Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius

Born: 475 in (probably) Rome, Italy
Died: 524 in Pavia, Italy

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Boethius was born into an aristocratic Christian family and he became a consul in 510. He wrote texts on geometry and arithmetic which were of poor quality but used for many centuries during a time when mathematical achievement in Europe was at a remarkable low.

Boethius was a friend of Theodoric, king of Italy and of the Goths. Russell, in [14] writes:-

Theodoric employed Boethius to reform the coinage, and to astonish less sophisticated barbarian kings with such devices as sun-dials and water-clocks.
Russell also says that Boethius stands out as a man of great learning and great zeal, free from superstition and fanaticism. Again quoting [14]:-
He would have been remarkable in any age, in the age in which he lived, he is utterly amazing.
Boethius translated Aristotle's Organon but died before he could translate Plato's work and fulfil his aim of harmonising the two philosophies.

He fell from favour and was put in prison where he wrote De consolatione philosophiae . Russell says

Theodoric ... believed, rightly or wrongly, that there was a plot involving men in his own government. This led him to imprison and execute his minister, the senator Boethius.
After the spell in prison Boethius was executed on the charge of treason and magic.

References (14 books/articles)

A page from a work by Boethius:

Pythagorus (on the right, using an abacus) in competition with Boethius in Margaista Philosophica (1504)

References elsewhere in this archive:

There is a Crater Boethius on the moon. You can see a list of lunar features named after mathematicians.

There is also a Crater Boethius on Mercury. You can see a list of planetary features named after mathematicians.

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JOC/EFR December 1996