The Consolation of Philosophy, first impressions

I’ve read about a chapter and a half of Boethius’ The Consolation of Philosophy, and I must admit, I don’t much care for it at this point. Was the author very well educated and important? Yes, apparently — he translated many of the works of Aristotle (presumably into Latin) in the early Sixth Century, and this book was also apparently important. I’m not yet sure why. But so far I’m not impressed — Philosophy seems a bit trite. She comes up to the exiled, soon to be executed Boethius and starts lecturing him about how he should have known that Fortune is fickle; he’s had very good fortune in other ways during his life; really, he hasn’t lost much of value anyway, because he still has access to himself, wisdom, understanding, a good and steadfast family, and so on — so, really, he has no business moping about writing emo poetry. Besides, wealth causes more harm than good, even to its owner. I imagine the argument is going to continue, because she is, after all, Philosophy — and not just any philosophy, but Christianized Athenian Philosophy.

That’s all very sensible, of course, but there’s something lacking. It’s difficult for me to articulate what, so perhaps I’m wrong. But what seems to be lacking is the Christian sense of suffering as a legitimate, real thing, and something of a mystery. I’ll keep reading, though, and see if that continues, and, if so, if I can come to a better understanding of what I find inadequate in Philosophy.


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