Edward Gibbon  in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire  stated that  A consolation of Philosophy  is  “A golden volume not unworthy of the leisure of Plato or Tully.” And C. S. Lewis, in “The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature, 1964, rightly tells us “To acquire a taste for it is almost to become naturalised in the Middle Ages.”. The Consolation of Philosophy was the most copied and circulated secular text in the European middle ages, the influence of Boethius’s Consolatio Philosophiae should not be under-estimated — some four hundred copies survive in manuscript form, making it one of the most widely disseminated pieces of writing during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Even today, this would serve as a good starting point for someone unfamiliar with the history of philosophy, and wanted to take a first plunge in the company of a great mind from the past.

IMG_2224I always have a copy of Boethius close at hand. I find the arguments between Hope and Dread ever appropriate reading. An easier elixir than Kierkegaard, the beautiful and majestic  Philosophy of Boethius is ever-empting ...


Today I have two editions to offer of ‘The consolation’ and other works.


  1. Boethius (preface by   Petrus Bertius,; 1565-1629, ; , Renatus Vallinus; active 1671, ;
    Jean Bernaerts; 1568-1601, ; editor. Theodor Sitzmann -1623, ; contributor.
    Wingendorp, G.; active 1654-1681, ; (Gerhard),; engraver. Bary, Hendrik,; approximately 1640-1707, ; engraver.)

    An. Manl. Sever. Boethii consolationis philosophiae libri V. Ejusdem opuscula sacra, cum integris notis Johannis Bernartii, Theodori Sitzmani et Renati Vallini. Accedit Petri Bertii praefacio.

    Lugduni Batavorum : Ex Officinâ Hackiana, 1671     $1,900IMG_2218

Octavo      *8-3*8, A8-X8. Engraved title page signed: “Wingendorp sc.” Portrait of Boethius signed: “H. Bary sculp.”/ Title vignette: flying eagle, “Movendo.” [Includes notes in ancient Greek.]  Bound in contemporary vellum.


This collection contains:  De consolatione philosophiae.–De trinitate.–Brevis fidei christianae complexio.–De persona et natura, Contra Eutychen et Nestorium.




Short title catalogue Netherlands; Dibdin, Thomas Frognall. Introduction to the Knowledge of Rare and Valuable Editions of the Greek and Latin Classics,; volume 2, pages 352-353; Brunet, J.-C. Manuel du libraire et de l’amateur de livres (5e éd.),; volume 1, column 1034; Schweiger, F.L.A. Handbuch der classischen Bibliographie,; volume 2, page 33





2. Boethius & Pseudo-Boethius ; De disciplina scholarium.

Severini Boetii De philosophiae consolatione; Annitii Manlii Seuerini Boetii uiri consularis De philosophiae consolatione; De disciplina scholarium.; De scholastica disciplina.

Impressum Venetiis : P[er] Gregoriu[m] de Gregoriis, 1516.    $3,000. ON HOLD

IMG_2191Octavo   A-L8 M4. Leaves A2 and A4 signed “Bii” and “Biiii” respectively. Cf. register, following colophon./ Errors in foliation: Leaves [41], [43], [45] and [47] misnumbered 43, 45, 47 and 49 respectively. Bound in contemporary vellum.


“Boethius became the connecting link between the logical and metaphysical science of antiquity and the scientific attempts of the Middle Ages. His influence on medieval thought was still greater through his De consolatione philosophiae (written while in prison at Pavia) and the theological writings attributed to him. Whether Boethius was a Christian has been doubted; and it is certain that the Consolatio makes no mention of Christ, and all the comfort it contains it owes to the optimism of the Neoplatonic school and to the stoicism of Seneca. Nevertheless, for a long time the book was read with the greatest reverence by all Christendom, and its author was regarded as a martyr for the true faith” (Schaff-Herzog).