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.
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