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The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Francis Hutcheson

Publication Year: 2012

This 1742 translation is a collaborative work by Francis Hutcheson and a colleague at Glasgow University, the classicist James Moor. Although Hutcheson was secretive about the extent of his work on the book, he was clearly the leading spirit of the project. This influential classical work offered a vision of a universe governed by a natural law that obliges us to love mankind and to govern our lives in accordance with the natural order of things. In their account of the life of the emperor, prefaced to their translation from the Greek, Hutcheson and Moor celebrated the Stoic ideal of an orderly universe governed by a benevolent God. They contrasted the serenity recommended and practiced by Marcus Aurelius with the divisive sectarianism then exhibited by their fellow Presbyterians in Scotland and elsewhere. They urged their readers and fellow citizens to set aside their narrow prejudices. In many ways, Hutcheson and Moor’s The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus is a companion volume to Hutcheson’s Latin work on ethics, released in the same year, Philosophiae Moralis Institutio Compendiaria. In the latter volume, which is also available from Liberty Fund, Hutcheson continues a theme that proffered his ethics as a modern and, not least, Christianized version of Stoicism. Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History and Director of the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.

Published by: Liberty Fund

Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. vii-

Introduction

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pp. ix-xxx

A Note on the Text

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pp. xxxi-xxxii

Acknowledgments

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pp. xxxiii-

The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

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Introduction

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pp. 2-24

The authors of this translation, judging that these divine sentiments of Antoninus,1 may be of some advantage to many who have not access to them, while they are kept in the learned languages, undertook tomakethem as plain as the subjects would...

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Book I

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pp. 25-32

1. From1 my grandfather * Verus I learned to relish the beauty of manners, and to restrain all anger. From the fame and character my † father obtain’d, modesty, and a manly deportment. ‡ Of my mother; I learned to be religious, and liberal; <47> and...

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Book II

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pp. 33-39

1. Say thus to thyself every morning: to day I may have to do with some intermeddler in other mens affairs, with an ungrateful man; an insolent, or a crafty, or an envious, or an unsociable selfish man. These bad qualities have befallen them...

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Book III

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pp. 40-46

1. One ought to consider, not only that, each day, a part of his life is spent, and the remainder grown less, but that it is very uncertain, tho’ he should live longer, whether his understanding shall continue equally sufficient for his business, and for...

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Book IV

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pp. 47-57

1. When the governing part is in its natural state, it can easily change and adapt itself to whatever occurs as the matter of its exercise. It is not fondly set upon any one sort of action. It goes about what seems preferable, with a proper * reservation.1 And...

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Book V

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pp. 58-70

1. When you find yourself, in a morning, averse to rise, have this thought at hand: I arise to the proper business of a man: And shall I be averse to set about that work for which I was born, and for which I was brought into the universe? Have I this...

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Book VI

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pp. 71-82

1. The matter of the universe is obedient, and easily changed: the intelligence, which governs it, has no cause in itself, of doing evil to any. It has no malice; nor can it do any thing maliciously; nor is any one hurt by it. It is the cause of all that happens,...

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Book VII

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pp. 83-94

1. What is vice? ’Tis what you have often seen. Have this thought ready on all emergences that they are such things as you have often seen: you’ll find all things, earlier or later, just the same. Such matters as fill all histories of the antient, or middle...

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Book VIII

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pp. 95-106

1. This will repress the desire of vain-glory, that you cannot make the whole of your life, from your youth, appear such as became a philosopher. ’Tis known to many, as well as to your own conscience, that you were far from true wisdom. If this...

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Book IX

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pp. 107-118

1. He who does an injury is guilty of impiety. For, since the nature of the whole has formed the rational animals for one another; each for being useful to the other according to his merit, and never hurtful; he who transgresses this her will, is thus...

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Book X

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pp. 119-132

1. He who does an injury is guilty of impiety. For, since the nature of the whole has formed the rational animals for one another; each for being useful to the other according to his merit, and never hurtful; he who transgresses this her will, is thus...

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Book XI

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pp. 133-143

1. These are the privileges of the rational soul: It contemplates itself: Itforms or fashions itself in all parts: It makes itself such as it desires: * The fruit it bears, itself enjoys; whereas, others enjoy the fruits of vegetables and lower animals: It always obtains...

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Book XII

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pp. 144-152

1. All you desire to obtain by so many windings, you may have at once, if you don’t envy yourself [so great an happiness.] That is to say, if you quit the thoughts of what is past, and commit what is future to providence; and set yourself to regulate well...

Errata

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pp. 153-154

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Maxims of the Stoics

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pp. 155-160

As Gataker, in the prefatory discourse to his excellent edition and commentary on ANTONINUS, has given a very just SUMMARY OF THE CHIEF MAXIMS OF THE STOIC PHILOSOPHY, taken mostly from these Meditations; we thought it proper to translate it...

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Gataker's Apology

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pp. 161-164

To this we shall subjoin the following extract from the same preface: Being Gatakers apology for employing, tho’ a Christian minister, so many years’ time and labour on these Meditations of a Heathen Emperor, under whose reign the Christians suffered persecution...

Endnotes

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pp. 165-169

Editor's Notes to Marcus's Text and to Hutcheson and Moor's Notes

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pp. 170-190

Editor's Notes to Maxims of the Stoics

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pp. 191-

Editor's Notes to Gataker's Apology

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pp. 192-

Bibliography

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pp. 193-202

Index

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pp. 203-213

Publication Information

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E-ISBN-13: 9781614878117
E-ISBN-10: 1614878110
Print-ISBN-13: 9780865975118

Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2012