Interpreting the <i>Consolation</i>

John Marenbon

in Boethius

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780195134070
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199868094 | DOI:

Series: Great Medieval Thinkers

 Interpreting the Consolation

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After looking at the verse in the Consolation of Philosophy and other more literary aspects of it, this chapter proposes an interpretation of the work as a whole, which takes account of the fact that it is a prosimetrum – a genre in which the claims of learning were often challenged. Boethius, the chapter argues, regards philosophy with great respect, but considers it limited when it comes to providing a comprehensive and coherent understanding of the order of things. The differing attitudes of Boethius and Augustine, as Christians, to pagan Neoplatonism are contrasted.

Keywords: Augustine; Consolation of Philosophy; genre; Neoplatonism; pagan; philosophy; prosimetrum; verse

Chapter.  7555 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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