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Form: Anicius Manlius Torquatus Severinus.

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Boethius was born in Rome, about 475 A.D., and belonged to the distinguished family of the Anicii, who had for some time been Christians. Having been left an orphan in his childhood, he was taken in his tenth year to Athens, where he remained eighteen years and acquired a stock of knowledge far beyond the average. After his return to Rome, he was held in high esteem among his contemporaries for his learning and eloquence. He attracted the attention of Theodoric, who in 510 A.D. made him consul, and, in spite of his patriotic and independent attitude, gave him a prominent share in the government. The trial of the consul Albinus, however, brought with it the ruin of Boethius. Albinus was accused of maintaining a secret understanding with the Byzantine court, and Boethius stood up boldly in his defence, declaring that if Albinus was guilty, so was he and the whole senate with him. Thus involved in the same charge, he was sentenced to death by the cowardly assembly whose cause he had represented. He was thrown into prison at Pavia, and executed in 525. The most famous work of Boethius, his Consolation of Philosophy, was written in, prison. It was much read in the Middle Ages, and translated into every possible language. The book is thrown partly into the form of a dialogue, in which the interlocutors are the author, and Philosophia, who appears to him to console him. As in the Menippean satura (See SATURA), the narrative is relieved by the occasional insertion of musical verses in various metres. The consolatory arguments are strictly philosophical.
Type: Standard
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