The Consolation of Philosophy

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

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

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

Review: Consolation of Philosophy

User Review  - Keith - Goodreads

I'd give it 3.5 stars. The verses were the best part, I would like to read those again. A lot of the prose parts contained ideas I'd read elsewhere, and therefore it was difficult to keep my interest ... Read full review

Review: The Consolation of Philosophy

User Review  - Mick - Goodreads

I agree philosophically with so little of it, but I can't deny the brilliance of its structure and internal consistency. I thrill to read it! Read full review

References to this book

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