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The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius are treasured today--as they have been over the centuries--as an inexhaustible source of wisdom. And as one of the three most important expressions of Stoicism, this is an essential text for everyone interested in ancient religion and philosophy. Yet the clarity and ease of the work's style are deceptive. Pierre Hadot, eminent historian of ancient thought, uncovers new levels of meaning and expands our understanding of its underlying philosophy. Written by the Roman emperor for his own private guidance and self-admonition, the Meditations set forth principles for living a good and just life. Hadot probes Marcus Aurelius's guidelines and convictions and discerns the hitherto unperceived conceptual system that grounds them. Abundantly quoting the Meditations to illustrate his analysis, the author allows Marcus Aurelius to speak directly to the reader. And Hadot unfolds for us the philosophical context of the Meditations, commenting on the philosophers Marcus Aurelius read and giving special attention to the teachings of Epictetus, whose disciple he was. The soul, the guiding principle within us, is in Marcus Aurelius's Stoic philosophy an inviolable stronghold of freedom, the "inner citadel." This spirited and engaging study of his thought offers a fresh picture of the fascinating philosopher-emperor, a fuller understanding of the tradition and doctrines of Stoicism, and rich insight on the culture of the Roman empire in the second century. Pierre Hadot has been working on Marcus Aurelius for more than twenty years; in this book he distills his analysis and conclusions with extraordinary lucidity for the general reader.
This book will be of interest to any person, whether an interested party, student, or scholar of the Roman Empire. It highlights the way in which we should consider ancient figures be they good or bad."
This title was first published in 2003. Presenting philosophy as an art concerned with one’s way of life, Sellars draws on Socratic and Stoic philosophical resources and argues for the ancient claim that philosophy is primarily expressed in one’s behaviour. The book considers the relationship between philosophy and biography, and the bearing that this relationship has on debates concerning the nature and function of philosophy. Questioning the premise that philosophy can only be conceived as a rational discourse, Sellars presents it instead as an art (techne) that combines both ’logos’ (rational discourse) and ’askesis’ (training), and suggests that this will make it possible to understand better the relationship between philosophy and biography. The first part of this book outlines the Socratic conception of philosophy as an art and the Stoic development of this idea into an art of living, as well as considering some of the ancient objections to the Stoic conception. Part Two goes on to examine the relationship between philosophical discourse and exercises in Stoic philosophy. Taking the literary form of such exercises as central, the author analyses two texts devoted to philosophical exercises by Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius.
During a period of vocational indecision and deep depression, young William James embarked on a circuitous journey, trying out natural history field work, completing medical school, and studying ancient cultures before teaching physiological psychology on his way to becoming a philosopher. A century after his death, Young William James Thinking examines the private thoughts James detailed in his personal correspondence, archival notes, and his first publications to create a compelling portrait of his growth as both man and thinker. By going to the sources, Paul J. Croce’s cultural biography challenges the conventional contrast commentators have drawn between James’s youthful troubles and his mature achievements. Inverting James’s reputation for inconsistency, Croce shows how he integrated his interests and his struggles into sophisticated thought. His ambivalence became the motivating core of his philosophizing, the heart of his enduring legacy. Readers can follow James in science classes and in personal "speculations," studying medicine and exploring both mainstream and sectarian practices, in museums reflecting on the fate of humanity since ancient times, in love and with heart broken, and in periodic crises of confidence that sometimes even spurred thoughts of suicide. A case study in coming of age, this book follows the famous American philosopher's vocational work and avocational interests, his education and his frustrations—young James between childhood and fame. Anecdotes placed in the contexts of his choices shed new light on the core commitments within his enormous contributions to psychology, philosophy, and religious studies. James’s hard-won insights, starting with his mediation of science and religion, led to his appreciation of body and mind in relation. Ultimately, Young William James Thinking reveals how James provided a humane vision well suited to our pluralist age.
While Kierkegaard's use of the Greek authors, particularly Plato and Aristotle, has attracted considerable attention over the years, his use of the Roman authors has, by contrast, remained sadly neglected. This neglect is somewhat surprising given the fact that Kierkegaard was extremely well read in Latin from his early youth when he attended the Borgerdyd School in Copenhagen. Kierkegaard's interest in the Roman authors is perhaps best evidenced by his book collection. In his private library he had a long list of Latin titles and Danish translations of the standard Roman authors in any number of different genres. His extensive and frequent use of writers such as Cicero, Horace, Terence, Seneca, Suetonius and Ovid clearly warrants placing them in the select group of his major sources.The chapters in this volume demonstrate that Kierkegaard made use of the Roman sources in a number of different ways. His readings from the school seem to have stuck with him as an adult. He constantly refers to Roman authors, such as Livy, Nepos, and Suetonius for colourful stories and anecdotes. In short, the Roman authors serve to enrich any number of different aspects of Kierkegaard's authorship with respect to both content and form.
The essays collected in this book present the first comprehensiveappreciation of The Fall of the Roman Empire fromhistorical, historiographical, and cinematic perspectives. The bookalso provides the principal classical sources on the period. It isa companion to Gladiator: Film and History (Blackwell, 2004)and Spartacus: Film and History (Blackwell, 2007) andcompletes a triad of scholarly studies on Hollywood’sgreatest films about Roman history. A critical re-evaluation of the 1964 epic film The Fall ofthe Roman Empire, directed by Anthony Mann, fromhistorical, film-historical, and contemporary points of view Presents a collection of scholarly essays and classical sourceson the period of Roman history that ancient and modern historianshave considered to be the turning point toward the eventual fall ofRome Contains a short essay by director Anthony Mann Includes a map of the Roman Empire and film stills, as well astranslations of the principal ancient sources, an extensivebibliography, and a chronology of events

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