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Consolation of Philosophy

Consolation of Philosophy
trans. Bonventura da Demena


 Bonaventura da Demena's Franco-Italian translation of Boethius' De consolatio philosophiae dates to the early fourteenth century. This translation is one of four extant French translations from the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. It survives in a single manuscript (Paris, BnF, fr. 821, fol. 27r-52r), whose provenance has been located both to Northern and Southern Italy. In his prologue, Bonaventura da Demena claims that he has translated Boethius first from Latin into "vulgar latin," or Italian. This Italian translation has been lost, although Anna Maria Babbi and Keith Atkinson argue that Verona, Biblioteca Civica, ms. 212 contains this missing translation. The Franco-Italian text in the Paris manuscript is written in prose and has a prologue and chapter rubrics written in red ink. The author identifies himself in one of these rubrics: "ge, Bonaventure, qi ne sun de Demena, translateors dou Boece de letre en volgar francois" (fol. 48).

MS (Unique)

 Paris, BNF, fr. 821.



Secondary Literature

See Arlima.

Atkinson, Keith, "The French and Italian Translations of Boethius's Consolatio Philosophiae by Bonaventura da Demena," Carmina Philosophiae 7 (1998): 67-80.

Babbi, Anna Maria, "Dal franco-italiano al veneto: un esercizio di auto traduzione," Quaderni di lingue e litterature 18 (1993): 41-58.

Busby, Keith, Codex and Context: Reading Old French Verse Narrative in Manuscript (New York: Rodopi, 2002), 611.

Dwyer, R.A., " Bonaventura da Demena, Sicilian Translator of Boethius," French Studies 28 (1974): 129-33.

Jung, Marc-Rene, La legende de Troie en France au Moyen Age: analyse des versions francaises et bibliographies raisonnee des manuscrits (Basel: Francke, 1996), 194-199.

Lucas, Robert H., "Mediaeval French Translations of the Latin Classics to 1500," Speculum 45 (1970): 225-253.

Peron, Gianfelice, "Cultura e pubblico del Boèce franco-italiano (Paris, B.N. ms. fr. 821)," in esti, cotesti e contesti del franco-italiano. Atti del 1° simposio franco-italiano (Bad Homburg, 13-16 aprile 1987). In memoriam Alberto Limentani, edited by Günter Holtus, Henning Krauß et Peter Wunderli (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1989): 143-60.

Thomas, Antoine, "Bonaventure de Demena traducteur du De consolatione de Boèce," Romania 41 (1912): 615-6.

Summary by Melissa W. Kapitan


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