William O. Stephens's Marcus Aurelius: A Guide for the Perplexed PDF

By William O. Stephens

ISBN-10: 1441101799

ISBN-13: 9781441101792

ISBN-10: 1441108106

ISBN-13: 9781441108104

ISBN-10: 1441125612

ISBN-13: 9781441125613

This ebook is a transparent and concise advent to the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. His one significant surviving paintings, usually titled 'meditations' yet actually translated easily as 'to himself', is a chain of brief, occasionally enigmatic reflections divided possible arbitrarily into twelve books and it seems that written merely to be learn by way of him. For those purposes Marcus is a very tricky philosopher to appreciate. His musings, framed as 'notes to self' or 'memoranda', are the exhortations of an earnest, conscientious Stoic confused with the exhausting tasks of ruling a complete empire.William O. Stephens lucidly sketches Marcus Aurelius' upbringing, relatives family, upward push to the throne, army campaigns, and legacy, situating his philosophy amidst his existence and instances, explicating the criteria shaping Marcus' philosophy, and clarifying key topics within the Memoranda. particularly designed to satisfy the wishes of scholars looking a radical knowing of this key determine and his significant paintings, Marcus Aurelius: A consultant for the at a loss for words is the fitting advisor for figuring out this Stoic writer - the single thinker who used to be additionally an emperor.

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However, both of these uses are problematic. Unlike many other historical periods, the almost-five-hundred-year stretch is really too long to represent a significant body of shared experiences and lifestyles. Modern periodization has tended to obscure the characteristic Roman energy for innovation and the complex interplay between inherited tradition and bold invention. Similarly, it is misleading to imagine that the Roman constitution was created at some particular moment, let alone at the beginning of the Republic, and then remained essentially unchanged.

In another complete reversal, the first century was marked by civil war and increasing lawlessness as politics came to be controlled by a few powerful generals and as the institutions of traditional government became largely ineffectual or stretched beyond their capacities. The overarching patterns created by periodization can be enlightening, but they also have limits. ) mark the beginning of what we call the end of the Republic, a period of recurring crises that would last for more than seventy years.

Continual rotation between times in office and periods of private life further increased the need for accommodation between politicians. The principle of debate among peers and a sense of community (or communality) was developed and maintained by the senate. At the same time, frequent elections created a dynamic dialogue between the political e´ lite and the people, while they maintained the rhetoric of interaction inherent in Roman politics and society. The sense of a shared set of values was cultivated for a surprisingly long time, despite radical changes.

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Marcus Aurelius: A Guide for the Perplexed by William O. Stephens


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