The Consolation of Philosophy, Paperback
3 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Boethius was an eminent public figure under the Gothic emperor Theodoric, and an exceptional Greek scholar.

When he became involved in a conspiracy and was imprisoned in Pavia, it was to the Greek philosophers that he turned. "The Consolation" was 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.

Her instruction on the nature of fortune and happiness, good and evil, fate and free will, restore his health and bring him to enlightenment. "The Consolation" was extremely popular throughout medieval Europe and his ideas were influential on the thought of Chaucer and Dante.




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Review by

Quite entertaining. Too short to be a great book, but contains some very useful ideas nonetheless.

Review by

Boethius tried to show why good is always the better choice and evil always the worse choice. He tried doing this purely with philosophy and eliminating religion. Unfortunately, pretty much every argument used stems from the premise that God definitely exists. This is stated at the beginning, and every argument following builds upon that premise.So Boethius' attempt, in this regard, is a complete and utter failure. Despite his efforts to make it otherwise, this winds up being The Consolation of Religion.That being said, the thought process was still very good at certain points. Some of the arguments are very logical, once you understand that he is building on the premise that God exists. His argument in favor of free will was very good for its time. He demonstrates that even if there were such a thing as an omniscient being (e.g. God), free will would still be very possible.

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