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Best translation of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations
May 18, 2008
What is the best English translation of Marcus Aurelius'
out there, and why?
Religion & Philosophy
(4 answers total)
13 users marked this as a favorite
Depends on what you want it for; as with many classical works, there's an essential tension between literalist translation and rendering of the style.
My own personal favorite is A.S.L. Farquharson's translation (first published 1944, available nicely-bound in the Everyman's Library edition), based almost entirely on the flowing prose he produces in Book II.
Maxwell Staniforth's (1960s, I believe Penguin still has it in print) translation and Gregory Hays' (2000s, Modern Library IIRC) translations are also well-spoken of.
And, hey, you can always learn Greek and
read it in the original
on May 18, 2008
I haven't read the others, but Gregory Hays is very interesting, accessible and well written and gives a lot of interesting background and notes for almost every line.
on May 19, 2008
Seconding the Hays translation. His version is very clear and readable, with lots of notes. In addition, he very clearly indicates where a fragment is lost, untranslatable, or in contention, and usually includes an explanation in the notes explaining why.
on May 19, 2008
Way late to the party, but definitely the Hays Modern Library translation. In a pinch the Penguin Classics will do, but the Hays translation is better.
on August 22, 2008
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