Boethius

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Boethius AKA Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius AKA Last of the Romans

Spain / Italy @ 480–524 CE

Comments: perhaps the most important non-Church Medieval philosopher; executed by King Theodoric the Great for admiring Byzantium culture; against Arianism which Isaac Newton would later support; 1st scholastic philosopher; "The Boethian Wheel" is a model for Boethius' belief that history is a wheel, cyclical; If you are lucky today, you will be unlucky tomorrow, but that sorrow is God's Love giving you the opportunity to come closer (like the Christ), not punishment fro previous sins; Before his imprisonment and execution (for imagined treason with the Eastern Christian Kingdom of Byzantium) he categorized the 7 Liberal Arts and Sciences as the " trivium" of rhetoric, grammar, and logic, as well as the " quadrivium" of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy; the Four Humours or Biles; preserved many Greek texts in Latin; Neoplatonism;


Teachers: father, Flavius Manlius Boethius, Roman Consul,487; Virgil; Ovid; Homer; Proclus; Neo-Platonist philosopher Ammonius Hermiae of Alexandria; Socrates; Aristotle ; Plato ; Pythagoras; Porphyry ; Iamblichus; Euclid on geometry ; Ptolemy; Cicero; Nicomachus; Martianus Capella; Marcus Aurelius; Zeno of Citium, originator of Stoicism; Diogenes the Cynic aka Diognetus;Seneca; Symmachus, aka Quintus Aurelius Memmius Symmachus, father-in-law;


Students: Edmund Spenser; Geoffrey Chaucer ; John Milton ; Dante Alighieri; Giovanni; Franciscus Mercurius van Helmont, published or edited with Franciscus Mercurius van Helmont Consolation of Philosophy; Boccaccio; Francesco Petrarch; Samuel Johnson; William Blake; Jonathan Swift; John Kennedy Toole, author of A Confederacy of Dunces in 1980, which brought Boethius back to the American public; Procopius; Lorenzo Valla; King Alfred; all Fellowcraft Freemasons; St. Thomas Aquinas; King Alfred the Great; Charlemagne; Alcuin; Notker Teutonicus aka Notker Labeo; Alfred, Lord Tennyson; Peter Abelard aka Pierre Abélard; Gilbert of Poitiers; Jean de Meun; Remigius of Auxerre; Nicholas Trivet; William of Conches; Bertrand Russell aka Bertrand Arthur William Russell; Edward Gibbon; Cassiodorus; Planudes; C. S. Lewis; Hans Sebald Beham, author of The Seven Liberal Arts, 1539; James of Venice, @ 1125-1150;

Friends: Theodoric the Great, King of the Ostrogoths; Rusticiana, wife;

Enemies: King Theodoric the Great.... sigh, " the instability of the favor of princes";

Organizations: Consul in the kingdom of the Ostrogoths, 510; Catholic Church;

Author: Consolation of Philosophy AKA (De consolatione philosophiae), one of the Classics of the Classical Education system for it's understanding of Roman Law and Culture; translations of Aristotle's works on logic, De interpretatione and Categories with commentaries; In Ciceronis Topica (on Cicero); commentary on the Isagoge by Porphyry; translation of Nicomachus's treatise on arithmetic (De institutione arithmetica libri duo, aka "De Institutione Arithmetic Libri II") and textbook on music (De institutione musica libri quinque, unfinished, aka "De Institutione Music Libri V"); De Trinitate - "The Trinity"; Utrum Pater et filius et Spiritus Sanctus de divinitale substantialiter praedicentur - "Whether Father, Son and Holy Spirit are Substantially Predicated of the Divinity; Quomado substantiae; De fide catholica - On the Catholic Faith; Contra Eutychen et Nestorium - "Against Eutyches and Nestorius"; "Geometria Euclidis a Boethio in Latinum translata" on Euclid's geometry; De Categoricis Syllogismis; Introductio ad Syllogismos Categoricos; De topicis differentiis ;


Quotes: “Nothing is miserable unless you think it so; and on the other hand, nothing brings happiness unless you are content with it” ; “Who would give a law to lovers? Love is unto itself a higher law” ; " He whose heart is fickle is not his own master, has thrown away his shield, deserted his post, and he forges the links of the chain that holds him” ; "How happy is mankind, if the love that orders the stars above rules, too, in your hearts” : “If I have fully diagnosed the cause and nature of your condition, you are wasting away in pining and longing for your former good fortune. It is the loss of this which, as your imagination works upon you, has so corrupted your mind. I know the many disguises of that monster, Fortune, and the extent to which she seduces with friendship the very people she is striving to cheat, until she overwhelms them with unbearable grief at the suddenness of her desertion” ; "A man content to go to heaven alone will never go to heaven"; "If there is a God, whence proceed so many evils? If there is no God, whence cometh any good?" ;




Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boethius; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Confederacy_of_Dunces ; read Consolation of Philosophy here - http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/b#a4992 ; or here - http://faculty.georgetown.edu/jod/boethius/boetrans.html ; or, for a "light' evening of laughs, listen to it - http://librivox.org/the-consolation-of-philosophy-by-boethius/ ; Great Minds of the Medieval World lecture series by Prof. Dorsey Armstrong; http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02610b.htm; http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/boethius/ ; http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/71328/Anicius-Manlius-Severinus-Boethius ; http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bio/274.html ;