Jan-Maat's Reviews > The Consolation of Philosophy

The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius
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Written by Boethius while under arrest for allegedly plotting against the Ostrogothic King.

Boethius writes out conversations, interspersed with poems, between himself and a personification of Philosophy who encourages him to reject concerns with the world and concentrate on the eternal instead. While cursing his evil fortune, Philosophy appears and upbraids Boethius for abandoning her and devoting himself to worldly concerns instead of learning and Christianity. As the dialogues progress, Boethius comes to accept what has happened to him and turns the focus of his attention on to Philosophy and the eternal instead.

I've heard the view that Boethius was not a Christian, and the nature of the discussions between Boethius and Philosophy are such that they could be Christian or Pagan. I would be surprised if there was much here that either Marcus Aurelius or Saint Augustine could take offence to.

A good part of me wishes that Boethius had remained fixated on his worldly concerns enough to have left us a detailed account of the politics of the Ostrogothic court at least in his initial laments, but the promise of the Kingdom of God proved too much for him!
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Ted (new)

Ted Jan, I read this many MANY years ago, it was nice to have my memory refreshed by your review. I did have a not-too-hazy idea that your Christian/Pagan comment was the case.

I still have the book, but it doesn't seem likely that I will ever want to read it again. But one never knows. Maybe some day the offer of Consolation will be appealing. (view spoiler)


message 2: by Teresa (new)

Teresa I should read this one day, if only because it is Ignatius Reilly's favorite book ...


message 3: by Jan-Maat (new) - added it

Jan-Maat Ted wrote: "I still have the book, but it doesn't seem likely that I will ever want to read it again. But one never knows. Maybe some day the offer of Consolation will be appealing."

I should think that the chances of you being arrested by the Ostrogoths are fairly low, though you never know...

I'm not sure if I'll be returning to Boethius either, certainly not soon as far as I can tell


message 4: by Jan-Maat (new) - added it

Jan-Maat Teresa wrote: "I should read this one day, if only because it is Ignatius Reilly's favorite book ..."

I'm not sure I'd want to follow that logic and eat his favourite foods though!


message 5: by Ted (new)

Ted Jan-Maat wrote: "Ted wrote: "I still have the book, but it doesn't seem likely that I will ever want to read it again. But one never knows. Maybe some day the offer of Consolation will be appealing."

I should thin..."


I do hope you're right! 8)


message 6: by Jan-Maat (new) - added it

Jan-Maat Ted wrote: "I do hope you're right! 8) "


Watch out, there's an Ostrogoth about!


message 7: by Ted (new)

Ted Jan-Maat wrote: "Ted wrote: "I do hope you're right! 8) "


Watch out, there's an Ostrogoth about!"


Who, Teresa?


message 8: by Jan-Maat (new) - added it

Jan-Maat Ted wrote: "Jan-Maat wrote: "Ted wrote: "I do hope you're right! 8) "


Watch out, there's an Ostrogoth about!"

Who, Teresa?"


Teresa's an Ostrogoth! Quick call for the Byzantines...


message 9: by Teresa (last edited Jan 05, 2015 11:28AM) (new)

Teresa Hmmm, I've never been accused of being a Ostrogoth before, though I am related to a couple of harmless ex-Goths ...

And you're right about Reilly, Jan-Maat. And I wouldn't want to follow his logic over just about anything!


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