The Consolation of Philosophy

Front Cover
Elliot Stock, 1897 - Biography & Autobiography - 268 pages
'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. This edition includes an introduction discussing Boethius's life and writings, a bibliography, glossary and notes.
 

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About the author (1897)

Born of a distinguished family, Boethius received the best possible education in the liberal arts in Athens and then entered public life under Theodoric the Ostrogoth, ruler of Italy. Boethius obtained the highest office, but was later accused of treason, imprisoned, and executed. In the dungeon of Alvanzano, near Milan, during his imprisonment, he composed "The Consolation of Philosophy," a remarkable piece of prose literature as well as philosophy. Boethius's outlook, like that of all the Church Fathers, was Platonistic, but he preserved much of the elementary logic of Aristotle. Boethius reported in his commentaries the views of Aristotelians even when they disagreed with his Platonism. Thus he created an interest in Aristotle in subsequent centuries and provided a basis for the introduction of Aristotle's works into Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Boethius was put to death in 526.

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