Boethius


Boethius was born in Rome around 480 CE and was executed in about 524 CE. He was born into one of the most influential aristocratic families of the time. His father died when he was a boy and Boethius was adopted by Quintus Aurelius Memmius Symmachus, one of the leading Roman citizens of the day. Boethius was made sole consul in 510 and became Master of Offices for King Theodoric in 522. Boethius was a Christian and his work attempted to reconcile Christianity and Hellenistic philosophy, and was generally intended to educate Romans of his day in Greek philosophy. He wrote on theology, Neoplatonism, Aristotelian logic, and translated and/or wrote commentaries on Plato, Aristotle, Ptolemy, Porphyry, and Nicomachus. In 523 a Roman senator named Albinus was accused of treason by Theodoric and was to be put to death without a trial. Boethius believed Albinus to be innocent of the charges against him and defended Alibinus to Theodoric. Theodoric, who was becoming increasingly paranoid about the possibility of a coup, then accused Boethius of being a fellow conspirator and had Boethius arrested. Without a trial and probably under threats from Theodoric, a senatorial court sentenced Boethius to death by torture. Boethius was confined to house arrest to await his execution, and during this period he wrote his Consolations of Philosophy, his most famous work which was to become an extremely influential document in the cultural history of Europe for over a thousand years. In around 524 he was cudgelled to death.

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