The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Antoninus

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For other English-language translations of this work, see Meditations.

ΜΑΡΚΟΥ ΑΝΤΩΝΙΝΟΥ ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤΟΡΟΣ
ΤΑ ΕΙΣ ΕΑΥΤΟΝ


THE MEDITATIONS OF THE
EMPEROR MARCUS ANTONINUS

 

Bas relief from Arch of Marcus Aurelius Marcus Aurelius showing his clemence to barbarii greyscale.jpg

MARCUS RECEIVES THE SUBMISSION OF GERMANS AND SARMATIANS

Panel from the Emperor's Triumphal Arch

ΜΑΡΚΟΥ ΑΝΤΩΝΙΝΟΥ ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤΟΡΟΣ

ΤΑ ΕΙΣ ΕΑΥΤΟΝ


THE MEDITATIONS OF THE

EMPEROR MARCUS ANTONINUS


EDITED

WITH TRANSLATION AND COMMENTARY

BY

A. S. L. FARQUHARSON

(1871–1942)

FELLOW OF UNIVERSITY COLLEGE



VOLUME I

TEXT AND TRANSLATION




OXFORD

AT THE CLARENDON PRESS

1944

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
AMEN HOUSE, E.C. 4
London Edinburgh Glasgow New York
Toronto Melbourne Capetown Bombay
Calcutta Madras
HUMPHREY MILFORD
PUBLISHER TO THE UNIVERSITY


PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN

CONTENTS

PREFACE v
INTRODUCTION ix
TEXT and TRANSLATION 4
Book I 5
Book II 21
Book III 35
Book IV 51
Book V 75
Book VI 97
Book VII 121
Book VIII 147
Book IX 171
Book X 191
Book XI 215
Book XII 235
Chronology 253
Genealogical Table 255
Life 256
ENGLISH COMMENTARY 269
Book I 269
Book II 278
Book III 297
Book IV 307
Book V 325
Book VI 339
Book VII 351
Book VIII 365
Book IX 378
Book X 391
Book XI 405
Book XII 418

PREFACE

This edition of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius was the product of Years of unremitting and almost secret labour. Few even of his friends were allowed to know how closely and continuously Farquharson lived with the subject of his studies. Only the evidence of his library—the hundreds of volumes bearing in their margins 'copious notes' and forests of cross-references, written in his delicate, even, hand and dating, some of them, from his undergraduate days—has revealed the range and the detail of his inquisition into the form and matter of the Meditations, how early he began it and how deeply it absorbed him.

Many drafts of passages of exegesis and annotation—discarded, resumed, altered, discarded, and again adopted, and all in that same faultless script—attest the diffidence with which he undertook the work and make it difficult to trace the stages of its composition.

Records, however, show that it was in March 1936 that he first discussed with the Clarendon Press the plan of his book and that the Delegates accepted it in February 1938. In June 1939 the MS., excluding the Notes, was sent to the Printer. When Farquharson died in August 1942 Volume I was printed off (save for the Introduction, which he had seen in proof), and of Volume II he had seen rather more than half (pp. 433–717) in proof, and passed for press pp. 433–608. The remainder of the Notes in Vol. II was in MS., perfectly ready for the press. How many alterations he might yet have made in this portion of the Notes it is impossible to say, for he was always ready to abandon or rewrite the fairest of fair copies if he thought improvement possible.

In a series of letters which he wrote to me weekly from the outbreak of war in September 1939 Farquharson often referred to the progress he was making with the work. The 'mechanic exercise', the application it demanded, and the precepts and spirit of the text (with which he was deeply imbued, though I do not think that he was altogether a Stoic), evidently helped him to go through difficult times with equanimity. But his letters revealed also two sources of anxiety: a sense that he had performed his task inadequately, and a gradually increasing fear that he would not live to see it finished. I tried to persuade him that his dissatisfaction with his work was due rather to a habit of self-depreciation, which indeed with him had become a second nature, than to a perception of actual shortcomings in it; and when he spoke of his death I could only assure him that if the need arose I would see his book through the press, as he had entreated me to do.

That promise is now fulfilled, though circumstances have allowed me to perform myself only a very little of the labour involved. Mr. David Rees, Postmaster of Merton College, sitting in Farquharson's study and working with his papers and his books with only slight collaboration on my part, attended, with infinite patience and the most scrupulous care, to the passing for press of the first proofs of pp. 718–902 and the revises of pp. 609–902, and of the first proofs and revises of the Introduction. The Indexes are entirely his work.

The rule observed in carrying out our task was to leave unaltered everything except false references and slips which were manifestly due to an oversight. Disagreement with a comment or preference for another mode of expression, even if there seemed a valid reason for it, was never treated as justifying an alteration. Our aim has been to give what Farquharson really meant to print at the time when he completed his MS. The perfect clarity and finish of that MS. lightened a laborious, if fascinating, task.

What the book owed in its final stages to Mr. Rees will be plain from what is said above. I must also make acknowledgement, which Farquharson himself would have made more fittingly, to Mr. E. C. Marchant, Fellow of Lincoln College, to whose judgement he referred almost every part of his work from its earliest to its latest stages, and whose scholarship Mr. Rees and I have accepted in cases of doubt as a final arbiter. Our thanks are also due to the Delegates of the Clarendon Press for pushing on the publication of the book in spite of many competing war-time claims upon the Press.

I cannot conclude this Preface without recording two debts which Farquharson himself would not, I think, have passed over in silence—debts to two who were in different senses his companions throughout the work: one, to his wife, whose pure taste and deep sympathy were for him unfailing resources; the other, to his precursor Thomas Gataker, for whom he habitually expressed an admiration and a reverence second only to his admiration and reverence for 'the Emperor' himself.

JOHN SPARROW.

Oct. 1943.

 

PRINTED IN
GREAT BRITAIN
AT THE
UNIVERSITY PRESS
OXFORD
BY
JOHN JOHNSON
PRINTER
TO THE
UNIVERSITY