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THE BANISHMENT OF THE MUSES OF POETRY IN BOETHIUS’ PHILOSOPHIAE CONSOLATIO: A REINTERPRETATION

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Author(s): CONSTANTIN – IONUȚ MIHAI

Journal: Agathos : An International Review of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 2069-1025

Volume: IV;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 45;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: Boethius | ancient consolation | philosophy and poetry | Muses of Poetry

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this paper is to analyse the episode of the banishment of the Muses of Poetry found in Boethius’ Philosophiae consolatio (Book I, meter 1, 26-41), from the perspective of ancient consolatory tradition. The episode in question can be read by taking into account the scope and character of ancient consolation defined as a form of exhortation to rational and responsible behaviour in the face of grief. Like many ancient authors of consolatory writings, in his last work Boethius seems to acknowledge that the primary task of a consolatory discourse is not one of sharing in the grief of others, but one of removing that grief by speaking frankly and by recoursing to rational arguments. Unlike the Muses of Poetry, who get human minds used to their sickness and don’t liberate them, Philosophy will diagnose Boethius’ spiritual illness and will provide a discursive therapy to heal him.
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