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Christian Works : De Consolatione Philosophiae

Boethius, -524

Christian Works

<p style='text-align: justify;'>CUL MS Gg.4.18 is an early 15th century Middle English verse translation of Boethius's <i>De Consolatione Philosophiae</i> by John Walton, Canon of Oseney. The manuscript contains the prologue and all five books. <i>De Consolatione Philosophiae</i> was written by Boethius in the 6th century AD as a dialogue between himself and the allegorical figure of Lady Philosophy. The many translations of Boethius's work into Old and Middle English, by King Alfred in the late 9th century, by Chaucer in the 13th century, and John Walton in the beginning of the 14th century are a testament to the text's popularity and influence in the Middle Ages.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>On the earliest provenance of the text itself and Gg.4.18's relation to the text and other manuscripts containing it, Thomas Tanner states in <i>Bibliotheca Britannico-Hibernica</i> that John Walton was commissioned to the job by Elizabeth Berkeley, daughter of Lord Thomas Berkeley. There are nineteen extant manuscripts containing Walton's translation. In his 1927 edition, Mark Science traces the genealogy of the then fourteen known medieval manuscripts of John Walton's translation of Boethius' <i>De Consolatione Philosophiae</i>. M. Science refers to MS Gg.4.18 as 'C', and classifies it as part of the B group. By conducting a comparative reading of errors across the fourteen manuscripts, M. Science identifies the B group as the group of manuscripts closet to the original translation. In addition to CUL MS Gg.418, the B group also includes Oxford, New Hall 319. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> Anni Haahr Henriksen, St. Catharine's College. </p>

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