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Trinity Hall : De consolatione philosophiae

Trinity Hall

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This is an early fifteenth century translation of Boethius’ <i>The Consolation of Philosophy</i> in French. This copy had once belonged to a ‘noble damoyselle of Querqueville’ on the coast of the Manche. Written in double columns, each page is full of lively, if somewhat crudely executed, illustrations to the text. Interspersed throughout the story are numerous full page illustrations of scenes from the Holy Scriptures and of the Christian saints, including a number of images which tell the story of Christ’s Passion. In M.R. James’ opinion they were probably copied from a Psalter. Earthly suffering is the theme of most of the holy images in the manuscript. Depictions of the suffering of Christ and the ordeals of the saints were included in order to reinforce the central theme of Boethius’s work.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'><i>The Consolation of Philosophy</i> was written by Boethius while he was in prison in Pavia awaiting execution in 524 AD. Boethius had been known as an important scholar; apart from his many works, he was responsible for the very first translations of some of Aristotle into Latin, but this, his last work, caught the imagination and remained an enduring memorial to him.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Bound in the same volume as the Consolation, are two other works, <i>De la Regale du Monde</i>, an unknown poem, and <i>La Chastelaine de Vergy</i>, a tragic story of love. Both are written and illustrated by the same hand.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript was a gift from Robert Hare, with his name and the date 1551 at the top of the first page.</p>

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