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Book digitized by Google from the library of University of California and uploaded to the Internet Archive by user tpb. Project Gutenberg · 59, free ebooks · 6 by Emperor of Rome Marcus Aurelius. Selbstbetrachtungen by Emperor of Rome Marcus Aurelius. No cover available. Selbstbetrachtungen. Mark Aurel Selbstbetrachtungen Reclam Des Kaisers Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Selbstbetrachtungen ÜBERSETZUNG, EINLEIT.

In what follows I have in general relied on the text and quote from the translation in Farquharson There is a more recent edition in Dalfen and the first volume of a new edition in Hadot and Luna Many have assumed that the title was taken over from the manuscript, although Ceporina 47 suggests that it may have been added by Xylander. It is literally rendered by a few translators; see e. Rendall

When translated into Latin it is usually, though not universally, translated literally as ad se ipsum. An earlier mention of the text by Themistius, Orationes 6.

In the Meditations Marcus refers to his own writings as hupomnematia little notes , at 3. There is no reason to think that the text was intended as anything other than a series of notebook reflections on topics preoccupying the author.

What we have, then, is a series of private notes in which Marcus is in dialogue with himself.

Aurelius pdf marcus selbstbetrachtungen

Helpfully Marcus gives us his own account of what he was doing. This is not a permanent retreat but simply a brief period of rest and reflection before returning to the business of everyday life. What is the purpose of this retreat? He then gives us a couple of examples of what he has in mind, such as reminding himself that he is by nature a social animal in order to keep in check any anger he might feel towards people who behave poorly.

All passages in the remainder of this paragraph come from here. For commentary see Farquharson ; Gill As an aside from our central concern here, it is worth noting that these two fundamental principles that Marcus thinks he ought to keep ready to hand are not ethical principles relating to conduct.

Instead one is logical conceived broadly , the other physical. Marcus is interested in logic and physics — not logical and physical theory, but rather living in accord with a series of logical and physical claims central to Stoicism. It is, on their account, a belief or the product of a belief in a present evil.

Aurelius pdf marcus selbstbetrachtungen

See e. Diogenes Laertius 7. Note also Pavie The study of virtue, he suggests, ought to be conceived as something akin to the study of medicine or music, namely something we study in order to gain a practical skill.

The title may well have been added by Stobaeus. It is translated in Lutz 57, from which the translations here are taken. For discussion of this passage see Geytenbeek On this two-stage conception of philosophical education in Stoicism see Sellars What form should this exercise take? Musonius notes that because human beings are comprised of both body and soul it will be necessary to undertake exercises appropriate to both.

These sorts of practices benefit the body and soul at once. But what of purely spiritual exercises? These work on the soul alone and, although Musonius thinks both types of exercise are essential for anyone who aspires to become a good human being, these spiritual exercises are he suggests fundamental to philosophy. Musonius gives us an extended definition of what these spiritual exercises involve: Training which is peculiar to the soul consists first of all in seeing that the proofs pertaining to apparent goods as not being real goods are always ready at hand and likewise those pertaining to 17See Muson.

In the next place it consists of practice in not avoiding any of the things which only seem evil, and in not pursuing any of the things which only seem good; in shunning by every means those which are truly evil and in pursuing by every means those which are truly good. In short, spiritual exercises offer the training necessary to transform oneself according to a set of philosophical ideas so that one consistently lives according to those ideas.

It is striking, though, that Musonius makes no mention of his near 19 Muson. Diogenes draws a distinction between mental and physical exercises but goes on to suggest, like Musonius, that physical exercises also benefit the soul. For Epictetus on Cynicism see Diss.

Which vice did you resist? In what aspect are you better? Your anger will cease and become more controllable if it knows that every day it must come before a judge.

A Companion to Marcus Aurelius - A Companion to Marcus Aurelius - Wiley Online Library

What have I accomplished? What duty have I neglected? As Thom notes 37 , these lines are quoted or alluded to by a wide range of ancient philosophical authors, including Cicero citing Cato the Elder as his source , Seneca, Plutarch, Epictetus, Galen, Porphyry, and Diogenes Laertius. For Chrysippus compare Aulus Gellius 7. As well as appealing to these Pythagorean practices, Seneca also comments with approval on Cynic exercises. According to Seneca, Demetrius the Cynic held that it was far better to have just a few philosophical doctrines praecepta sapientiae ready to use than many of no practical purpose and so, like a wrestler, one ought to be carefully trained diligenter exercuit in just a handful of essential skills.

Diogenes Laertius writes of Diogenes of Sinope that: He used to affirm that training was of two kinds, mental and bodily: the latter being that whereby, with constant exercise, perceptions are formed such as secure freedom of movement for virtuous deeds; and the one half of this training is incomplete without the other, good health and strength being just as much 29 See Seneca, Ben.

Griffin and Inwood Note also Seneca, Ep. And he would adduce indisputable evidence to show how easily from gymnastic training we arrive at virtue.

Wilhelm Capelle

For in the manual crafts and other arts it can be seen that the craftsmen develop extraordinary manual skill through practice. Again, take the case of flute-players and of athletes: what surpassing skill they acquire by their own incessant toil; and, if they had transferred their efforts to the training of the mind, how certainly their labours would not have been unprofitable or ineffective. Both draw a distinction between mental and physical exercises, insisting that they are equally essential, but both also acknowledge the mental benefits that come with various forms of physical training.

We can see connections, then, between later Roman Stoic accounts of spiritual exercises by Musonius and Seneca on the one hand, and earlier Pythagorean and Cynic traditions of mental training on the other. Although it is difficult to be sure given the fragmentary nature of the evidence, the presence of both Pythagorean and Cynic influences on the early Stoics makes it not unreasonable to suppose that they too may have been concerned with spiritual exercises as an important part of philosophical education.

Selbstbetrachtungen by Emperor of Rome Marcus Aurelius

Hicks What we find is Marcus engaging in the sort of self-dialogue proposed in the Golden Verses and taken up by Sextius and Seneca.

It may well be that others produced these sorts of written exercises as well, but the Meditations is unique as the only example of such writing to come down to us. In this sense the Meditations taken as a whole is an example of a series of written spiritual exercises. Indeed, the repetitive character of the text, once judged a stylistic weakness, can now be seen as an essential feature of this unique work.

He opens with the thought that the behaviour of the unpleasant people he might encounter is ultimately the product of their ignorance agnoia , and so not deliberate on their part. Marcus himself, however, is not ignorant of how he ought to behave so he has no justification to respond in kind.

On the contrary, he knows that he and these others share the same nature and that all share in a divine nature, and so, no matter how they behave, he ought to 38 Some have suggested that Book 1 was composed separately from the rest of the work.

It is far more coherent and structured than the subsequent books. Even so a case can be made for treating it too as an example of spiritual exercise. See Further Gill , lxxv-lxxvii. Other examples of morning exercises are described at M. For the mention of Chrysippus see Tusc. For further discussion see Newman On its prehistory see Hadot , referring to Pythagorean practices described in Iamblichus Vit.

Pdf selbstbetrachtungen marcus aurelius

See further Newman , who contrasts Stoic meditatio with earlier versions. As we can see, Marcus is implicitly drawing on a range of Stoic ideas in a way that highlights the interconnectedness of the Stoic system. He appeals to i central ideas in Stoic physics, to give him the resources ii to avoid jumping to rash judgements that might generate negative emotions, which will in turn mean that he can iii act towards those whom he meets in the ethically appropriate way.

In particular he presupposes a number of Stoic claims: that only virtue is good, that emotions are the product of errors in judgement, and that all humans are part of a single, rational community. By pre-rehearsing encounters with the worst sorts of people he might meet and reminding himself of both the appropriate way to behave in response and the philosophical principles that underpin that response, Marcus is training himself not to rush into making negative judgements about unpleasant people that would, in turn, generate negative emotions, lead to inappropriate behaviour, and, ultimately, compromise the integrity of his character and the rationality of his soul.

This early morning reflection on the day ahead compliments the evening review of the day described by Seneca and both offer very practical examples of philosophical training in action. Hadot , discussing Marcus Aurelius alongside a wide range of other thinkers, and also Rutherford , focusing on parallels with earlier ancient literature. In order to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the series, De Gruyter is proud to present Tusculum Online, an eBook package which contains all titles that appeared between and - a fitting tribute to an important part of German publishing history.

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