Anicius Boethius (480 - c. 524 A.D.) was a 6th century
Christian philosopher, often called "the last of the Romans." He
was born in Rome to an important family many of his ancestors had
been consuls, including his father Flavius Manlius Boethius in 487
but he served as an official for the kingdom of the
In 522 he also saw his two sons become consuls, but he was later
King Theodoric the Great
on suspicion of having conspired with the Byzantine Empire and is
thus considered a martyr in church history.
"During his imprisonment he wrote his famous
De Consolatione Philosophiae, in which the author holds a
conversation with Philosophy, who shows him the mutability of all
earthly fortune, and the insecurity of everything save virtue. The
work, which in style imitates the best Augustan models, is theistic
in its language, but affords no indication that that its writer was
in fact a Christian. Boethius was the last
great Roman writer who understood Greek and his translations of
Aristotle were long the only means of studying Greek philosophy.
His manuals on arithmetic, astronomy, geometry and music were
generally used in medieval schools."
- John Marenbon, Boethius. Oxford: Oxford University Press