Ranked #1 in Ancient Rome, Ranked #1 in Italian Historysee more rankings.

One measure, perhaps, of a book's worth, is its intergenerational pliancy: do new readers acquire it and interpret it afresh down through the ages? The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, translated and introduced by Gregory Hays, by that standard, is very worthwhile, indeed. Hays suggests that its most recent incarnation--as a self-help book--is not only valid, but may be close to the author's intent. The book, which Hays calls, fondly, a "haphazard set of notes," is indicative of the role of philosophy among the ancients in that it is "expected to provide a 'design for living.'" And it... more

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of Meditations from the world's leading experts.

Naval Ravikant CEO & Co-Founder/AngelListRecommends this book

Arianna Huffington Founder/The Huffington PostI find [this book] so inspirational and instructive, it lives on my nightstand. (Source)

Marvin Liao Partner/500 StartupsMy list would be (besides the ones I mentioned in answer to the previous question) both business & Fiction/Sci-Fi and ones I personally found helpful to myself. The business books explain just exactly how business, work & investing are in reality & how to think properly & differentiate yourself. On the non-business side, a mix of History & classic fiction to understand people, philosophy to make sense of life and Science fiction to picture what the future could be like (not always utopian). (Source)

Chip Conley I have given [this book] away to a number of people. (Source)

Ryan Holiday AuthorTo me, this is not only one of greatest books ever written but perhaps the only book of its kind. Just imagine: the private thoughts of the most powerful man in the world, admonishing himself on how to be better, more just, more immune to temptation, wiser. It is the definitive text on self-discipline, personal ethics, humility, self-actualization and strength. If you read it and aren’t profoundly changed by it, it’s probably because as Aurelius says “what doesn’t transmit light creates its own darkness”. (Source)

Matthieu David-Experton My favorite book is Meditations by Marcus-Aurelius. First, it is very universal as questions and thinking and it can reflect a lot of what one can go through in their life. Secondly, it is a book about responsibility and exercising your responsibility in the world when you have to care about people under you. I have read it several times since I was a teenager. (Source)

Chris Oliver I also want to re-read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius again as well. I love reading the stoics. (Source)

Massimo Pigliucci Probably the most famous book written by a Stoic. It has been in print ever since there have been printing presses. (Source)

Scott Perry Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius is one that I’ve read annually since I was in the 7th Grade. It’s the personal journal of the last of the Five Good Emperors of Rome. Meditations delivers wisdom in short reflections and reminders on a variety of topics such as the importance of gratitude, dealing with difficult people, duty, and the individual’s place in society and the cosmos. [...] I first read Marcus Aurelius while translating his maxims in Latin class. They resonated so deeply that I asked for extra quotes to translate as homework! My teacher loaned me his copy of Meditations and I read it... (Source)

Mike Benkovich Honourable Mentions: Four Hour Work Week, The Happiness Hypothesis, Meditations, Catch 22, A Guide To The Good Life. (Source)

David Heinemeier Hansson Marcus Aurelius is probably my favorite Stoic philosopher, with Seneca as a close second. And in Stoic philosophy I’ve found kindred thought for mental coping mechanisms I had employed since childhood. It refined them further and cemented their place as the guiding philosophy of life for me. (Source)

Elizabeth Holmes According to Holmes, this was one book she read over and over again before she even launched her business. (Source)

Santiago Basulto Meditations (Marcus Aurelius) was one of them, and probably one of the most profound impact. Made me get into stoicism and fall in love with roman history. (Source)

Stephane Grand When a look back at my career path, it is the one of an entrepreneur. I have built various businesses, from accounting and financial advisory firms to tech and security businesses. I have also spent most of my adult life in China, a country that is quite hostile to foreigners and very unfair. I have accepted to suffer the hardships of building my business without any investment from anybody, and stick very firmly to my values. I would recommend young people to read about adventure, hardships, and moral choices. Of course, it would be important to also read about the drivers of our humanity,... (Source)

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