[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius

V/VI Centuries
The goal of Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius was simple. He wanted to translate from Greek into Latin the works of Aristotle and of Plato. He wished to write commentary on the thought of Aristotle and to prove that the two philosophers shared a common vision. To that end, he translated and commented on the Organon, Eisagoge, Kategoriai, Peri hermeneis, and Analytica protera. He wrote two commentaries on the syllogism, and he used Aristotle's categories to refute the Arians. His most famous work is The Consolation of Philosophy, which he wrote in prison and which has caused many since the Middle Ages to consider St. Boethius a Neoplatonist, rather than a Christian.

St. Boethius was born c 470 to a Roman family that had been Christian since the time of Constantine. Boethius' father was consul in 487 and died shortly after that. A family friend raised Boethius. In 510, Boethius became consul under Theodoric. In 520, Theodoric appointed him the head of governement and court services; in 522, the two sons of Boethius became co-consuls. Boethius, however, was accused of treason against Theodoric (an Arian) and of sacrilege and magic. Boethius was martyred (or unjustly executed) in 524 at Pavia.

Karen Rae Keck


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