DUMBARTON OAKS MEDIEVAL LIBRARY
Cover: The Old English Boethius: with Verse Prologues and Epilogues Associated with King Alfred, from Harvard University PressCover: The Old English Boethius in HARDCOVER

Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 19

The Old English Boethius

with Verse Prologues and Epilogues Associated with King Alfred

Edited and translated by Susan Irvine

Malcolm R. Godden

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$35.00 • £27.95 • €31.50

ISBN 9780674055582

Publication Date: 11/19/2012

Short

480 pages

5-1/4 x 8 inches

Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library

World

The Old English Boethius boldly refashions in Anglo-Saxon guise a great literary monument of the late antique world, The Consolation of Philosophy. Writing from prison around 525 CE, Boethius turned to philosophy to transform his personal distress into a powerful meditation on fate, free will, and the human capacity for virtue in a flawed, fallen world. King Alfred and his hand-picked circle of scholars in ninth-century England recognized the perennial relevance of Boethius’s themes. They reshaped the Latin text into an Old English version that preserves the essence while accommodating a new audience: the Roman Fabricius, for example, becomes the Germanic weapon-smith Weland. The translation even replicated Boethius’s alternation of prose and verse—only in this case with Old English prose alternating with alliterative verse.

Chaucer and Queen Elizabeth each turned The Consolation of Philosophy into English, giving it an unrivalled pedigree of translators, but King Alfred was the first to bring it to a wider vernacular audience. Verse prologues and epilogues associated with the court of Alfred fill out The Old English Boethius, offering readers a fascinating glimpse of the moment when English confidently claimed its birthright as a literature capable of anything, from sublime ideas to subtle poetry.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Number of the Heavens: A History of the Multiverse and the Quest to Understand the Cosmos, by Tom Siegfried, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with Tom Siegfried, author of The Number of the Heavens: A History of the Multiverse and the Quest to Understand the Cosmos

In The Number of the Heavens, Tom Siegfried, the award-winning former editor of Science News, shows that one of the most fascinating and controversial ideas in contemporary cosmology—the existence of multiple parallel universes—has a long and divisive history that continues to this day. We spoke to him about the possible existence of a multiverse and the co

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.