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The Consolation of Philosophy (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 25 Nov 1999

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Rev Ed edition (25 Nov. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140447806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140447804
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 393,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

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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I who once wrote songs with joyful zeal Am driven by grief to enter weeping mode. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I originally wished to read Boethius because he had been such a famous name that kept cropping up in my own studies in Musicology when I was young, he having been the person who coined the term "Music of the Spheres" in the Pythagorean tradition of cosmic harmony. "The Consolation of Philosophy", however, took me totally by storm. 6th century Roman nobleman Boethius composed this masterpiece while imprisoned, shortly before his brutal execution by bludgeoning. Boethius begins his treatise by bemoaning his fate, the turn of events in his life that have brought him to such devastation. Enter the embodiment of Philosophy, who assumes the role of Boethius's spiritual guide. Step-by-step, Philosophy raises Boethius, and the reader, to higher and higher levels of thought by means of Classical logic. Boethius is systematically shown the path to enlightenment by his enchanting guru and, by the end of the work, Philosophy has firmly established the Absolute nature of the One Supreme Being, that Truth and Happiness are synonomous with God, that the illusory appearances of "good" and "bad" fate (karma, if you will) are merely the projections of our own misunderstanding of the ultimate goodness of God. It is a beautiful and powerfully mystical work, made even more potent by the circumstances under which it was composed. We can only hope that Boethius held fast to these enlightening words as he was executed shortly after having penned them. This touching work can be viewed as a metaphor for the human condition in general, in which all of us are imprisoned by situations of our own making, from which our ultimate liberation comes when we embrace the Ultimate Truth presented by the purity of Philosophical Revelation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 10 May 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Why read Boethius today?
Firstly I will admit that he's not an easy read, nor is he fun, nor will you find any ancient gossip. He is also not trivial, patronising or simplistic. His experiences have shown him that there are no easy answers and he cherishes this insight and so should we. In a world of infuriating and belittling pseudo-scientific counselling and avoidance of issues he offers a calm, measured and eventually comforting reliance on the internal qualities and intellectual possibilities of an individual. The Penguin is a clear translation - for beauty, bother to find Chaucer's, and also wonder why Alfred the Great (the intellectual King) bothered to translate it when he was already forty (and a member of a short-lived family) when he learned Latin and ruled a Wessex beset with enemies and in the midst of social and political change.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Pillowtail on 20 July 2007
Format: Paperback
I read this book, or better said, re-read it, when very sick and in considerable pain. Somehow, it seemed right at the time, and emotionally I was prepared for it.

I found it quite entrancing and was prepared to follow its arguments through and it must, like all philsophy, be read slowly and thoughtfully. I would recommend reading it, and hence five stars. Its not necessarily the greatest book you will read, but it is calm, measured and more or less the musings of a man on the edge of existence. The poetry is excellent.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Boethius's magnum opus is a deeply thought provoking read that helps you answer some of life's most pressing questions, highly recommended.
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