LCL 74: viii-ix
Tegernseensis, are generally accurate and complete; I have depended also on my own collations or excerpts from various of the important manuscripts, nearly all of which I have at least examined, and I have also followed, not always but usually, the opinions of Engelbrecht in his admirable article, Die Consolatio Philosophiae des Boethius in the Sitzungsberichte of the Vienna Academy, cxliv, (1902), 1–60. The present text, then, has been constructed from only part of the material with which an editor should reckon, though the reader may at least assume that every reading in the text has, unless otherwise stated, the authority of some manuscript of the ninth or tenth century; in certain orthographical details, evidence from the text of the Opuscula Sacra has been used without special mention of this fact.”
Of the specially renowned Consolatio there appeared in the Middle Ages (during which it was among the most popular of philosophical manuals) many translations including King Alfred’s into Anglo-Saxon late in the ninth century, Chaucer’s into English before 1382, and various renderings into French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Greek, before the end of the fifteenth century; commentaries such as that of Asser (Alfred’s instructor) and Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln; and imitations. Later came the “Englishings” of Queen Elizabeth I. Modern editions and translations are numerous. Until the present century the best editions were those of T. Obbarius (Jena, 1843) containing the Consolatio only but including much information about Boethius himself, the manuscripts, and earlier editions; and of R. Peiper (Leipzig, 1871) containing the Consolatio and the Tractates. Stewart and Rand’s translation of
the Tractates for the Loeb Series in 1918, in which they derived much help from the medieval commentary by John the Scot and the one by Gilbert de la Porrée, was the first English rendering. Since then, some important work has appeared of which note especially the following: editions of the Consolatio by A. Fortescue and G. D. Smith, London, 1925; G. Weinberger in Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum lxvii, Vienna, 1934; L. Bieler in Corpus Christianorum, Ser. Lat., xciv, Turnhout, 1957; E. Rapisarda (with translation), Catania, 1961; and the 2nd edition, with translation, of the Tractates by the same author, Opuscoli teologici, Catania, 1960; also F. Klingner, de Boethii consolatione Philosophiae, in Philol. Untersuch. XXVII, Berlin, 1921; M. Schanz, in Geschichte d. Röm. Literatur, Teil IV, Boethius, Berlin, 1921; H. R. Patch, The tradition of Boethius, Oxford, 1935 (with a good bibliography); and P. Courcelle’s La Consolation de Philosophie dans la tradition littéraire; antécédents et postérité de Boèce, Paris, 1967, with bibliography on pp. 383–402.
We reprint here the Life of Boethius by Stewart and Rand from our original issue.
E. H. W.