1. Education

Boethius - Philosopher




Name: Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius
Dates: c. A.D. 480-c.525-6.

Boethius was a philosopher of the 6th century, from Rome, and one of a limited number of men who have been labeled the "last Roman." He was also a Christian. Coming from a patrician family, Boethius himself held the office of consul in A.D. 510. However, he was also imprisoned by Theodoric -- ruler in Italy while Justin I was the Byzantine emperor. Boethius had intended to plead the case of his friend Albinus, but was instead himself imprisoned for treason, defended by his father-in-law Symmachus, and eventually executed. While in prison, perhaps, he wrote about the consolation provided by his philosophy.

Occupation: Christian, Philosopher, Martyr

See Inspirational Quotations.


Boethius was very well-educated because of the training he received while living with his future father-in-law Symmachus after Boethius himself had been orphaned. He worked on translating and interpreting the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. He was especially influenced by Greek Neoplatonism. Before he was executed under suspicion of disloyalty to his monarch, and while imprisoned, Boethius wrote On the Consolation of Philosophy, a Menippean Satire, and dialogue. He is also the source for the curriculum known as the quadrivium ('four-fold path'), a combination of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music, according to John Marenbon, in his 2003 Boethius.


Boethius served as consul in 510. He served as magister officiorum for the King Theodoric.


The major work of Boethius is On the Consolation of Philosophy - Consolatio Philosophiae. He was translating and writing commentaries on the works of Plato and Aristotle when he died. He translated Porphyry's Isagogue. Boethius also wrote De Institutione Arithmetic Libri II, De Institutione Music Libri V, and Geometria Euclidis a Boethio in Latinum translata.


Boethius has been honored in the naming of craters on the moon and mercury, both called Crater Boethius.

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