Talk:Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius

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  • A man content to go to heaven alone will never go to heaven.


  • My name is Boethius, author of The Consolation of Philosophy. It’s my belief that history is a wheel. “Inconstancy is my very essence,” says the Wheel. “Rise up on my spokes if you like, but don’t complain when you’re cast back down into the depths.” Good times pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it’s also our hope. The worst of times, like the best, are always passing away.
    • From the film 24 Hour Party People


Samuel Johnson, in The Rambler issue No. 7, has at it's start this passage of Boethius followed by a sort of semi-translation [1]:

O qui perpetua mundum ratione gubernas,
Terrarum caelique sator!-
Disjice terrenae nebulas & pondera molis,
Atque tuo splendore mica! Tu namque serenum,
Tu requies tranquilla piis. Te cernere, finis,
Principium, vector, dux, semita, terminus idem.

O thou whose pow'r o'er moving worlds presides,
Whose voice created, and whose wisdom guides,
On darkling man in pure effulgence shine,
And chear the clouded mind with light divine.
'Tis thine alone to calm the pious breast
With silent confidence and holy rest:
From thee, great God, we spring, to thee we tend,
Path, motive, guide, original, and end.

However, the English of Johnson is not only liberal with the Latin text but novelly additive of material; e.g. the line "From thee, great God, we spring, to thee we tend" occurs not in Boethius' text; nor does "Whose voice created, and whose wisdom guides".

My thought is that Johnson's poem should not be considered a translation but rather an independent poem of Johnson's "based upon" or "derived from" Boethius'. Thus I include not Johnson's famous lines in the Boethius page. —This unsigned comment is by IOHANNVSVERVS (talkcontribs) .

"From thee, great God, we spring, to thee we tend" is a free translation of "Te cernere finis, / principium"; "Whose voice created, and whose wisdom guides" can be inferred from "sator" and "ratione", respectively. It's a pretty good poetic translation. ~ DanielTom (talk) 17:00, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
Good point IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 04:25, 18 May 2018 (UTC)