Anicii Manlii Severini Boethii, Philosophiae consolatio, iteratis curis edidit Ludovicus Bieler, Turnolti 19842 
A typographical error in III.4.12 has been corrected: desistit has been inserted instead of desisitit.
The work is commonly known as De consolatione philosophiae (some manuscripts transmit this title) or as Philosophiae consolatio, the form chosen by Bieler as attested in a greater number of manuscripts, is a prosimetrum treatise written by Boethius in 524 during his imprisonment in Pavia, awaiting the judgment of king Theodoric. Even before the Boethius, the prosimetrum had lost its original character, and was used in scientific and philosophical works, the most significant example of which is the De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercuri by Martianus Capella, a text that Boethius probably knew. Perhaps Boethius should be credited with the introductionof a regular sequence in a mixture of prose and poetry. The treatise consists of 5 books, containing 39 poems in different meters (elegiac couplets, cataleptic dactylic trimeters with adonics, cataleptic dactylic tetrameters, phalaecian, glyconics, choliambs, Sapphic hendecasyllables, hexameters), also variously combined. The work belongs to the consolatory genre, as evidenced by the occasion of composition (during the author's prison segregation) and content. In the first book philosophy, personified as a woman of venerable appearance, holding books in her right hand and a sceptre in her left hand, turns to the weeping Boethius, exhorting him not to be seduced by the Muses of poetry. Boethius retraces his life and work, bemoaning his sad fate. In the second book, under the guidance of Philosophy, he realizes that the glory he acquired is vain and inconsistent; in the third book, he arrives at a definition of the nature of what is truly good: God, summum bonum. In the fourth book Boethius deals with the problem of the existence of good and evil and the relationship between providence, fate and free will. In the final book Boethius inserts his personal story within the philosophical and religious meditation he has been developing and reaches the conclusion that his fate had been foreseen by God, who, however, in consideration of man's freedom of will, will reward his virtuous conduct. This reflection leads to the final consolation in store for him and for all mankind: God watches from above and will reward merits.
Scholars identified neo-Platonic philosophy (Ammonium and Proclus) as one of the sources of Boethius' thought, even if Boethius had direct knowledge of at least some of the most widely read among Plato's dialogues (Protagoras, Gorgias and Timaeus). Until the mid nineteenth century scholars doubted that Boethius was a Christian, on the basis of the Consolatio, but the publication in 1877 by H. Usener of the so-called Anecdoton Holderi, an anonymous text based on material dating back to Cassiodorus, proved that Boethius the author of the Consolatio was the same person as the Boethius who wrote theological treatises (De Trinitate, Contra Eutychen et Nestorium).
The Philosophiae consolatio is handed down, according to Bieler's recensio, in 33 codices; Bieler identifies 10 manuscripts, dating from the 9th/10th century, as the basis for his edition. He also takes into account the Greek translation of Maximum Planudes (12th / 13th century), both for his corrections of Greek citations, preserved in corrupted form in manuscripts, and for some useful conjectures that can be gained from the retroversion of his translation. [G. Bessi, tr. L. Battezzato]