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Following Ryan Holiday's recommendation (http://www.ryanholiday.net/reading-list/), I highly, highly advise you to go with the Gregory Hays' translation (http://amzn.to/XQSimT)!

I have a copy of Long's and it doesn't do it justice.

If you want to dive deeper consider Pierre Hadot's 'The Inner Citadel: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius" - http://amzn.to/YuWyvh

I am also fond of these YouTube lectures on the Meditations: http://youtu.be/nLD09Qa3kMk

I second this. But don't take my word for it. Here is 5.24 (one of my favorites) translated by Long:

  "Think of the universal substance, of which thou hast a 
  very small portion; and of universal time, of which a short
  and indivisible interval has been assigned to thee; and of
  that which is fixed by destiny, and how small a part of it
  thou art."
And by Hays:

  Matter. How tiny your share of it.
  Time. How brief and fleeting your allotment of it.
  Fate. How small a role you play in it."

Very diffeernt styles but I'm not sure how I would choose one over the other. I don't know which is closer to the original.

Actually, I'm not even sure that's a consideration I'm interested in. I might be more interested in a translation that most efficiently communicates the intended message.

A literal translation, the Stoics having doubtless written in formal Latin, it being so concise, might appear more as riddle than prose to English speakers.

Koine (vulgar or Hellenist) Greek, actually, but the point still stands.

I wouldn't be surprised if someone's personal writings were concise. This is how I write for myself, so I prefer Hays.

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - by William Irvine

Notes by Derek Sivers available at http://sivers.org/book/StoicJoy

Tim Ferriss also frequently shows his admiration for Stoicism. A quick read that also provides a broad overview with a few reading recommendations.

Stoicism 101: A Practical Guide for Entrepreneurs http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/04/13/stoicism-101...

+1 on A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy.

This translation rocks so hard. My new motto is lifted directly from the book:

"Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one."

>Pierre Hadot's 'The Inner Citadel: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius"

As someone who bought this book, I'd caution against a hasty purchases of it. I found it to be excessively dry and tedious. None of the original emotional content that make the meditations so moving is present. In the meditation you can clearly see - here is a dying man asking hard questions about life. In contrast the citadel book debates the various possible translations of specific words etc. Nothing wrong with it...just tread cautiously.

I will definitely look into the other suggested translation though.

Hey there, to the people recommending good books to "introduce you to stoicism" I would say: Um, the originals are probably the easiest and most straight forward philosophy ever written. Just read those.

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