Boethius' De Consolatione I/II

Text name: Boethius' De Consolatione I/II
File name: BoethI.psd, BoethII.psd (2 files, one for each book)
Alternative names: Notker's translation of Boethius' De consolatione Philosophiae
Background: Boethius' De Consolatione Philosophiae was one of the most influential literary works in Western medieval Europe. An Old High German translation was made by Notker Labeo (c. 950 – 28 June 1022), also known as Notker the German, Notker Teutonicus, Notker Latinus, Notker of St. Gallen or Notker III. Notker was born in Thurgau (Northern Switzerland) and worked as a monk, translator and educator in nearby St. Gall Abbey. For background information on Notker and St. Gall Abbey, see Tax (1986: xvii-xxiii) or Braungart (1987).
Consolatione Philosophiae is about a dialogue between the first person narrator, who is lamenting the loss of his good fortunes, and the personified Lady Philosophy. She comforts him and explains how evil can exist in a world ruled by a just God, and how happiness can be achieved. The text was written under Boethius’ impressions of betrayal and demise during his one-year imprisonment prior to his execution.
ID: BoethI,x.y.z, x=page, y=line, z=token
In cases where the edition does not indicate a line number, a shorthand caption is provided.
The same scheme applies to the file BoethII.
Latin: yes
The text edition prints the Latin source in italics immediately followed by Notker's translation and interpretation. The German tokens are frequently free expositions of the Latin content rather than direct translations. For a detailed evaluation of Notker's reprocessing of the Latin syntax, see Eilers (2003).
The German and Latin prologues are not divided up on the same page but occur as independent text blocks. The Latin prologue has been aligned to the German prologue as well as possible based on its content, but the two texts are not directly correspondent in some places. For discussion of the prologues, see Tax (2008: 1-3).
Manuscript: St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Codex 825, pp. 4-271.
For information on manuscript and scribes, see Tax (1986: xxv-xxxii).
The manuscript has been fully digitized by St. Gallen Stiftsbibliothek and can be viewed here.
Manuscript date: c. 1025 (Tax 1986: xxvi)
Date of composition: c. 1000 (Tax 2008: xlv, Eilers 2003: 291)
Dialect: Alemannic
Word count:
Token count:
Edition: Sehrt, Edward H. & Stark, Taylor (1966) Notkers des Deutschen Werke. Boethius de Consolatione Philosophiae. Altdeutsche Textbibliothek No. 32. Halle (Saale): VEB Max Niemeyer. 3-57 (BoethI), 58-136 (BoethII).
Notes: A fragment of the text appears in Zürich, Zentralbibliothek, Codex C 121, fol. 49v - fol. 51v (Metrum III, 9). It dates from c. 1040 (Tax 1986: xxxiii).


Braungart, Georg (1987) 'Notker der Deutsche als Bearbeiter eines lateinischen Schultextes: Boethius "De consolatione philosophiae."' Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie, 106, 2-15.
Eilers, Helge (2003) Die Syntax Notkers des Deutschen in seinen Übersetzungen: Boethius, Martianus Capella und Psalmen. Berlin: De Gruyter.
Sehrt, Edward H. & Stark, Taylor (1966) Notkers des Deutschen Werke. Boethius de Consolatione Philosophiae. Altdeutsche Textbibliothek No. 32. Halle (Saale): VEB Max Niemeyer.
Tax, Petrus W. (1986) Notker der Deutsche, Boethius 'De consolatione Philosophiae' Buch I/II.Altdeutsche Textbibliothek 94. (Die Werke Notkers des Deutschen). Tübingen: Max Niemeyer.
Tax, Petrus W. (2008) Notker latinus zu Boethius 'De consolatione Philosophiae' Buch I/II. Altdeutsche Textbibliothek 1a. (Die Werke Notkers des Deutschen). Tübingen: Max Niemeyer.