The Life and Works of Boethius

The Life and Works of Boethius

June 27, 2021 Off By Felso

Born half a century after Augustine’s death, Boethius’ real name is actually long: Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius.

Boethius AD, also referred to as the last of the Romans. He was born in Rome in 480. Five years later in the East Proklos (410-485) died. His father was a member of the Anicii, one of the famous dynasties in Rome, and he was an interim consul (Wulf, 1951: 106). Having lost his father at a young age, he was adopted by Symmachus, a member of an even more famous family.

Rusiticiana, daughter of Symmachus, and M.S. He married in 495. In his youth, Boethius took lessons on Greek culture and philosophy in Athens, which still had not lost its influence, and learned Greek (Knowles, 1993: 47). During this period, he met Plato and Neoplatonism, Aristotle and Aristotelianism, Stoic philosophy, and had the opportunity to read many works from the original (Wulf, 1951: 106).

Thanks to the Greek he learned in Athens, he later translated many Greek philosophical works into Latin and made a very serious contribution to the entire Middle Ages. Since he knew both languages ​​very well, he found the Latin equivalents of many Greek philosophical terms and used them in his works.

When Boethius returned to Italy, things seemed a bit of a mess. The Ostrogoths had occupied all of Italy. At their head was the famous Theodoricus (reigned from 493 to 526) and he moved the country’s administrative center to Ravenna, a few hundred kilometers south of Rome. Therefore, Boethius had to choose between Rome and Ravenna, and he chose Rome. Thanks to his high taste for life and intelligence, he achieved a prominent place in public life and was appointed consul in 510. In 522, his two sons assumed the same post.

King Theodoricus assigned him some public duties. However, he devoted most of his time to translating and writing commentaries. Over time, he rose to important positions under the patronage of King Theodoricus. He was discredited and imprisoned for defending Albinus, who was accused of treason in 522. He was sentenced to death after a trial without trial in Pavia. He was tortured. Although the death sentence for him is known, the issue of Boethius’ execution is not clear. However, we do know that he died in 524 or 525, and that Symmachus was executed soon after. The Catholic Church declared Boethius a martyr in 1883 and declared that he considered his works very important.

Boethius’ works are included in Volumes 63 and 64 of Patrologia Latina, published by Migne in 1847 under the title Manlii Severini Boetii opera omnia. Accordingly, the works included in Volume 63 are as follows:

On the Consolation of Philosophy (De Consolatione Philosophiae). (It is one of the most well-known works in the history of philosophy. It was written while he was in prison. It was translated into Turkish by Prof. Dr. Çiğdem Dürüşken.) ; De Arithmetica Libri Duo; Translation of the Geometry Book of Euclid of Megara by Boethius (Euclidis Megarensis Geometriae Libri Duo Ab A M Severino Boethio Translati); Book About Geometry (Liber De Geometria).

His works included in volume 64 are as follows: Translation of the Dialogues of Porphyrios by Victorin (In Porphyrium Dialogi A Victorino Translatio); Interpretation of Porphyrios’ Own Translation (Commentarii In Porphyrium A Se Translatum); Aristotle’s Categories (In Categorias Aristotelis Libri Quatuor); Aristotle’s On Interpretation (In Librum Aristotelis De Interpretatione Libri Duo); Aristotle’s First Analytics (Priorum Analyticorum Aristotelis Libri Duo); Aristotle’s Second Analytics (Posteriorum Analyticorum Aristotelis Libri Duo); About syllogism (De Syllogismo Categorico); Interpretation of Aristotle’s Topics (Topicorum Aristotelis Libri Octo Severino Boethio Interprete); Commentary on Aristotle’s Sophistic Refutations (Elencorum Sophisticorum Aristotelis Libro Duo Severino Boetio Interprete).

Like- it has benefited a lot. However, it is not always possible to see the influences of philosophers who wrote in Greek, famous for their Platonism, such as Origenes, Gregorius of Nyssa and Gregorius of Naziansus. Looking at the above works, it is seen that there is a great workload to which a whole life has been devoted. Especially his translations from Greek made an invaluable contribution to the world of Latin writers. He wrote a commentary on Porphyrios’ Isagoge around 500. For this interpretation he used a pre-translation of Isagoge by Marius Victorinus; but he did not find this text satisfactory. Therefore, he began to translate all the works that he later commented on from Greek to Latin. Although Boethius stated that he would translate all of the works of Aristotle and Plato, and thus show that the two of them actually think in common on many issues, he could not realize this wish (Knowles, 1993: 47). He translated almost all of Aristotle’s logic works; however, he could not find the chance to translate any of the dialogues from Plato. yore