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Boethius, Anicius Manlius Torquatus Severinus

(ca. 480–ca. 524). Christian statesman, writer, philosopher; influenced Theodoric toward benevolent rule; enemies at court brought about his downfall; sought to tr. Gk. classics into Lat. to assure their accessibility, a plan cut short by his early death; bestknown work, De consolatione philosophiae, written while awaiting execution, develops theme that God is good and happiness consists in harmony with Him; wrote a short treatise on Trinity and a defense of Chalcedonian Christology. His 5 books De musica spell the end of antique musical science in the W world. With him, Cassiodorus, and Isidore of Seville began the medieval science of music. Idea that music constitutes a unit of mathematical science may be traced back to him. See also Quadrivium.

H. R. Patch, The Tradition of Beethius: A Study of His Importance in Medieval Culture (New York, 1935); first ed. of his works Venice 1492; MPL, 63, 64.


Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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