The Consolation of Philosophy (Norton Critical Editions)

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One of the most influential texts to come out of the late Middle Ages.The Consolation of Philosophy occupies a central place in the history of Western thought. Its author, Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (ca. 476–526 c.e.), was a Roman philosopher, scholar, and statesman who wrote The Consolation of Philosophy while in a remote prison awaiting his execution on dubious political charges. The text of this Norton Critical Edition is based on the translation by Richard H. Green. It is accompanied by the editor’s preface and full-scale introduction to the work, the translator’s preface, and explanatory annotations.
“Contexts” reprints selections from the texts that Boethius drew upon for his own work. These include excerpts from two of Plato’s Dialogues (Gorgias and Timaeus), from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, and from Augustine’s On Free Choice of the Will.
“Criticism” collects five wide-ranging essays by major scholars of Boethius. Henry Chadwick presents a general introduction to Boethius’s life and works. Nelson Pike presents a clear and insightful interpretation of what Boethius means by writing that God is eternal (timeless). The final three essays—by William Bark, Edmund Reiss, and John Marenbon—all depart from traditional readings of The Consolation of Philosophy in significant ways and are sure to stimulate classroom discussion.
A Chronology of Boethius’s life and work and a Selected Bibliography are also included.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Slavitt, a poet and translator of over 80 works of fiction, poetry, and drama, presents a new translation of this philosophical classic directed at general readers. Written under the threat of Boethius's impending execution, the work comes on the cusp between the classical and medieval worlds. In alternating prose and verse, Boethius spins a dialog concerning the harsh vicissitudes of fortune and the lasting happiness provided by the life of the mind. Slavitt's prose translation is accessible and makes frequent use of colloquialisms. His poetic translations-too often paraphrased in earlier editions-are not weighed down with attempted fidelities to ancient meter and use contemporary forms to evoke the gravity and grace of the original. While the book does include a brief biographical and textual introduction by Seth Lerer (English & comparative literature, Stanford Univ.), its lack of textual apparatus makes this edition less than ideal for students. It does succeed, however, as a springboard for personal reflection and a source of literate pleasure. Recommended for large public and academic libraries.-Steven Chabot, Univ. of Toronto

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393930719
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Series: Norton Critical Editions Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 804,184
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas C. Langston is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at New College of Florida. He is the author of God’s Willing Knowledge: The Influence of Scotus’ Analysis of Omniscience and Conscience and Other Virtues: From Bonaventure to MacIntyre. His articles have appeared in The Journal of Religious Studies, Franciscan Studies, Medieval Philosophy and Theology, and The Southern Journal of Philosophy, among others.

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Table of Contents

Preface vi

Introduction vii

Translator's Preface xix

The Text of The Consolation of Philosophy 1

Contexts 95

From The Gorgias Plato 97

From The Timaeus Plato 107

From The Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle 114

From On Free Choice of the Will Saint Augustine 123

Criticism 139

Introduction to Boethius: His Life, Thought, and Influence Henry Chadwick 141

The Predicate Nelson Pike 151

Theodoric vs. Boethius: Vindication and Apology William Bark 159

The Fall of Boethius and the Fiction of the Consolation Philosophiae Edmund Reiss 175

Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius John Marenbon 188

Boethius: A Chronology 199

Selected Bibliography 201

Index 202

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    One of A Kind

    This book has made my top ten for best readings. The book is basically a dialect between Boethius and "Lady Philosophy." It takes place while he is in prison, questioning everything relating to man, power, greed, fear, lonliness, and God. It answers many questions that we people ask even in today's world. For example, why are people in high positions, like CEO's and leaders, so corrupt or evil to people they consider lower than them. This is one debate that he asks and Lady Philosophy answers. Also, this book is very comprehensive to all readers--whether you're a philosophy major or not. I would recommend this book to everybody because it will prove to be motivational throughout your life, and this book will be able to answer many key questions towards the attitudes of people who transgress against you at times.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2000

    A companion in the dark

    A stunning work of combined Christian and pagan thought, and a testament to personal courage in the face of physical annihilation, I found this book to be excellent at bringing me out of a deep despair.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2014

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

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    Posted September 23, 2009

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    Posted April 16, 2011

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    Posted January 2, 2012

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