Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus


Born circa 480, in Rome; died 524, in Pavia. Roman philosopher and statesman; senator, at one time close to the Ostrogothic king Theodoric.

Accused of secret ties with Byzantium, Boethius was imprisoned and sentenced to death. While he awaited execution in prison, he wrote his principal work, The Consolation of Philosophy (1474; Russian translation, 1794). The basic ideas of this treatise, which takes the form of a dialogue between the author and philosophy personified, are the worthlessness of earthly goods and the advantages of spiritual peace and a pure conscience. The influence of Boethius on the spiritual life of the early Middle Ages was established by his Latin translations of Aristotle’s works on logic (the Categories and On Interpretation, as well as Porphyry’s “Introductions” to Aristotle’s Categories), his translations of Nicomachus’ Arithmetic and Euclid’s Elements, and his own treatise On Music. In Boethius’ works the ideas of Christianity were eclectically interwoven with the teachings of various schools of late classical philosophy (in addition to Aristotle, Neoplatonism, and Stoicism).


Opera omnia, vols. 1–2. (Patrologiae latina, vols. 63–64.) Paris, 1860.
In Russian translation:
“Nastavlenie k muzyke.” In Muzykal’naia estetika zapadnoevropeiskogo srednevekov’ia i Vozrozhdeniia. Moscow, 1966.


Istoriia rimskoi literatury. Moscow, 1954.
Kol’man, E. Istoriia matematiki v drevnosti. Moscow, 1961.
Steward, H. E. Boetius. Edinburgh-London, 1891.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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