Boethius – Consolation of Philosophy

Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius, commonly called Boethius (c. 477–524 AD), was a Roman senator, consul, magister officiorum, and philosopher of the early 6th century.

In 522, the same year his two sons were appointed joint consuls. In 523 Boethius fell from power. After a period of imprisonment in Pavia for what was deemed a treasonable offence, he was executed in 524.

Boethius writes the book as a conversation between himself and Lady Philosophy. Lady Philosophy consoles Boethius by discussing the transitory nature of fame and wealth (“no man can ever truly be secure until he has been forsaken by Fortune”), and the ultimate superiority of things of the mind, which she calls the “one true good”. She contends that happiness comes from within, and that virtue is all that one truly has, because it is not imperilled by the vicissitudes of fortune.

Boethius told us: If you are in possession of yourself you will possess something you would never wish to lose and something Fortune could never take away.

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