Book Series Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, vol. 40


Remaking Boethius

The English Language Translation Tradition of 'The Consolation of Philosophy'

Brian Donaghey, Noel Harold Kaylor, Philip Edward Phillips, Paul E. Szarmach (eds)

  • Pages: xxviii + 496 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2019

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-58467-6
  • Hardback
  • Available

Provides a comprehensive inventory of all English translations of the Consolatio of Boethius and supplies basic information on the salient features that interested readers will need in initial phases of research on the large and complex English translation tradition.


“(..) this volume is (…) deeply learned, and its well-organized structure makes a large and disparate body of primary source material readily accessible to readers. I expect that Remaking Boethius will accomplish its editors’ chief objective by pointing the way forward in the study of the reception of Boethius’s Consolatio.” (Leslie Lockett, in The Medieval Review, 25.04.2022)


This volume is a reference work, organized chronologically in its sections, with a separate entry for each translator’s work. The sections are defined by the type of translations they comprise, whether complete, partial, meters only, etc. The plan of the book is encyclopedic in nature: some biographical material is provided for each translator; the translations are described briefly, as are their linguistic peculiarities, their implied audiences, their links with other translations, and their general reception. Sample passages from the translations are provided, and where possible these are two of the most well-known moments in the Consolatio: the appearance of Lady Philosophy, narrated by the Prisoner, and the cosmological hymn to the Deus of the work, sung by Lady Philosophy.


Prologue: The Foundation of the Tradition: The Latin De consolation philosophiae

Part I: Complete Translations into English of De consolation philosophiae
Part II: Partial or Abridged Translations into English of De consolation philosophiae
Part III: Translations into English of the Meters or Selected Meters of De consolation philosophiae
Part IV: Spurious, Mislabeled, or Lost Translations of De consolation philosophiae
Part V: Modern English Translations of Old English Prose and Verse Translations of De consolation philosophiae
Part VI: An Early Adaptation of Chaucer’s Translations into English of De consolation philosophiae with Commentary Interspersed
Part VII: Some Minor Uses of Translations or Adaptations of Passages from De consolation philosophiae
Part VIII: Two Early Discussions on De consolation philosophiae translation

Epilogue: Some Relevant Definitions: Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary
Notes on the Editors