Meditations is former U.S. President Bill Clinton's favorite book. This audio consists of a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor 161-180 AD, setting forth his ideas on Stoic philosophy.
Public Domain (P)2012 Trout Lake Media
I had a long discussion on the page for Marcus Aurelius in Facebook that I founded a few years ago and still administer where a Christian apologist claimed that Marcus Aurelius was a ‘midget’ as a thinker compared to Jesus of the Christian fame.
There is one slight problem in this comparison. Marcus Aurelius did write a book or that is definitely his own words from the beginning to the end. In this respect, he beats Jesus 1-0.
Marcus Aurelius has demonstrably himself written down his ideas. On the other hand nobody knows who has come up with the ideas that are attributed to Jesus in the "New Testament" of the Christians. This strange book was after all written many decades and even century and a half after the death of this Jewish preacher and rebel.
A simple unpleasant fact (for Christians that is) is that Jesus has not written a single word that we would know to be his own work. We have just a book that this full of alleged quotes from him, but their real and source will probably never be known for sure.
The Greek-speaking writers of the New Testament could well have made up a majority or even all of these quotes and ideas by themselves. Nobody knows their sources. Bart D. Ehrman has written some good books about the issue.
Marcus Aurelius’ only book ‘Meditations' was translated into Latin from Greek. It was the preferred language of Roman intelligentsia of that day. Meditations was originally called in Greek "Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν" or "Ta eis heauton", literally "thoughts/writings addressed to himself".
Marcus Aurelius wrote the 12 books of the Meditations in Koine Greek that was used by the highly educated class of Romans. He wrote the book as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement.
Interesting book for those interested in ancient philosophy or profound "common sense" knowledge. Marcus Aurelius gives a stirring series of reccomend actions on living the good life through rational means.
The performance however was boring to say the least. It felt like the reader was merely droning off passages rather than having any enthusiasm for the project.
"The reading made it impossible to focus on content"
I looked forward to Meditations both as philosophy and for the insights it might yield into Roman history. But the experience was almost completely ruined by Alan Munro's reading.
His voice was mellifluous, clear, confident, and well-paced. But it was as if he were reading for transcription, pausing every three or four words for the stenographer to catch up. So instead of reading sentences and paragraphs in a way that brought out their meaning, he read small clusters of words, breaking apart their larger meanings in a way that made it impossible for me to follow the author's argument. If he were to read the preceding sentence, this would not be an exaggeration:
So instead of reading.
Sentences and paragraphs
In a way
That brought out their meaning
He read small clusters of words
Breaking apart their larger meanings
In a way
That made it impossible for me
To follow the author's argument.
I suppose somebody with a different attention span might find a much better experience, but I'll certainly never make the mistake of buying anything else Munro narrates.
"Interesting but very Slow"
The thoughts and statements of this book were interesting, however it was read with broken English. I'm not sure why, but every 4-6 words had a pause. It was highly annoying.
"Narration was monotonous"
The narration was monotonous and didn't seem like the narrator understood the content he was reading. I actually wondered if this was being read by a computer voice.
It didn't seem like the narrator understood or cared about the content he was reading. It might as well have been read by a computer voice.
I'm trying the copy read by another narrator.
"I love his wisdom, but"
I am a fan of ancient philosophy and love M. Aurelius; have the books.
The audio voice is unfortunately not that good at all. Sounded mechanical and robotic. I'm convinced something was altered on that voice, it just does not sound normal. Read the book instead.
The philosophy sparks inspiration on how to live life in ease within one's mind; the audio voice was disappointing.
Don't use your credit or buy the audible, buy yourself a lovely book to read under a tree on a warm spring day!
"Don't Listen to it in the Car"
The narrator has a resonant baritone voice. The narration would probably be okay if you were listening to it at home or with headphones. However, I usually listen to audible recordings in the car. With all the ambient noise, I found the narration very difficult to follow. I haven't experienced this problem with other narrators under similar conditions.
"Poor pronunciation and halting narration"
Halting reading, pausing
every third or fourth word
made listening at times,
Mispronunciation was a constant and Munro's complete misinterpretation of the structure and prose made me wonder if he had ever read the book before. It sounded unpolished. About 75% I got a hard copy and just read it myself.
The book itself is excellent and a fine window into Roman prose. It is not based on debate but reflection so you have to take what Aurelius says with a grain of salt. He was not a nice man, he was an old man mired in a lengthy military campaign and he was closer to the end of his life than the beginning. Sill, a fascinating window into the Roman world view.
"Terrible narration - don't be fooled by sample"
The narration starts well but after about 20 minutes it becomes so unbearable! It's robotic and irritating which distracts from what is being said. I'm a fan of the book but this is not the version to buy. Will try alternate audio version read by Duncan Steen - fingers crossed.
The words of this book are excellent and very relevant to today's lives, even thought it was written such a long time ago.
I think it lacks dynamics and character. Obviously it's not a story book but it's not a shopping list either.
"Reading a difficult text."
I admit less enjoyment in reading the Meditations than many other 'stoical' writings. it lacks formal argument. This is mainly because it is more like a list of do's and don't addressed by one person to himself. So any thought tangent or not that accomplishes this self-schooling is all the argument that is needed. Nonetheless my jaw drops open at the non sequiturs abounding in these pages and indeed at the world view that can embrace for example the idea that it is impious to be wracked with pain. The reading is soft befitting the intimacy of the setting. However the reader occasionally muffs the structure of longer sentences leaving confusing emphases and giving the performance a unpracticed feel. I still seek a more arched reading, one that takes on a stronger persona and attacks the work's repetitiousness as would befit strong imperial proclivities.
must have if one desires true wisdom integrity and sense of purpose I've listened to it 3 x already
"Difficult Verbiage / Language"
Yes, I would appreciate hearing insights on how this applies to life, politics, leadership of our modern world.
I struggled to get through due to the combination of language/verbiage utilized and the deep meaning in every sentence ... almost too much for me to take in at the same time.
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