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Read online or download a free book: The Consolation Of Philosophy

Pages: 80

Language: English

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (31 Aug. 2015)

By: Boethius (Author)

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Anicius Manlius Severinus Boë:thius, commonly called Boethius ( c. 480–:524 AD), was a philosopher of the early 6th century. He was born in Rome to the ancient and prominent family of the Anicii, which included emperors Petronius Maximus and Olybrius and many consuls. His father, Flavius Manlius Boethius, was consul in 487 after Odoacer deposed the last Roman Emperor. Boethius himself entered public life at a young age and was already a senator by the age of 25. He was consul in 510 in the kingdom of the Ostrogoths. In 522 he saw his two sons become consuls. Boethius was imprisoned and eventually executed by King Theodoric the Great, who suspected him of conspiring with the Byzantine Empire. While jailed, Boethius composed his Consolation of Philosophy, a philosophical treatise on fortune, death, and other issues. The Consolation became one of the most popular and influential works of the Middle Ages. Boethius's best known work is the Consolation of Philosophy (De consolatione philosophiae), which he wrote most likely while in exile under house arrest or in prison while awaiting his execution. This work represented an imaginary dialogue between himself and philosophy, with philosophy personified as a woman. The book argues that despite the apparent inequality of the world, there is, in Platonic fashion, a higher power and everything else is secondary to that divine Providence. Several manuscripts survived and these were widely edited, translated and printed throughout the late 15th century and later in Europe. Beyond Consolation of Philosophy, his lifelong project was a deliberate attempt to preserve ancient classical knowledge, particularly philosophy. Boethius intended to translate all the works of Aristotle and Plato from the original Greek into Latin. In 520, Boethius was working to revitalize the relationship between the Roman See and the Constantinopalian See: though still both a part of the same Church, serious disagreements had begun to emerge between them. This may have set in place a course of events that would lead to loss of royal favour. Five-hundred years later, this continuing disagreement led to the East-West Schism in 1054, in which communion between the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church was broken. In 523 Boethius fell from power. After a period of imprisonment in Pavia for what was deemed a treasonable offense, he was executed in 524. The primary sources are in general agreement over the facts of what happened. At a meeting of the Royal Council in Verona, the referandarius Cyprianus accused the ex-consul Caecina Decius Faustus Albinus of treasonous correspondence with Justin I. Boethius leapt to his defense, crying, 'The charge of Cyprianus is false, but if Albinus did that, so also have I and the whole senate with one accord done it: it is false, my Lord King.' Cyprianus then also accused Boethius of the same crime, and produced three men who claimed they had witnessed the crime. Boethius and Basilius were arrested. First the pair were detained in the baptistery of a church, then Boethius was exiled to the Ager Calventianus, a distant country estate, where he was put to death. Not long afterwards Theodoric had Boethius' father-in-law Symmachus put to death, according to Procopius, on the grounds that he and Boethius together were planning a revolution, and confiscated their property.


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