Lyons: Guillaume le Roy, 1484 ( not after 24 December 1484). Copies in United States of America
Harvard Library, Houghton Library (I)
Gordon W. Jones, M.D., Falmouth VA (I)
Mrs. Alexander P. Rosenberg, New York NY (I). THIS COPY
New Haven CT, Yale University, Beinecke Library (I) (MS note of purchase: 2. Chancery folio (296 x 210mm). Bound in Contemporary blindtooled morocco, remains of paper label on rear board (lacking clasps, losses to leather, rebacked preserving some original leather). Provenance: some interlinear marginalia and other manuscript marks – acquired from Bernard M. Rosenthal, New York, 1 November 1964, by Mrs. Alexander P. Rosenberg, New York NY (I). Guillaume le Roy, not after 24 December 1484 Part I only, 166 leaves (of 168, without first and last blanks).signatures :a-x⁸ (a1 & x8 blank); Red initial with blue flourishing, smaller red and blue ink initials, red and blue paragraph marks (some leaves browned, repaired tear in text of one leaf, some dampstains). The text surrounded by commentary ascribed to Thomas Aquinas, A copy of pt. 1 at Yale has ms. date of purchase 24 Dec. 1484. Item #144J
Boethius became the connecting link between the logical and metaphysical science of antiquity and the scientific attempts of the Middle Ages. His influence on medieval thought was still greater through his De consolatione philosophiae (written while in prison at Pavia) and the theological writings attributed to him. Whether Boethius was a Christian has been doubted; and it is certain that the Consolatio makes no mention of Christ, and all the comfort it contains it owes to the optimism of the Neoplatonic school and to the stoicism of Seneca. Nevertheless, for a long time the book was read with the greatest reverence by all Christendom, and its author was regarded as a martyr for the true faith” (Schaff-Herzog). GW ascribes the commentary on De consolatione to Thomas Waleys.
In this prosimetrical apocalyptic dialogue, Boethius our narrator encounters Lady-Philosophy , who appears in his time of need, the muse of poetry has in short failed him. Philosophy dresses among great protest Boethius' bad interpretations and misunderstandings of fate and free will....
One thousand five hundred years later It is still fair to ask, the same questions which Boethius asks..
And Philosophy answers: "The judgment of most people is based not on the merits of a case but on the fortune of its outcome; they think that only things which turn out happily are good."
"You have merely discovered the two-faced nature of this blind goddess [Fortune] … For now she has deserted you, and no man can ever be secure until he has been deserted by Fortune."
"I [Fortune] spin my wheel and find pleasure in raising the low to a high place and lowering those who were on top. Go up, if you like, but only on condition that you will not feel abused when my sport requires your fall.”
This copy was released without the Pseudo-Boethian De disciplina scholarium from the same press which usually accompanies it.; ISTC ib00779000.; Goff; B779; GW; 4535; Walsh, J.E. 15th cent. printed books 3737;Hain-Copinger; 3418; Copinger; 1107;; Beattie, W. Supplement to the hand-list of incunabula in the National Library of Scotland,; p. 191.