The Consolation of Philosophy
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The Consolation of Philosophy

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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. "The Consolation" was written in the period leading up to his brutal execution. It is a dialogue of alternating prose and verse between the ailing prisoner and his 'nurse' Philosophy. Her instruction on the nature of fortune and happiness, good and evil, fate and free will, restore his health and bring him to enlightenment. "The Consolation" was extremely popular throughout medieval Europe and his ideas were influential on the thought of Chaucer and Dante.

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  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 148.6 x 214.1 x 18.5mm | 358.33g
  • 01 May 2000
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • London
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • bibliography, glossary
  • 0140447806
  • 9780140447804
  • 23,682

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Author Information

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.

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Back cover copy

The Consolation of Philosophy is perhaps unique in the nature and extent of its influence on Western thinking.An eminent public figure under the Gothic emperor Theodoric, Boethius (c. A D 475-525) was also an exceptional Greek scholar and it was to the Greek philosophers that he turned when he fell from favour and was imprisoned in Pavia. Written in the period leading up to his brutal execution, it 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.The clarity of Boethius's thought and his breadth of vision made The Consolation of Philosophy 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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