Sunday, 13 December 2009

Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius!

Born 480 in Rome into an aristocratic, Christian-Roman family, he was a statesman and a philosopher. He translated many of the Greek philosophers’ works into Latin and these translations remained in use during the middle ages. He became Consul before finally being imprisoned and then executed for treason in 524.

During his imprisonment, he wrote his most famous work, “De Consolatione Philosophiae” (The Consolation). This took the form of a conversation between Boethius and 'Lady Philosophy' in which she tries to console Boethius the fallen statesman. She does this by highlighting the transitory nature of all earthly splendour and greatness with the superior greatness of things of the mind and virtue. Although he was a Christian, this work bears no Christian references and draws from the Neo-Platonists and Stoics such as Seneca.

Neil Turnbull

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