I'm presently reading a PG ebook of The Consolation of Philosophy and realizing it is great for me to read but the translation is hard reading to offer non-philosophers / non-scholars who visit my website.

What translations are available that are, without loss of faithfulness, easier for a 2018 reader to understand?

  • Mine from my Classics courses was amazon.com/Consolation-Philosophy-Penguin-Classics/dp/… It is an old standard and so is now cheap.
    – user9166
    Dec 21, 2018 at 23:35
  • @jobermark Thanks for the added resource! At a glance, the reviews make Watts look more similar than different from the PG's H.R. James translation. By comparison with both of them, David Slavitt seems like a philosophical equivalent to The Message, of which it is said that someone came to Eugene Peterson and asked, "Are you the person who wrote the Bible?" Dec 29, 2018 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


I found Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, tr. David R. Slavitt.

I've just barely glanced inside, but it reads like a fresh composition; the second paragraph on the back of the book reads, "Slavitt presents the reader with Boethius brought to vibrant, vigorous life, to a degree that makes all previous English versions seem pedantic and irrelevant..."

Now of course there must be some sort of flaws; I haven't read it and it may have the flaws that adherents of literal translation complain infest free translation (and it might in fact not be a free translation). However, the quick glance and the quotes chosen for critical acclaim do suggest that readability is a priority.


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