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The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius
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The Consolation of Philosophy

by Boethius

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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
The very very first book I read for Freshman Seminar in college. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
An English rendering of the classic. ( )
  cjrecordvt | Aug 13, 2016 |
Another one of those books that I was supposed to have read a long time ago and never got around to...I'm so glad I did. I wish I could have read it in Latin because this English translation gave me the sense that the original must be breathtakingly beautiful. I have to think that what people love about this book, and what has kept them reading all these centuries, is the absolute humanity of its author, shining out on every page. A sad, triumphant, confusing, desolate, ultimately hopeful book that will take you less than three hours to read, and you should. ( )
  poingu | Jan 29, 2015 |
". . . nothing is miserable unless you think it so; and on the other hand, nothing brings happiness unless you are content with it."

"If you want to see the truth in clear light, and follow the right road, you must cast off all joy and fear. Fly from hope and sorrow. When these things rule, the mind is clouded and bound to the earth."

". . . integrity of conscious is somehow spoiled when a man advertises what he has done and receives the reward of public recognition."

". . . although nature makes very modest demands, avarice is never satisfied. My present point is simply this: if riches cannot eliminate need, but on the contrary create new demands, what makes you suppose that they can provide satisfaction?"

". . . true and perfect happiness is that which makes a man self-sufficient, powerful, worthy of reverence and renown, and joyful."

"If you would give every man what he deserves, then love the good and pity those who are evil." ( )
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  gvenezia | Dec 26, 2014 |
Philosophy in the figure of a woman is calling Boethius to his better self having him realise that what he has lost - his honour, his freedom, his library, his fame & wealth - are inconsequential, they do not matter. Philosophy is bringing him to a true understanding. We need to abstract from time, from the process of life, to see things as how they would appear to an eternal being and we can rise to this perspective through philosophy. The consolation in regards to death is realising that when you die what you lose is the present moment as the past has ceased to be and the future has not yet to come. What you think you're losing is insufficiently important. Philosophy an take you into a world of higher understanding intellectual and moral. ( )
  Lonsing | Oct 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (115 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Boethiusprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bax, Ernest-BelfortEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buchanan, James JEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colvile, GeorgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edman, IrwinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
James, H. R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keenan, BrianPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schotman, J.W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walsh, P. G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watts, Victor E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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While I was thus mutely pondering within myself, and recording my sorrowful complainings with my pen, it seemed to me that there appeared above my head a woman of a countenance exceeding venerable.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Born into the Roman aristocracy in the early 6th century, the successful civil servant Boethius lost everything when he was arbitrarily convicted of treason. In his prison cell, awaiting execution, he created a work of quiet genius, which for the next 1,000 years would be the most popular book in Europe next to the Bible.
The benevolent incarnation of Philosophy appears to him, and demonstrates how all the trappings of the life now denied him were transient and without true worth. Addressing the eternal question of how a benevolent God can allow the evil to prosper at the expense of the virtuous, Philosophy proves to be Boethius' spiritual salvation.

A bestselling Folio edition, The Consolation of Philosophy was first published in 1998 and is now in its 6th reprint.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140447806, Paperback)

‘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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:35 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

Boethius composed the De Consolatione Philosophiae in the sixth century A.D. whilst awaiting death under torture. He had been condemned on a charge of treason which he protested was manifestly unjust. Though a convinced Christian, in detailing the true end of life which is the soul's knowledge of God, he consoled himself not with Christian precepts but with the tenets of Greek philosophy. This work dominated the intellectual world of the Middle Ages; writers as diverse as Thomas Aquinas, Jean de Meun, and Dante were inspired by it. In England it was rendered into Old English by Alfred the Great, into Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer, and later Queen Elizabeth I made her own translation.The circumstances of composition, the heroic demeanour of the author, and the 'Menippean' texture of part prose, part verse (Boethius was a considerable poet) have combined to exercise a fascination over students of philosophy and literature ever since. The book should therefore prove to be of value to students and scholars of classics, philosophy, and religion as well as to more general readers.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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