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Meditations

Narrated by: Duncan Steen
Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (98 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of the most significant books ever written by a head of State, the Meditations are a collection of philosophical thoughts by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121 - 180 ce). Covering issues such as duty, forgiveness, brotherhood, strength in adversity and the best way to approach life and death, the Meditations have inspired thinkers, poets and politicians since their first publication more than 500 years ago. Today, the book stands as one of the great guides and companions - a cornerstone of Western thought.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

Public Domain (P)2010 Naxos AudioBooks

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Listed dozens of times

I tried some of the other recordings of it but couldn’t stand the narrator. I like putting it on to fall asleep to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Worth the time

There is value in the words and ideas presented in this book, the volume of which can only be determined by the by the listener. Do yourself a favour, purchase and download the book, enjoy again and again.

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Wonderful narration. A good experience overall.

The writings themselves were eloquent and captivating, albeit a bit repetitive. Aurelius misses the mark on certain points, naturally, but it's worth a listen if you can allow it all to rest within its proper context.

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100p must read

Great reading of a great book. If you're looking to develop a strong way of living and take charge of your existence on this planet you should already be spending that credit of yours. I had to listen multiple times and write a summary to get all the juice out of this book, but enjoyed the process each time. Another reviewer wrote "steel for your spine" which I whole heartedly agree with. 🏋️ Just do it

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ahead of it’s time

Marcus Aurelius is very accessible and in some ways his old ideas are still ones that many haven’t embraced today. It was a great listen! #Audible1

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Thought Provoking!

#Audible1

Who would have thought that a Roman emperor would be so enlightened, and his thoughts would survive to the modern age? Excellent, and great recording!

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Promotes a tranquil mind

I love this, I've listened to it a few times already and it somehow still manages to bring me peace of mind. I don't live by all the standards Marcus sets out but I feel like it consistantly nudges me in the right direction.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Viviana
  • 2016-02-05

This is a masterpiece. Most enriching. So thankful for it.

I am so thankful to have "stumbled" on this Audible recommendation. It was on sale, but after listening a few minutes I knew it was priceless. There is no way to "pay" for something whose value cannot be summed up. A treasure.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • 2016-10-22

Excelent reading of an excellent classic

Marcus Aurelius seems often to be regarded as the "father of Stoicism" and his Meditations as a sort of Stoic Bible. Neither of these things is true - Stoicism was founded centuries before his time, in Greece, and the emperor's "meditations" were basically his study notes and personal journals. He was writing only for himself, and never meant for his writings to be published after his death as a guide to others on how to live their lives.

Nonetheless, the Meditations are worthy of a deep, thoughtful read. Much of what Aurelius "teaches" can be considered common sense guidelines to approaching life, even if you are not a capital-s Stoic.


"You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength."


This is Stoicism in a nutshell: You cannot control other things and people - you can only control yourself. Aurelius belabors this point at length - that whatever happens is meant to happen, that you have no power to change what has happened or will happen, and that therefore your only choice is how you will react to it. And that reacting with emotion is foolish.

Much of his philosophy also boils down to telling oneself to rise above insults, injuries, and idiots.


Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil. But for my part I have long perceived the nature of good and its nobility, the nature of evil and its meanness, and also the nature of the culprit himself, who is my brother (not in the physical sense, but as a fellow creature similarly endowed with reason and a share of the divine); therefore none of those things can injure me, for nobody can implicate me in what is degrading. Neither can I be angry with my brother or fall foul of him; for he and I were born to work together, like a man’s two hands, feet or eyelids, or the upper and lower rows of his teeth. To obstruct each other is against Nature’s law – and what is irritation or aversion but a form of obstruction.


Stoicism often seems close to fatalism - one could conclude that if your life is basically out of your control and that everything and everyone will act according to their natures, there isn't much point in making plans or having hopes and dreams. But that isn't what Stoicism teaches, because the one thing you are in control of - yourself - is still a powerful agent in your life. Maybe you are (according to Stoic principles) fated to live a certain way and only that way, but you can choose to enjoy it or not, be miserable or not, be fulfilled or not.

Stoicism is powerful and requires a lot more study than just reading a Wikipedia summary or the meditations of one long-dead philosopher-emperor. But it appeals to me a lot, and so I really enjoyed reading Aurelius's words, even when he was expressing things that don't jive with my modern sensibilities. He was a pagan, of course, so he speaks of the gods as arbiters of our fates and the source of all that is good (a paradox I have always found amusing, given what fickle, spiteful jerks the gods are typically in Greco-Roman mythology), but sometimes he also refers to "God" as if he had also assimilated some monotheistic ideas.

Not everything in Aurelius's Meditations will resonate with everyone, but even if you are not interested in Stoicism per se, this is still a great philosophical and literary classic that is worth reading in its own right, for insights as to why an emperor from two thousand years ago is still so highly regarded.

The audiobook reading was pitch-perfect. I could listen to this guy speaking Stoic philosophy all day. Obviously Marcus Aurelius did not have a rich British accent, nor did he speak English, but still, it's easy to imagine his voice being like this, his accent being the equivalent, just as the words in translations probably don't use the exact same metaphors and figures of speech he did (and of course, in translation it's still quite deliberately stilted and archaic in cadence and sentence structure and vocabulary, when obviously Aurelius would have sounded more contemporary, if formal, to his own ears and those of his peers) but sound authentic.

143 of 149 people found this review helpful

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  • John J.
  • 2015-02-28

SO BRILLIANT, I BOUGHT THE HARD COPY...!!

If you could sum up Meditations in three words, what would they be?

A magnificent read...!!

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

A compilation of writings never intended for publication, you receive a candid insight into the man himself, his values, principles and ponderings. Seeking balance in his life as a ruler, a warrior, spouse, father and human being - I found his perspectives fascinating...

Have you listened to any of Duncan Steen’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No - but I am a new fan. His verbal inflections reflect an obvious mental and emotional immersion into the topic matter and do great credit to the writings and meditations of Marcus Aurelius...

If you could give Meditations a new subtitle, what would it be?

"Wisdoms & Guidance for Life..."

Any additional comments?

A magnificent compilation of historical wisdoms, historically articulated through many cultures and various systems of belief, most of us have had handed down to us through the course of our own lives. Welcome caveat being, these wisdoms are offered through the prism and perspective of the man himself, which brings depth and dimension to Marcus Aurelius as a man and insight into how his wheels turned. As an "average Joe," and casual student of philosophy, I found this book so worth my time, I play it repetitiously, like a favorite movie from which you catch something new each time you watch it...!! Narrator, Duncan Steen - CHERRS...!!

101 of 107 people found this review helpful

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  • E
  • 2017-11-09

Listened to this at least 5 times so far.

I started to add bookmarks until I realized that I was bookmarking everything in the book.

Fantastic narrator as well, thank you.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • James A. Williams
  • 2012-05-14

Clearly and dramatically read classic

If you could sum up Meditations in three words, what would they be?

insightful
Inspirational

What other book might you compare Meditations to and why?

Bhagavad Gita - Discusses the way to perceive the challenges of life

What about Duncan Steen’s performance did you like?

Clearly and passionately read

If you could give Meditations a new subtitle, what would it be?

Interpreting and making sense of life through clearer lens

Any additional comments?

Nope

35 of 37 people found this review helpful

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  • Trenton
  • 2015-02-22

Great narrator

This narrator rocks. I love setting the timer at night and just falling asleep to this book. He says a lot of good things.

57 of 62 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeff
  • 2014-01-09

BEST NARRATION ON ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS EVER

This is undoubtedly one of the best books ever written! Best advice for young and old in a perfectly straightforward manner. The most remarkable treatise on how to live ones life, whether it be on your actions or responding to the actions of others. One of the most remarkable books that Ive ever read- hands down. This is the best audible version of it as well. AN ABSOLUTE MUST READ.

34 of 37 people found this review helpful

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  • Scott
  • 2013-03-25

Great Narration, Great Content

If you could sum up Meditations in three words, what would they be?

Concise, relevant, clear. This book lays out the heart of stoic philosophy and is a guide for living your life as a stoic.

What does Duncan Steen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Commanding voice and use of language.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • n
  • 2013-03-25

The Royal Treatment

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

A classic work of personal philosophy that has not aged a day since it was written by Emperor Marcus Aurelius between 170 and 180 CE.

Who was your favorite character and why?

N/A

What does Duncan Steen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Fantastic voice...not grating or wheezy or nerdily academic...Steen sounds like a soldier and a dignified ruler, and it is so easy to imagine Aurelius himself narrating his Meditations.
I would still read the book, because this is philosophy and not something you gobble down in a few hours. This is a road map for living. But I enjoyed being able to listen to a title that I have loved since I was 16, while doing something else with my hands.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

N/A

33 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • Brent C. Johnson
  • 2017-11-19

Wise Words Stand the Test of Time

Meditations is thought provoking and gives you a chance to rationalize yourself and the world around you without judgement. Full of well written, powerful statements that are still true to this day. Meditations is a guiding light to center yourself in a time where the world is driven by desires, fame, anger, and abundance. Highly recommend!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful