Against Boetius of Denmark and Siger of Brabant.
That Siger and Boetius fled to Italy and, according to John Peckham, archbishop of Canterbury, perished miserably.
The story of Orpheus, as was to be expected of a legend told both by Ovid and Boetius, retained its popularity throughout the middle ages and was transformed into the likeness of a northern fairy tale.
BOETIUS (or BoETH1us), Anicius Manlius Severinus (c. A.D.
His father was Flavius Manlius Boetius, and it is probable that the Flavius Boetius, the praetorian prefect who was put to death in A.D.
His father, consul in 487, seems to have died soon after; for Boetius states that, when he was bereaved of his parent, men of the highest rank took him under their charge (De Con.
By her he had two sons, Anicius Manlius Severinus Boetius and Q.
Boetius was consul in sio, and his sons, while still young, held the same honour together (522).
Boetius regarded it as the height of his good fortune when he witnessed his two sons, consuls at the same time, convoyed from their home to the senate-house amid the enthusiasm of the masses.
The case was brought before the king, and Boetius succeeded in averting the coemptio from the Campanians.
In consequence of the ill-will that Boetius had thus roused, he was accused of treason towards the end of the reign of Theodoric. The charges were that he had conspired against the king, that he was anxious to maintain the integrity of the senate, and to restore Rome to liberty, and that for this purpose he had written to the emperor Justin.
But Boetius denied the accusation in unequivocal terms. He did indeed wish the integrity of the senate.
Two or three centuries after the death of Boetius writers began to view his death as a martyrdom.
Several Christian books were ascribed to him, and there was one especially on the Trinity (see below) which was regarded as proof that he had taken an active part against the heresy of Theodoric. It was therefore for his orthodoxy that Boetius was put to death.
Ordered the bones of Boetius to be taken out of the place in which they had lain hid, and to be placed in the church of S.
The contemporaries of Boetius regarded him as a man of profound learning.
When he visited Rome with Gunibald, king of the Burgundians, he took him to Boetius, who showed them, amongst other mechanical contrivances, a sun-dial and a water-clock.
The foreign monarch was astonished, and, at the request of Theodoric, Boetius had to prepare others of a similar nature, which were sent as presents to Gunibald.
The fame of Boetius increased after his death, and his influence during the middle ages was exceedingly powerful.
(See Stahr, Aristoteles bei den Romern, pp. 196-234.) Boetius wrote also a commentary on the Topica of Cicero; and he was also the author of independent works on logic: - Introductio ad Categoricos Syllogismos, in one book; De Syllogismis Categoricis, in two books; De Syllogismis Hypotheticis, in two books; De Divisione, in one book; De Definitione, in one book; De Differentiis Topicis, in four books.
We see from a statement of Cassiodorus that he furnished manuals for the quadrivium of the schools of the middle ages (the " quattuor matheseos disciplinae," as Boetius calls them) on arithmetic, music, geometry and astronomy.
Boetius himself tells us in his preface addressed to his father-inlaw Symmachus that he had taken liberties with the text of Nicomachus, that he had abridged the work when necessary, and that he had introduced formulae and diagrams of his own where he thought them useful for bringing out the meaning.
But Boetius belonged to the school of musical writers who based their science on the method of Pythagoras.
The work of Boetius is in five books and is a very complete exposition of the subject.
The manuscripts of the geometry of Boetius differ widely from each other.
By far the most important and most famous of the works of Boetius is his book De Consolatione Philosophiae.
The first book opens with a few verses, in which Boetius describes how his sorrows had brought him to a premature old age.
In the second book Philosophy presents to Boetius Fortune, who is made to state to him the blessings he has enjoyed, and after that proceeds to discuss with him the kind of blessings that fortune can bestow, which are shown to be unsatisfactory and uncertain.
In the fourth book Boetius raises the question, Why, if the governor of the universe is good, do evils exist, and why is virtue often punished and vice rewarded?
Several theological works have been ascribed to Boetius, as has been already mentioned.
The book contains expressions such as daemones, angelica virtus, and purgatoria dementia, which have been thought to be derived from the Christian faith; but they are used in a heathen sense, and are explained sufficiently by the circumstance that Boetius was on intimate terms with Christians.
It is not impossible, however, that Boetius may have been brought up a Christian, and that in his early years he may have written some Christian books.
Uniformly assign these treatises to Boetius, they are to be regarded as his; that it is probable that Symmachus and John (who afterwards became Pope) were the men of highest distinction who took charge of him when he lost his father; and that these treatises are the first-fruits of his studies, which he dedicates to his guardians and benefactors.
He thinks that the variations in the inscriptions of the fifth treatise, which is not found in the best manuscript, are so great that the name of Boetius could not have originally been in the title.
The treatise was therefore written before the birth of Boetius, if it be not a forgery; but there is no reason to suppose that the treatise was not a genuine production of the time to which it professes to belong.
It will be seen from this statement that Peiper bases his conclusions on grounds far too narrow; and on the whole it is perhaps more probable that Boetius wrote none of the four Christian treatises, particularly as they are not ascribed to him by any of his contemporaries.
When the desire arose that it should be believed that Boetius perished from his opposition to the heresy of Theodoric, it was natural to ascribe to him works which were in harmony with this supposed fact.
The works may really have been written by one Boetius, a bishop of Africa, as Jourdain supposes, or by some Saint Severinus, as Nitzsch conjectures, and the similarity of name may have aided the transference of them to the heathen or neutral Boetius.
Boetius) librum de sancta trinitate, et capita quaedam dogmatica, et librum contra Nestorium."
Nitzsch, however, held that this was a copyist's gloss, harmonizing with the received Boetius legend, which had been transferred to the text, and did not consider that it outweighed the opposing internal evidence from De Cons.
- The first collected edition of the works of Boetius was published at Venice in 1492 (Basel, 1570); the last in J.
The first contains prolegomena on the life and writings of Boetius, on his religion and philosophy, and on the manuscripts and editions, a critical apparatus, and notes.
It contains also an account of the metres used by Boetius in the Consolatio, and a list of the passages which he has borrowed from the tragedies of Seneca.
- On Boetius generally, see J.
At this time he began the publication, with critical apparatus, of Boetius (De Arithmetica), and Aristotle's Physics (1492), Ethics (1497), Metaphysics (150 I) and Politics (1506).
In the commentary on the treatise De Trinitate (erroneously attributed to Boetius) he proceeds from the metaphysical notion that pure or abstract being is prior in nature to that which is.
After the centuries of intellectual darkness which followed upon the closing of the philosophical schools in Athens (529),(529), and the death of Boetius, the last of the ancient philosophers, the first symptoms of renewed intellectual activity appear contemporaneously with the consolidation of the empire of the West in the hands of Charlemagne.
In the Latin translation of Boetius, in which alone the Isagoge was then known, the sentence runs as follows: " Mox de generibus et speciebus illud quidem sive subsistant, sive in solis nudis intellectibus posita sint, sive subsistentia corporalia sint an incorporalia, et utrum separata a sensibilibus an in sensibilibus posita et circa haec consistentia, dicere recusabo; altissimum enim negotium est hujusmodi et majoris egens inquisitionis."
In translations they had only the Categories and the De interpretatione of Aristotle in the versions of Boetius, the Timaeus of Plato in the version of Chalcidius, and Boetius's translation of Porphyry's Isagoge.