Augustine, Boethius and the fortune verses of Thomas More

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3 Citations (Scopus)


William J. Bouwsma influentially argued, in 1975, that "[t]he two ideological poles between which Renaissance humanism oscillated may be roughly labelled 'Stoicism' and 'Augustinianism.'" He suggested that while individual humanists might, at different times, favour some version of one over some version of the other, their intellectual allegiances were nonetheless fundamentally divided between the two. An unacknowledged possibility in Bouwsma's essay is that humanist texts might interplay the two - knowingly or unselfconsciously. Stoical elements and Augustinianism can be seen to co-exist in Boethius' The Consolation of Philosophy, a notable precedent, perhaps. Further, they can be seen to co-exist in More's Fortune Verses, which are at once a sophisticated contribution to the literature of Fortune and an example (most likely a self-conscious one) of Stoicism's literary cohabitation with Augustinianism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-40
Number of pages24
Volume39 (149)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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