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By Richard A. Dwyer

A research of the literary importance of narratives within the medieval French translations of Boethius’s "Consolatio philosophiae."

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Extra resources for Boethian fictions : narratives in the medieval French versions of the Consolatio philosophiae

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King on a Wheel 43 The interpretation of the story of Croesus given by the Dominican friar Renaut de Louhans is significantly different from the others considered in this chapter because of its clear insistence on the direct role of the prosopopoeia of Fortune in men's affairs and because of its clever exploitation of a serious misreading of the Latin text. From the very first word of his account, Renaut emphasizes the posturing presence of Dame Fortune—"Je croy bien," she says, summoning our attention to Croesus's high estate before his humiliating fall, his never-empty purse, his riches and his valor.

40 BOETHIAN FICTIONS the theme of fickle Fortune. The Clerical, comprising the moralistic exploitation of "falls" by such authors as Hugh of St. Victor, Innocent III, Jacques de Vitry, and John of Bromyard, extended after Chaucer into the works of Laurent de Premierfait and John Lydgate. And finally, the nonClerical, or narrative, tradition which includes Simon de Freine's Roman de Philosophic, the Speculum Stultorum, and the Roman de la Rose is the tradition that, along with the Roman, stands behind Chaucer.

And tians. A. D. Godley, rev. ed. Loeb Classical Library (London, 1926), vol. 1. 86), who relates that Cyrus sent Croesus to the flames because, having heard that he was a god-fearing man, Cyrus wanted to see whether any god would save him. It then develops that Cyrus and his interpreters, on listening to Croesus reminisce about Solon, repent of the decision to burn him and order the fire quenched. " Such remarks, coupled with Herodotus's observations about the many pious offerings made by Croesus around Greece, and the humanizing details about his unfortunate sons, serve to obscure further the roles played in his downfall by the gods and his own guilt.

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