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Summary

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

What members say

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good book poorly read.

I am really not sure if I like this classic text or not because the reader made a poor job of his performance. They may just as well recite the book book in its Latin original because I doubt they would have understood less of what they read. I have rarely experienced a more disinterested and detached reading that was more off of the meaning in its intonation. Emphasis comes randomly and so do pauses. Not one of Audibles best.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good book, dull delivery.

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A most important read

This is the most important book ive read on Morality, other good people to read are Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson and Steven Pinker overall a must read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Was Jesus really a greater thinker than Marcus

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.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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spoiled by the narration

The content was undermined by the narrator's odd inflections and slow faltering delivery. Quite disappointing.

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Alan Munro did a grate job

Fantastic book, perfect voice to Listen to. Timeless book for any age groups to made ever better to have it read for you.

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  • Mr Henry
  • Leeds, United Kingdom
  • 28-07-17

Surprisingly modern

In his insistence on staying in the moment, eschewing fame and riches, living an authentic life and practising moderation, Marcus Aurelius could easily be a modern-day lifestyle guru. Pretty decent to say he wrote all this 2,000 years ago in circumstances rather different from our own.
Well worth a listen.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 02-07-17

Sounds like computer generated commentary

Could listen to it. Sounds like computer generated commentary. Awfully difficult to follow with poor punctuation etc

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  • Mark Grebner
  • 02-09-12

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.

135 of 135 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 06-10-12

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.

39 of 40 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Vaughn
  • 16-10-14

Narration was monotonous

What disappointed you about Meditations of Marcus Aurelius?

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.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The philosophy.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

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.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The philosophy.

Any additional comments?

I'm trying the copy read by another narrator.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • P
  • 11-03-14

I love his wisdom, but

What disappointed you about Meditations of Marcus Aurelius?

I am a fan of ancient philosophy and love M. Aurelius; have the books.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

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.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

The philosophy sparks inspiration on how to live life in ease within one's mind; the audio voice was disappointing.

Any additional comments?

Don't use your credit or buy the audible, buy yourself a lovely book to read under a tree on a warm spring day!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Piltdown Mann
  • 30-01-13

Don't Listen to it in the Car

What didn’t you like about Alan Munro’s performance?

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.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Cliente de Amazon
  • 26-10-17

the worst part, listening to Alan Munro. pauses

He pauses in the middle of each idea as a listener you cannot connect what he saying it's an agony for me to try to understand what he says when he does not even finish a sentence you cannot tell the difference between two ideas so far is the worst I've listened to

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Brian Grissom
  • 08-08-17

Awful narration

Everyone else said it first, but they are right. The uneven, herky-jerky reading makes this near impossible to follow, especially if you are accustomed to increased speed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David S. Mathew
  • 11-07-17

The Philosopher King

A friend recommended this to me, because I told him I wanted to learn more about Stoic philosophy. This collection of Marcus Aurelius's thoughts on life not only gave me a good foundation for Stoic thought, but shocked me when I realized just how far ahead of his time the Roman Emperor truly was. This reads like it could have been written by Carl Sagan.

As for the sound quality, the recording is honestly a bit scratchy. However, Alan Munro does a good job with material that is fairly dry so it's worth it. Overall, very highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Neuron
  • 11-04-18

A very old book...

I wish I could be more like Marcus Aurelius. Stoicism is my favorite life philosophy and Marcus is one of the most impressive stoics every - in theory and in practice. The philosophy of stoicism is basically a mindset, a mindset of endurance and inner peace. You will meet idiots, but it is not their fault that they are idiots. You, who know better, know that is is better to remain calm in every situation. Idiots cannot hurt you unless you let them. Instead, be nice, be gentle, be reasonable, at all times and in every encounter.

These are the principles spelled out in this book. Marcus, despite being a very powerful man comes across as humble and reasonable and he is, I think rightly, considered one of the greatest leaders of all time. It, therefore, pains me to say that the book was not very readable. Indeed, I would say that if you finish this book you are already a proven stoic. The reader should keep in mind that Aurelius lived almost 2000 years ago. Language evolves a lot in 2000 years and his contemporaries probably didn't experience the same issues when reading his book. Nevertheless, his promiscuous use of conjunctions (and, or, nor), leads to insanely long sentences - so long that you forget what the sentence was about by the time you reach the end of the sentence.

So even though I am a fan of stoicism and of Marcus Aurelius, I can't recommend this book unless you are one of those persons with a concentration ability made of concrete. In short, the book has a nice message but it is very boring.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-11-17

Alan Munro

Alan Munro has a good voice but not for a book that you’re trying to retain knowledge from. Should do kids bedtime stories

1 of 1 people found this review helpful