The Consolation of Philosophy

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 154 pages
130 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.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
51
4 stars
45
3 stars
19
2 stars
12
1 star
3

I gave this book 4 stars for the style of writing. - Goodreads
The advice given, however, seems repetitious at times. - Goodreads
And I love the imagery. - Goodreads
The introduction is excellent. - Goodreads
I like the combination of prose and poetry. - Goodreads
Book Three, Prose Three) - Goodreads

Review: The Consolation of Philosophy (Library of Essential Reading Series)

User Review  - Russell - Goodreads

Boethius wrote this while in jail waiting for his execution around 524 - 525 AD. I had never read anything by the man, but this text, short as it is, became one of the cornerstones of medieval thought ... Read full review

Review: The Consolation of Philosophy (Library of Essential Reading Series)

User Review  - John - Goodreads

I gave this book 4 stars for the style of writing. And to think it was written 1500 years ago. there is no way for me to know how close this translation is to the original but it certainly did ask ... Read full review

References to this book

Universals
James Porter Moreland
Limited preview - 2001
All Book Search results »

About the author (1999)

Ancius Boethius (c. A.D.480-524) was a Roman philosopher and is considered one of the last authentic representatives of the classical world, in both his life and writings. It is through Boethius' translations that the knowledge of Aristotle has survived in the West. Victor Watts read Classics and English at Merton College Oxford. He is Master of Grey College and part-time Senior Lecturer in the School of English and Linguistics at Durham University.

Bibliographic information