Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Boetius, Anicius Manlius Severinus, was probably born about 457 A.D. at Rome, where his father was consul in 487 under the rule of Odoacer. Little is known of his early life, but he appears to have lived in the highest society, and was a favourite with Theodoric, Odoacer's successor. He married a senator's daughter, and had two sons. He was consul in 510, and his sons held the office jointly in 522. His opposition to official injustice led his enemies to bring against him a false charge of treason. He was imprisoned by Theodoric, and after some delay was put to death in 522. During his imprisonment he wrote his famous book De Consolatione Philosophiae, in five parts, using prose and verse alternately. In a dialogue with personified Philosophy the problems of the moral government of the universe are discussed reverently and intelligently, but not a symptom of Christian belief can be detected throughout the book, which is largely indebted to Seneca for language and matter. Gibbon praised it highly, and, oddly enough, the Church of Rome conceiving that Boetius must have been orthodox as Theodoric was an Arian, treated the author as a martyr, and canonised him as Saint Severinus. Boetius, through his admiration for Greek literature, which led him to translate and comment on some treatises of Aristotle, exercised a favourable influence during the Middle Ages, and kept alive some slight knowledge of ancient philosophy. The Christian treatises ascribed to him are of doubtful authenticity.