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How Shaftesbury Read Marcus Aurelius: Two 'Curious and Interesting Volumes' with His Manuscript Annotations

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When Anthony Ashley-Cooper, third earl of Shaftesbury (1671–1713), read the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius at the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Roman emperor was a relatively new member of the Stoic tradition as it was seen through early modern eyes. This article discusses two books owned and annotated by Shaftesbury, one a translation of Marcus Aurelius into English, the other a version of the Greek text. These books are a record of his study of earlier scholarship on the Meditations, primarily the edition and notes of Thomas Gataker. This article gives a sense of how a reader who was influential in the dissemination of Stoic thought, studied the scholarship of an earlier age.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College

Publication date: December 1, 2016

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