THOUGHTS OF MARCUS AURELIUS. [HIS MEDITATIONS CONCERNING HIMSELF: Treating of a Natural Man’s Happiness; Wherein It Consisteth, and of the Means to Attain It. Translated Out of the Original Greek by] George Long.

(London: G. Harrap ¶ Co., Printed by Ballantyne and Co., n.d. (ca. 1900)).

The twelve books were composed by Aurelius in Greek while he was on campaigns during the last years of his reign and were first published posthumously. The books were written in an informal manner, generally dealing with philosophical observations about the world-order and man’s relationship to it. They clearly show his adherence to Stoicism and in them we find deeply personal expressions of an aging Emperor, somewhat disillusioned and despairing, in the final years of his reign.
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was probably the last great proponent of Stoicism. Aside from the first book, in which he pays his respects to his teachers and influences, the work has no formal structure, which gives it the character of a diary or journal and makes its reflections more personal and immediate.
These meditations, written by the Emperor while in the midst of armed struggle and during the great military campaigns of his final years, “record his thoughts about the meaning of world-order and the relationship of man...they show him to be disillusioned and despondent, seeking fortitude against the fear of death, the cares of this world and the misdeeds and injustices of others.”. Item #32179

First edition thus. A very handsome Press Book style printing by one of the fine presses in England. Illustrated with a gravure frontispiece plate showing the bust of Marcus Aurelius. Square 8vo, handsomely bound for Sotheran's of Piccadilly in three-quarter blue-green morocco over cloth covered boards, the spine with raised bands gilt ruled, the compartments of the spine with central gilt ornamental devices, two compartments lettered in gilt, marbled endleaves, top edge gilt, ribbon page marker. (iv), 237 pp. A fine copy, clean and very well preserved, the binding with only light evidence of age or use, still very handsome.

Price: $175.00