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Boethius and No End in Sight

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The Impact of De consolatione philosophiae on Early Modern German Literature from the Fifteenth through the Seventeenth Century: Andreas Gryphius and Johann Scheffler (Angelus Silesius)

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Previous scholarship has not considered the continued interest in the philosophical teachings by Boethius (d. 525) by early modern thinkers and poets. This article traces the continued flood of translations and editions of Boethius’s De consolatione philosophiae in Germany far into the seventeenth century and then unearths links between his philosophy and the sonnets by Andreas Gryphius and the epigrams by Johann Scheffler (Angelus Silesius). At first sight, we might not even recognize Boethian ideas in their poems, but the close analysis of images and concepts formulated in these German Baroque texts demonstrate strong similarities. Considering that Boethius was one of the important school authors even in the seventeenth century, it does not surprise us to discover direct echoes of his ideas in these literary reflections.

Affiliations: 1: University Distinguished Professor, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA,


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