Fortune's prisoner: the poems of Boethius's consolation of philosophy
An aristocratic scholar and influential member of the court of Theodoric, Boethius (born about AD 480) was arrested for alleged treason and executed in about 524. While in prison he wrote his masterpiece, "The Consolation of Philosophy," a work of mixed prose and verse in which he considers universal issues such as the nature of justice, the problem of evil in a world controlled by God's providential plan, and the workings of Fortune and free will.
With his fresh and imaginative treatment of the poems from this book, James Harpur argues for the reappraisal of Boethius as poet. His well-crafted modern translations and persuasive introduction encourage their reading as a coherent poetic sequence outside their original context.
James Harpur has published four collections of poetry. He studied Classics and then English at Trinity College, Cambridge. Awards for his poetry include the 1995 British National Poetry prize and bursaries from Cork Arts, the Arts Council, the Eric Gregory Trust and the Society of Authors. His non-fiction books include "Love Burning in the Soul," an introduction to Christian mystics. He lives in Co. Cork.