found this helpful.
 on February 17, 2014
By Sponkey Monkey
The book arrived in perfect condition. I enjoyed reading this book for it makes you think and see things in a different light. In a way it reminds me of Ecclesiastics and it’s wisdom. Life is Life and we have to make the best we can of it, and, not take it all so seriously. Doesn’t pay to get angry, hateful, so on and so forth; life is just too dang short. So, try your best to be happy, forgive and live your life to its fullest.

Russel Crowe’s mentor

One person found this helpful.
 on April 11, 2017
By TJ Ehlers
Everyone in this day and age is stupid. Marcus knows what’s up.

Great Cover Design

One person found this helpful.
 on September 23, 2016
By J
This is a beautifully packaged classic, with all the wisdom of Marcus Aurelius wrapped up in a pretty little hardcover. Makes a great addition to a bookshelf on display (after reading, of course).

Full of Gems of Knowledge

 on January 5, 2015
By Manuel R.
It is a pleasure to read Meditations, although the English is not always easy to follow, at least for a non native speaker. Marcus Aurelius leads us into a travel in the challenges and mysteries of life and makes us wonder about what is truly important. His thoughts appear surprisingly modern, as modern are many of his ideas – from himself or borrowed from other philosophers – about nature, matter and universe. Despite all the scientific and technical progress, men from ancient times were not that different from ourselves in what the position to the eternal problems relates.

Helps me help myself.

 on September 4, 2017
By DJH
When I need to calm my mind or prepare myself to do some critical thinking, I pop upon this book. By the time I’ve finished reading a passage, I’m mentally prepared. I love it. Very useful tome.
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