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Consolation of Philosophy Revised Editionby Boethius
Synopses & Reviews
‘Why else does slippery Fortune change
So much, and punishment more fit
For crime oppress the innocent?’
Written in prison before his brutal execution in AD 524, Boethius’s The Consolation of Philosophy is a conversation between the ailing prisoner and his ‘nurse’ Philosophy, whose instruction restores him to health and brings him to enlightenment. Boethius was an eminent public figure who had risen to great political heights in the court of King Theodoric when he was implicated in conspiracy and condemned to death. Although a Christian, it was to the pagan Greek philosophers that he turned for inspiration following his abrupt fall from grace. With great clarity of thought and philosophical brilliance, Boethius adopted the classical model of the dialogue to debate the vagaries of Fortune, and to explore the nature of happiness, good and evil, fate and free will.
Victor Watts’s English translation makes The Consolation of Philosophy accessible to the modern reader while losing nothing of its poetic artistry and breadth of vision. This edition includes an introduction discussing Boethius’s life and writings, a bibliography, glossary and notes.
Boethius was an eminent public figure under the Gothic emperor Theodoric, and an exceptional Greek scholar. When he became involved in a conspiracy and was imprisoned in Pavia, it was to the Greek philosophers that he turned. This text was written in the period leading up to his brutal execution.
An eminent public figure under the Gothic emperor Theodoric, Boethius was also an exceptional Greek scholar, and it was to the Greek philosophers that he turned when he fell from favor and was imprisoned in Pavia. Written in the period leading up to his brutal execution, The Consolation of Philosophy is a dialogue of alternating prose and verse between the ailing prisoner and his "nurse", Philosophy, whose instruction on the nature of fortune and happiness, good and evil, fate and free will, restore his health and bring him to enlightenment.<P>The clarity of Boethius's thought and his breadth of vision made this work hugely popular throughout medieval Europe, and his ideas suffused the thought of Chaucer and Dante. This translation makes it accessible to the modern reader while losing nothing of Boethius's poetic artistry and philosophical brilliance.
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