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date: 29 January 2023

Aurelius, Marcus, Meditationslocked

Aurelius, Marcus, Meditationslocked

  • R. B. Rutherford


Aurelius, Marcus, Marcus is most famous for a work his subjects never saw, the intimate notebook in which he recorded (in Greek) his own reflections on human life and the ways of the gods, perhaps before retiring at night. The title Meditations is purely modern: τά εἰς ἑαυτὸν (‘to himself’), found in our MSS, may not go back to the author, but is surely accurate. Internal evidence suggests that he was past his prime when he wrote (2. 2, and other references to his age or imminent death), and that at least parts were composed during his lengthy campaigns against the German tribes. It seems to have survived almost by accident; it was unknown to the writers of his time and for long afterwards, but seems to have surfaced in the 4th cent. (Them., Or. 6. 81c, not a certain allusion). In general the closest analogies for the thought are with *Epictetus, but Marcus is interested less in sustained exposition.


  • Latin Literature
  • Philosophy

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