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The Consolation of Philosophy
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140447806, Paperback)
‘Why else does slippery Fortune change
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 Wed, 02 Jan 2013 13:40:40 -0500)
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.
An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.
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