Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor from AD 161 to 180, is renowned for his just rule at home and for his long frontier wars. But his lasting claim to fame rests on the work known as the Meditations - a bedside book of reflections and self-admonitions composed in Greek (the language of philosophy) during his last years and partly while on campaign. These sparse notes, intended for the author's eyes alone, give unique access to the mind of an ancient ruler; they also contain many passages of pungent epigram and poetic imagery. In this study, Dr Rutherford seeks to make the Meditations more approachable to the modern reader by explaining the historical and philosophical background, charting the main themes and tendencies of Marcus' thought, and relating stylistic detail to the intellectual and moral outlook of the author.
`brings the philosopher-emperor persuasively back into the reckoning as a complex but accessible thinker of genuine distinction'
Peter Jones, The Times
`only the eye of love could have discerned all that is here so ingeniously and persuasively conveyed to the reader. For these volumes, R. deserves gratitude from all of us and, from the Emperor, a chapter to himself in Book I of the "Meditations".'
`[Rutherford's] reading of both the ancient and the modern literature is exceptionally wide-ranging; he has provided a compendious source of reference for any student of the Meditations'
Times Literary Supplement
'outstanding for careful analysis, elegance and the astonishing range and depth of learning with which he finds precedents or analogies for the substance and style of Marcus' reflections'
P.A. Brunt, Brasenose College, Oxford, Journal of Roman Studies, LXXX, 90
'This fine and highly learned study will without doubt and deservedly be the standard-work on the subject for many years to come ... R., in his striving for revealing the richness of Marcus' Meditations, has produced an extremely varied and rich monograph himself, which will render good service to a broad range of classical studies.'
Paul M.M. Leunissen, Mnemosyne, Vol. XLV, Fasc. 1 (1992)
Abbreviated titles for works of reference; other conventions; Marcus Aurelius: A biographical note; The form and functions of the Meditations; The first book: Literary and cultural background; The first book: An ethical self-portrait; Aspects of style and thought; Marcus Aurelius and the supernatural; Life and death in the religion of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius; Envoi.
Series: Oxford Classical Monographs (Paperback)
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 30th May 1991
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.01 x 13.18
Weight (kg): 0.4