Breakfast with Boethius (Book 1)

This summer I’m reading through Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy. I don’t quite known why I put it off for so long; I’m enjoying it immensely and finding it quite accessible with the annotated version I bought. I thought I’d share with you a few choice lines from each of the five “books” in the work. Some words of wisdom (pun intended) to ponder over your morning coffee (or tea, or other drink of choice). 

Do you think this is the first time that wicked men have made assaults against the walls of wisdom?

For when a man displays his own good deeds and then reaps the rewards of praise he lessens in someway the satisfaction of a peaceful conscience by trying to justify himself.

Indeed, what adds one more trouble to all the others is that most men look not at the merit of a charge but rather at its outcome. That they judge that a man has acted rightly only when things turn out well for him. And so it always happens that the first thing an unfortunate man loses is his reputation.

O Fastener of earth’s bonds — look back on us!

I don’t miss the walls of your library, decorated with their glass and ivory, so much as I miss my seat of honor in your mind, where I gathered together not books, but the things that give books their value.


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