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Contribution to Book
Boethius, the Prisoner, and The Consolation of Philosophy
Prison Narratives from Boethius to Zana (2014)
  • Philip Edward Phillips, Middle Tennessee State University

This chapter recounts the life of Boethius and discusses his masterpiece of prison literature, The Consolation of Philosophy, composed by the author while awaiting execution. Boethius preserved the best of classical Roman culture in his writings and applied logic to contemporary theological issues, preparing the way for medieval scholasticism. In the Consolation, a work of alternating poetry and prose that employs elements of consolation, dream vision, and Socratic dialogue, a personified Lady Philosophy leads the prisoner from despair to a recollection and affirmation of the Highest Good. A “bestseller” of the Middle Ages, the Consolation’s poignant message of hope continues to inspire readers today.

  • Boethius,
  • prison literature
Publication Date
Philip Edward Phillips
Palgrave Macmillan
Citation Information
Philip Edward Phillips. "Boethius, the Prisoner, and The Consolation of Philosophy" 1New YorkPrison Narratives from Boethius to Zana (2014)
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