Parution – Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy as a Product of Late Antiquity, par A. Donato

91LIHQtdmfL._SL1500_Vient de paraître un ouvrage d’Antonio Donato sur la Consolation de la philosophie de Boèce, ouvrage écrit vers 524, c’est-à-dire dans le contexte social, culturel et politique de l’Antiquité Tardive. C’est à la lumière de ce contexte qu’A. Donato a choisi d’analyser ce texte de Boèce: la première partie présente le milieu dans lequel Boèce vit (l’aristocratie sénatoriale romaine). La deuxième partie revient sur les sources de sa notion de la philosophie. Cette partie, particulièrement intéressante, revient sur les différentes conceptions de la philosophie néoplatoniciennes ayant influencé Boèce. La troisième partie propose une analyse plus littéraire de la Consolation, et les différentes influences visibles. Enfin, la dernière partie revient sur le rapport entre christianisme et culture antique tel qu’il est conçu par Boèce et ses contemporains. Un bel exemple de l’intérêt d’une prise en compte sérieuse du contexte social, culturel, politique et intellectuel dans l’étude des textes antiques. Voici le résumé et la table des matières:

Résumé:

In the last fifty years the field of Late Antiquity has advanced significantly. Today we have a picture of this period that is more precise and accurate than before. However, the study of one of the most significant texts of this age, Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy, has not benefited enough from these advances in scholarship. Antonio Donato aims to fill this gap by investigating how the study of the Consolation can profit from the knowledge of Boethius’ cultural, political and social background that is available today.
The book focuses on three topics: Boethius’ social/political background, his notion of philosophy and its sources, and his understanding of the relation between Christianity and classical culture. These topics deal with issues that are of crucial importance for the exegesis of the Consolation. The study of Boethius’ social/political background allows us to gain a better understanding of the identity of the character Boethius and to recognize his role in the Consolation. Examination of the possible sources of Boethius’ notion of philosophy and of their influence on the Consolation offers valuable instruments to evaluate the role of the text’s philosophical discussions and their relation to its literary features. Finally, the long-standing problem of the lack of overt Christian elements in the Consolation can be enlightened by considering how Boethius relies on a peculiar understanding of philosophy’s goal and its relation to Christianity that was common among some of his predecessors and contemporaries.

Table des matières:

1. Boethius and The Roman Senatorial Aristocracy

1.1. The Education of the Roman Senatorial Aristocracy
1.2. The Civic Values of the Roman Senatorial Aristocracy
1.3. The Political Role of the Roman Senatorial Aristocracy
1.4. Boethius’ Family Heritage: the Anicii and the Symmachi
1.5. The World-View of the Roman Senatorial Aristocracy in Consolation I.4
1.6. A New Type of Dignitas
1.7. Wealth as Greed
1.8. The Vanity of Fame
1.9. At the Mercy of Fortuna

2. Philosophy and the Self

2.1. Philosophy and the Self in Plotinus and Porphyry
2.2. Philosophy and Self-Knowledge in The Life of Proclus and Proclus’ Commentary on Plato’s Alcibiades
2.3. Philosophy and Self-discovery in Simplicius’ Commentary on Epictetus’ Handbook
2.4. The Ultimate Goal of Philosophy’s Arguments in the Consolation
2.5. The Consolation’s Use of Different Philosophical Traditions
2.6. The Consolation and the Challenge of Embodying Philosophy
2.7. The Value of Philosophising in the Consolation

3. Philosophical and Literary Features

3.1. Consolatio as a Therapy for Grief among Educated Romans
3.2. Philosophy and Rhetoric in the Second Sophistic
3.3. The Healing Power of Language in Greco-Roman Consolations
3.4. Literary Devices as Instruments of Healing in the Consolation
3.5. The Consolation and Proclus’ Analysis of Poetry in the Commentary on Plato’s Republic
3.6. Poems in the Consolation
3.7. Myths in the Consolation
3.8. Exempla in the Consolation
3.9. Personifications in the Consolation

4. Christianity and the Consolation

4.1. Christianity and Classical Culture in Boethius’ Time
4.2. Philosophy and Theology among Boethius’ Predecessors
4.3. Philosophy and Christianity in Boethius’ Opuscula Sacra
4.4. Philosophy as a Path to the Union with God in Proclus
4.5. Philosophy and Wisdom in Boethius’ De Institutione Arithmetica
4.6. Philosophy and the Union with God in the Consolation
4.7. Overcoming the Limits of Philosophy in Book Five of the Consolation

Sources: Compitum.


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