Saint Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius,[a] commonly called Boethius[b] (/boʊˈiːθiəs/; also Boetius /-ʃəs/; c. 477–524 AD), was a Roman senator, consul, magister officiorum, and philosopher of the early 6th century. He was born about a year after Odoacer deposed the last Roman Emperor and declared himself King of Italy. Boethius entered public service under Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great, who later imprisoned and executed him in 524 on charges of conspiracy to overthrow him. While jailed, Boethius composed his Consolation of Philosophy, a philosophical treatise on fortune, death, and other issues, which became one of the most popular and influential works of the Middle Ages. As the author of numerous handbooks and translator of Aristotle, he became the main intermediary between Classical antiquity and following centuries.
Saint Severinus Boethius
|Born||Rome, Kingdom of Odoacer|
|Died||Pavia, Ostrogothic Kingdom|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
Eastern Orthodox Church
|Major shrine||San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro, Pavia, Italy|
|Influences||Augustine of Hippo|
Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius
Boethius teaching his students
(initial in a 1385 Italian manuscript of the Consolation of Philosophy.)
|Born||c. AD 477|
|Died||524 (aged about 44)|
|The Consolation of Philosophy|
|problem of universals, theology, music|
|The Wheel of Fortune|
Boethius was born in Rome to a patrician family around 477 or 480, but his exact birth date is unknown. His family, the Anicii, included emperors Petronius Maximus and Olybrius and many consuls. His father, Manlius Boethius, who was appointed consul in 487, died while Boethius was young. Another patrician, Quintus Aurelius Memmius Symmachus, adopted and raised Boethius, instilling in him a love for literature and philosophy.
Both Memmius Symmachus and Boethius were fluent in Greek, an increasingly rare skill at the time in the Western Empire; for this reason, some scholars believe that Boethius was educated in the East. According to John Moorhead, the traditional view is that Boethius studied in Athens, based on Cassiodorus' rhetoric describing Boethius' learning in one of his letters, though this does appear to be a misreading of the text for Boethius' simple facility with the works of Greek philosophers.
Pierre Courcelle has argued that Boethius studied at Alexandria with the Neo-Platonist philosopher Ammonius Hermiae. However, Moorhead observes that the evidence supporting Boethius having studied in Alexandria "is not as strong as it may appear", and adds that Boethius may have been able to acquire his formidable learning without travelling.
On account of his erudition, Boethius entered the service of Theodoric the Great at a young age and was already a senator by the age of 25. His earliest documented acts on behalf of the Ostrogothic ruler were to investigate allegations that the paymaster of Theodoric's bodyguards had debased the coins of their pay; to produce a waterclock for Theodoric to give to king Gundobad of the Burgunds; and to recruit a lyre-player to perform for Clovis, king of the Franks.
During Theodoric's reign, Boethius held many important offices, including the consulship in the year 510, but Boethius confesses in his De consolatione philosophiae that his greatest achievement was to have both his sons made co-consuls for the same year (522), one representing the east and the other the west, and finding himself sitting "between the two consuls and as if it were a military triumph [letting his] largesse fulfill the wildest expectations of the people packed in their seats around [him]".
In 520 Boethius was working to revitalize the relationship between the Roman See and the Constantinopolitan See; though still both a part of the same Church, disagreements had begun to emerge between them. This may have set in place a course of events that would lead to loss of royal favour. Five hundred years later, this continuing disagreement led to the East–West Schism in 1054, in which communion between the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church was broken.
In 523 Boethius fell from power. After a period of imprisonment in Pavia for what was deemed a treasonable offence, he was executed in 524. The primary sources are in general agreement over the facts of what happened. At a meeting of the Royal Council in Verona, the referendarius Cyprianus accused the ex-consul Caecina Decius Faustus Albinus of treasonous correspondence with Justin I. Boethius leapt to his defense, crying, "The charge of Cyprianus is false, but if Albinus did that, so also have I and the whole senate with one accord done it; it is false, my Lord King."
Cyprianus then also accused Boethius of the same crime and produced three men who claimed they had witnessed the crime. Boethius and Basilius were arrested. First the pair were detained in the baptistery of a church, then Boethius was exiled to the Ager Calventianus, a distant country estate, where he was put to death. Not long afterwards Theodoric had Boethius' father-in-law Symmachus put to death, according to Procopius, on the grounds that he and Boethius together were planning a revolution, and confiscated their property.
"The basic facts in the case are not in dispute," writes Jeffrey Richards. "What is disputed about this sequence of events is the interpretation that should be put on them." Boethius claims his crime was seeking "the safety of the Senate". He describes the three witnesses against him as dishonorable: Basilius had been dismissed from Royal service for his debts, while Venantius Opilio and Gaudentius had been exiled for fraud. However, other sources depict these men in a far more positive light. For example, Cassiodorus describes Cyprianus and Opilio as "utterly scrupulous, just and loyal" and mentions they are brothers and grandsons of the consul Opilio.
Theodoric was feeling threatened by international events. The Acacian Schism had been resolved, and the Nicene Christian aristocrats of his kingdom were seeking to renew their ties with Constantinople. The Catholic Hilderic had become king of the Vandals and had put Theodoric's sister Amalafrida to death, and Arians in the East were being persecuted. Then there was the matter that with his previous ties to Theodahad, Boethius apparently found himself on the wrong side in the succession dispute following the untimely death of Eutharic, Theodoric's announced heir.
The method of Boethius' execution varies in the sources. Perhaps he was killed with an axe or a sword, or possibly he was clubbed to death, or possibly hanged. According to another version a rope was attached round his head and tightened till his eyes bulged out; then his skull was cracked. In any case, his remains were entombed in the church of San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro in Pavia, also the resting place of Augustine of Hippo. In Dante's The Divine Comedy, Paradise, Canto X, lines 121–29, the spirit of Boethius is pointed out by Saint Thomas Aquinas:
Now if thy mental eye conducted be
From light to light, as I resound their frame,
The eighth well worth attention thou wilt see.
The soul who pointed out the world's dark ways,
To all who listen, its deceits unfolding.
Beneath in Cieldauro lies the frame
Whence it was driven; -from woe and exile, to
This fair abode of peace and bliss it came.
Past Classical and Medieval historians have had a hard time accepting a sincere Christian who was also a serious Hellenist. Arnaldo Momigliano argues that "many people have turned to Christianity for consolation. Boethius turned to paganism. His Christianity collapsed—it collapsed so thoroughly that perhaps he did not even notice its disappearance." However, this view does not reflect the majority of current scholarship on the matter. The community that he was part of valued both classical and Christian culture.
Dates of composition
Boethius's best known work is the Consolation of Philosophy (De consolatione philosophiae), which he wrote most likely while in exile under house arrest or in prison while awaiting his execution. This work represented an imaginary dialogue between himself and philosophy, with philosophy personified as a woman. The book argues that despite the apparent inequality of the world, there is, in Platonic fashion, a higher power and everything else is secondary to that divine Providence.
Several manuscripts survived and these were widely edited, translated and printed throughout the late 15th century and later in Europe. Beyond Consolation of Philosophy, his lifelong project was a deliberate attempt to preserve ancient classical knowledge, particularly philosophy. Boethius intended to translate all the works of Aristotle and Plato from the original Greek into Latin.
His completed translations of Aristotle's works on logic were the only significant portions of Aristotle available in Latin Christendom from the sixth century until the 12th century. However, some of his translations (such as his treatment of the topoi in The Topics) were mixed with his own commentary, which reflected both Aristotelian and Platonic concepts.
Unfortunately, the commentaries themselves have been lost. In addition to his commentary on the Topics, Boethius composed two treatises on Topical argumentation, In Ciceronis Topica and De topicis differentiis. The first work has six books, and is largely a response to Cicero's Topica. The first book of In Ciceronis Topica begins with a dedication to Patricius. It includes distinctions and assertions important to Boethius's overall philosophy, such as his view of the role of philosophy as "establish[ing] our judgment concerning the governing of life", and definitions of logic from Plato, Aristotle and Cicero. He breaks logic into three parts: that which defines, that which divides, and that which deduces.
He asserts that there are three types of arguments: those of necessity, of ready believability, and sophistry. He follows Aristotle in defining one sort of Topic as the maximal proposition, a proposition which is somehow shown to be universal or readily believable. The other sort of Topic, the differentiae, are "Topics that contain and include the maximal propositions"; means of categorizing the Topics which Boethius credits to Cicero.
Book II covers two kinds of topics: those from related things and those from extrinsic topics. Book III discusses the relationship among things studied through Topics, Topics themselves, and the nature of definition. Book IV analyzes partition, designation and relationships between things (such as pairing, numbering, genus, and species, etc.). After a review of his terms, Boethius spends Book V discussing Stoic logic and Aristotelian causation. Book VI relates the nature of the Topic to causes.
In Topicis Differentiis has four books; Book I discusses the nature of rhetorical and dialectical Topics together, Boethius's overall purpose being "to show what the Topics are, what their differentiae are, and which are suited for what syllogisms." He distinguishes between argument (that which constitutes belief) and argumentation (that which demonstrates belief). Propositions are divided into three parts: those that are universal, those that are particular, and those that are somewhere in between. These distinctions, and others, are applicable to both types of Topical argument, rhetorical and dialectical. Books II and III are primarily focused on Topics of dialectic (syllogisms), while Book IV concentrates on the unit of the rhetorical Topic, the enthymeme. Topical argumentation is at the core of Boethius's conception of dialectic, which "have categorical rather than conditional conclusions, and he conceives of the discovery of an argument as the discovery of a middle term capable of linking the two terms of the desired conclusion."
Not only are these texts of paramount importance to the study of Boethius, they are also crucial to the history of topical lore. It is largely due to Boethius that the Topics of Aristotle and Cicero were revived, and the Boethian tradition of topical argumentation spans its influence throughout the Middle Ages and into the early Renaissance: "In the works of Ockham, Buridan, Albert of Saxony, and the Pseudo-Scotus, for instance, many of the rules of consequence bear a strong resemblance to or are simply identical with certain Boethian Topics ... Boethius's influence, direct and indirect, on this tradition is enormous."
It was also in De Topicis Differentiis that Boethius made a unique contribution to the discourse on dialectic and rhetoric. Topical argumentation for Boethius is dependent upon a new category for the topics discussed by Aristotle and Cicero, and "[u]nlike Aristotle, Boethius recognizes two different types of Topics. First, he says, a Topic is a maximal proposition (maxima propositio), or principle; but there is a second kind of Topic, which he calls the differentia of a maximal proposition ..." Maximal propositions are "propositions [that are] known per se, and no proof can be found for these."
This is the basis for the idea that demonstration (or the construction of arguments) is dependent ultimately upon ideas or proofs that are known so well and are so fundamental to human understanding of logic that no other proofs come before it. They must hold true in and of themselves. According to Stump, "the role of maximal propositions in argumentation is to ensure the truth of a conclusion by ensuring the truth of its premises either directly or indirectly." These propositions would be used in constructing arguments through the Differentia, which is the second part of Boethius' theory. This is "the genus of the intermediate in the argument." So maximal propositions allow room for an argument to be founded in some sense of logic while differentia are critical for the demonstration and construction of arguments.
Boethius' definition of "differentiae" is that they are "the Topics of arguments ... The Topics which are the Differentiae of [maximal] propositions are more universal than those propositions, just as rationality is more universal than man." This is the second part of Boethius' unique contribution to the field of rhetoric. Differentia operate under maximal propositions to "be of use in finding maximal propositions as well as intermediate terms," or the premises that follow maximal propositions.
Though Boethius is drawing from Aristotle's Topics, Differentiae are not the same as Topics in some ways. Boethius arranges differentiae through statements, instead of generalized groups as Aristotle does. Stump articulates the difference. They are "expressed as words or phrases whose expansion into appropriate propositions is neither intended nor readily conceivable", unlike Aristotle's clearly defined four groups of Topics. Aristotle had hundreds of topics organized into those four groups, whereas Boethius has twenty-eight "Topics" that are "highly ordered among themselves." This distinction is necessary to understand Boethius as separate from past rhetorical theories.
Maximal propositions and Differentiae belong not only to rhetoric, but also to dialectic. Boethius defines dialectic through an analysis of "thesis" and hypothetical propositions. He claims that "[t]here are two kinds of questions. One is that called, 'thesis' by the [Greek] dialecticians. This is the kind of question which asks about and discusses things stripped of relation to other circumstances; it is the sort of question dialecticians most frequently dispute about—for example, 'Is pleasure the greatest good?' [or] 'Should one marry?'." Dialectic has "dialectical topics" as well as "dialectical-rhetorical topics", all of which are still discussed in De Topicis Differentiis. Dialectic, especially in Book I, comprises a major component of Boethius' discussion on Topics.
Boethius planned to completely translate Plato's Dialogues, but there is no known surviving translation, if it was actually ever begun.
Boethius chose to pass on the great Greco-Roman culture to future generations by writing manuals on music, astronomy, geometry and arithmetic.
Several of Boethius' writings, which were hugely influential during the Middle Ages, drew on the thinking of Porphyry and Iamblichus. Boethius wrote a commentary on the Isagoge by Porphyry, which highlighted the existence of the problem of universals: whether these concepts are subsistent entities which would exist whether anyone thought of them, or whether they only exist as ideas. This topic concerning the ontological nature of universal ideas was one of the most vocal controversies in medieval philosophy.
Besides these advanced philosophical works, Boethius is also reported to have translated important Greek texts on the topics of the quadrivium  His loose translation of Nicomachus's treatise on arithmetic (De institutione arithmetica libri duo) and his textbook on music (De institutione musica libri quinque, unfinished) contributed to medieval education. De arithmetica begins with modular arithmetic, such as even and odd, evenly even, evenly odd, and oddly even. He then turns to unpredicted complexity by categorizing numbers and parts of numbers. His translations of Euclid on geometry and Ptolemy on astronomy, if they were completed, no longer survive. Boethius made Latin translations of Aristotle's De interpretatione and Categories with commentaries. In his article The Ancient Classics in the Mediaeval Libraries, James Stuart Beddie cites Boethius as the reason Aristotle's works were popular in the Middle Ages, as Boethius preserved many of the philosopher's works.
Boethius' De institutione musica was one of the first musical works to be printed in Venice between the years of 1491 and 1492. It was written toward the beginning of the sixth century and helped medieval authors during the ninth century understand Greek music. Like his Greek predecessors, Boethius believed that arithmetic and music were intertwined, and helped to mutually reinforce the understanding of each, and together exemplified the fundamental principles of order and harmony in the understanding of the universe as it was known during his time.
In "De Musica", Boethius introduced the threefold classification of music:
In De musica I.2, Boethius describes 'musica instrumentis' as music produced by something under tension (e.g., strings), by wind (e.g., aulos), by water, or by percussion (e.g., cymbals). Boethius himself doesn't use the term 'instrumentalis', which was used by Adalbold II of Utrecht (975–1026) in his Epistola cum tractatu. The term is much more common in the 13th century and later. It is also in these later texts that musica instrumentalis is firmly associated with audible music in general, including vocal music. Scholars have traditionally assumed that Boethius also made this connection, possibly under the header of wind instruments ("administratur ... aut spiritu ut tibiis"[c] ), but Boethius himself never writes about "instrumentalis" as separate from "instrumentis" explicitly in his very brief description.
In one of his works within De institutione musica, Boethius said that "music is so naturally united with us that we cannot be free from it even if we so desired."
During the Middle Ages, Boethius was connected to several texts that were used to teach liberal arts. Although he did not address the subject of trivium, he did write many treatises explaining the principles of rhetoric, grammar, and logic. During the Middle Ages, his works of these disciplines were commonly used when studying the three elementary arts. The historian R. W. Southern called Boethius "the schoolmaster of medieval Europe."
Five theological works are known:
Lorenzo Valla described Boethius as the last of the Romans and the first of the scholastic philosophers. Despite the use of his mathematical texts in the early universities, it is his final work, the Consolation of Philosophy, that assured his legacy in the Middle Ages and beyond. This work is cast as a dialogue between Boethius himself, at first bitter and despairing over his imprisonment, and the spirit of philosophy, depicted as a woman of wisdom and compassion. "Alternately composed in prose and verse, the Consolation teaches acceptance of hardship in a spirit of philosophical detachment from misfortune".
Parts of the work are reminiscent of the Socratic method of Plato's dialogues, as the spirit of philosophy questions Boethius and challenges his emotional reactions to adversity. The work was translated into Old English by King Alfred, although Alfred's authorship of this Old English translation has recently been questioned, and into later English by Chaucer and Queen Elizabeth. Many manuscripts survive and it was extensively edited, translated and printed throughout Europe from the 14th century onwards. Many commentaries on it were compiled, and it has been one of the most influential books in European culture. No complete bibliography has ever been assembled, but it would run into thousands of items.
"The Boethian Wheel" is a model for Boethius' belief that history is a wheel, a metaphor that Boethius uses frequently in the Consolation; it remained very popular throughout the Middle Ages, and is still often seen today. As the wheel turns, those who have power and wealth will turn to dust; men may rise from poverty and hunger to greatness, while those who are great may fall with the turn of the wheel. It was represented in the Middle Ages in many relics of art depicting the rise and fall of man. Descriptions of "The Boethian Wheel" can be found in the literature of the Middle Ages from the Romance of the Rose to Chaucer.
Boethius is recognized as a martyr for the Catholic faith by the Roman Martyrology, though to Watkins "his status as martyr is dubious". His cult is held in Pavia, where Boethius's status as a saint was confirmed in 1883, and in the Church of Santa Maria in Portico in Rome. His feast day is 23 October. Pope Benedict XVI explained the relevance of Boethius to modern day Christians by linking his teachings to an understanding of Providence. He is also venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
In the novel A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, Boethius is the favorite philosopher of main character Ignatius J. Reilly. "The Boethian Wheel" is a theme throughout the book, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981.
Peter Glassgold translated Boethius's poems on the consolation of philosophy "out of the original Latin into a diverse historical Englishings diligently collaged," (Sun and Moon Press, 1994).
| Consul of the Roman Empire
Arcadius Placidus Magnus Felix,
Axel Boëthius (July 18, 1889 in Arvika, Sweden – May 7, 1969 in Rome, Italy) was a scholar and archaeologist of Etruscan culture. Boëthius was primarily a student of Etruscan and Italic architecture. His father was the historian Simon Boëthius.As a student, Boëthius studied at the Uppsala University, where he completed his Ph.D. in 1918. He taught at Uppsala (1921–24) during which time he excavated at Mycenae in Greece. In 1925 he was selected as the first director of the Swedish Institute at Rome by the Swedish crown prince Gustav Adolf (also known as an accomplished amateur archaeologist). He became professor of archaeology at the Göteborg University in 1934, a post he held until 1955. He also served as rector of the university (1946–51). In 1955, he retired to Italy. There he published his book Golden House of Nero in 1960, which was the product of the Thomas Spencer Jerome Lectures given in Rome. Boëthius, working together with John Bryan Ward-Perkins, wrote the section on Etruscan architecture for the prestigious Pelican History of Art series. The volume was published in 1970, shortly after his death in 1969.Boece (Chaucer)
Boece is Geoffrey Chaucer's translation into Middle English of The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius. The original work, written in Latin, stresses the importance of philosophy to everyday life and was one of the major works of philosophy in the Middle Ages. As well as using philosophy to understand and deal with hardship, it is also an attempt by Boethius to improve the minds of the people in 6th century Rome by introducing them to Greek philosophy.Boethius (Mercurian crater)
Boethius is a crater on Mercury, named after Boethius, the Roman philosopher.Boethius (disambiguation)
Boethius was a Roman philosopher of the early 6th century.
Boethius or Boëthius may also refer to:
Boethius (consul 522), son of the Roman philosopher, consul in 522
Boetius of Dacia, medieval Danish or Swedish philosopher
Hector Boece (or Boethius, or Boyce) (1465–1536) Scottish philosopher and historian
Boëthius (family), for members of the Swedish family
Boethius (lunar crater), located on the east edge of Mare Undarum near the eastern lunar limb
Boethius (Mercurian crater), located on MercuryBoethius (lunar crater)
Boethius is a small lunar impact crater located on the east edge of Mare Undarum near the eastern lunar limb. To the southwest is the dark, lava-flooded crater Dubyago.
Boethius is circular and cup-shaped, with inner walls sloping down to the tiny central floor. It has a higher albedo than the surrounding terrain, and is not overlain by other impact craters of note. It was named after Boethius, the Roman philosopher. Before 1976 it was identified as Dubyago U.Boetius of Dacia
Boetius de Dacia, OP (also spelled Boethius de Dacia) was a 13th-century Danish philosopher.Carola Hansson
Carola Hansson-Boëthius (born 7 September 1942) is a Swedish novelist, dramatist and translator.Etruscan architecture
Etruscan architecture was created between about 700 BC and 200 BC, when the expanding civilization of ancient Rome finally absorbed Etruscan civilization. The Etruscans were considerable builders in stone, wood and other materials of temples, houses, tombs and city walls, as well as bridges and roads. The only structures remaining in quantity in anything like their original condition are tombs and walls, but through archaeology and other sources we have a good deal of information on what once existed.
From about 630 BC, Etruscan architecture was heavily influenced by Greek architecture, which was itself developing through the same period. In turn it influenced Roman architecture, which in its early centuries can be considered as just a regional variation of Etruscan architecture. But increasingly, from about 200 BC, the Romans looked directly to Greece for their styling, while sometimes retaining Etruscan shapes and purposes in their buildings.The main monumental forms of Etruscan architecture, listed in decreasing order of the surviving remains, were: the houses of the wealthy elite, the mysterious "monumental complexes", temples, city walls, and rock-cut tombs. Apart from the podia of temples and some house foundations, only the walls and rock-cut tombs were mainly in stone, and have therefore often largely survived.Hector Boece
Hector Boece (; also spelled Boyce or Boise; 1465–1536), known in Latin as Hector Boecius or Boethius, was a Scottish philosopher and historian, and the first Principal of King's College in Aberdeen, a predecessor of the University of Aberdeen.Isagoge
The Isagoge (Greek: Εἰσαγωγή, Eisagōgḗ) or "Introduction" to Aristotle's "Categories", written by Porphyry in Greek and translated into Latin by Boethius, was the standard textbook on logic for at least a millennium after his death. It was composed by Porphyry in Sicily during the years 268–270, and sent to Chrysaorium, according to all the ancient commentators Ammonius, Elias, and David. The work includes the highly influential hierarchical classification of genera and species from substance in general down to individuals, known as the Tree of Porphyry, and an introduction which mentions the problem of universals.
Boethius' translation of the work, in Latin, became a standard medieval textbook in European schools and universities, setting the stage for medieval philosophical-theological developments of logic and the problem of universals. Many writers, such as Boethius himself, Averroes, Abelard, Scotus, wrote commentaries on the book. Other writers such as William of Ockham incorporated them into their textbooks on logic.Philosophy of happiness
The philosophy of happiness is the philosophical concern with the existence, nature, and attainment of happiness. Philosophers believe happiness can be understood as the moral goal of life or as an aspect of chance; indeed, in most European languages the term happiness is synonymous with luck. Thus, philosophers usually explicate on happiness as either a state of mind, or a life that goes well for the person leading it.Pythagorean comma
In musical tuning, the Pythagorean comma (or ditonic comma), named after the ancient mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras, is the small interval (or comma) existing in Pythagorean tuning between two enharmonically equivalent notes such as C and B♯ (Play ), or D♭ and C♯. It is equal to the frequency ratio (1.5)12/128 = about 1.01364, or about 23.46 cents, roughly a quarter of a semitone (in between 75:74 and 74:73). The comma which musical temperaments often refer to tempering is the Pythagorean comma.The Pythagorean comma can be also defined as the difference between a Pythagorean apotome and a Pythagorean limma (i.e., between a chromatic and a diatonic semitone, as determined in Pythagorean tuning), or the difference between twelve just perfect fifths and seven octaves, or the difference between three Pythagorean ditones and one octave (this is the reason why the Pythagorean comma is also called a ditonic comma).
The diminished second, in Pythagorean tuning, is defined as the difference between limma and apotome. It coincides therefore with the opposite of a Pythagorean comma, and can be viewed as a descending Pythagorean comma (e.g. from C♯ to D♭), equal to about −23.46 cents.Quadrivium
The quadrivium (plural: quadrivia) is the four subjects, or arts (namely arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy), taught after teaching the trivium. The word is Latin, meaning four ways, and its use for the four subjects has been attributed to Boethius or Cassiodorus in the 6th century. Together, the trivium and the quadrivium comprised the seven liberal arts (based on thinking skills), as distinguished from the practical arts (such as medicine and architecture).
The quadrivium consisted of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. These followed the preparatory work of the trivium, consisting of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. In turn, the quadrivium was considered the foundation for the study of philosophy (sometimes called the "liberal art par excellence") and theology. The quadrivium was the upper division of the medieval education in the liberal arts, which comprised arithmetic (number), geometry (number in space), music (number in time), and astronomy (number in space and time). Educationally, the trivium and the quadrivium imparted to the student the seven liberal arts (essential thinking skills) of classical antiquity.Schisma
In music, the schisma (also spelled skhisma) is the interval between a Pythagorean comma (531441:524288) and a syntonic comma (81:80) and equals 32805:32768, which is 1.9537 cents (Play (help·info)). It may also be defined as:
Schisma is a Greek word meaning a split (see schism) whose musical sense was introduced by Boethius at the beginning of the 6th century in the 3rd book of his 'De institutione musica'. Boethius was also the first to define diaschisma.
Andreas Werckmeister defined the grad as the twelfth root of the Pythagorean comma, or equivalently the difference between the justly tuned fifth (3/2) and the equally tempered fifth of 700 cents (27/12). This value, 1.955 cents, may be approximated by the ratio 886:885. This interval is also sometimes called a schisma.
Curiously, appears very close to 4:3, the just perfect fourth. That's because the difference between a grad and a schisma is so small. So, a rational intonation version of equal temperament may be realized by flattening the fifth by a schisma rather than a grad, a fact first noted by Johann Kirnberger, a pupil of Bach. Twelve of these Kirnberger fifths of 16384:10935 exceed seven octaves, and therefore fail to close, by the tiny interval of , the atom of Kirnberger of 0.01536 cents.
Tempering out the schisma leads to schismatic temperament.
As used by Descartes, a schisma added to a perfect fourth = 27:20 (519.55 cents), a schisma subtracted from a perfect fifth = 40:27 (680.45 cents), and a major sixth plus a schisma = 27:16 (= 81:48 = 905.87 cents). By this definition is a "schisma" is what is known as the syntonic comma (81:80).Stephen J. Blackwood
Stephen James Blackwood (born 1975) is a scholar, cultural commentator, and social entrepreneur.The Consolation of Philosophy
The Consolation of Philosophy (Latin: De consolatione philosophiae) is a philosophical work by Boethius, written around the year 524. It has been described as the single most important and influential work in the West on Medieval and early Renaissance Christianity, as well as the last great Western work of the Classical Period.The Old English Boethius
The Old English Boethius is an Old English translation/adaptation of the sixth-century Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius, dating from between c. 880 and 950. Boethius's work is prosimetrical, alternating between prose and verse, and one of the two surviving manuscripts of the Old English translation renders the poems as Old English alliterative verse: these verse translations are known as the Metres of Boethius.
The translation is attributed in one manuscript to King Alfred (r. 870-899), and this was long accepted, but the attribution is now considered doubtful.Theoderic the Great
Theoderic the Great (454 – 30 August 526), often referred to as Theodoric (; Gothic: *𐌸𐌹𐌿𐌳𐌰𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌺𐍃, *Þiudareiks, Latin: Flāvius Theodericus, Italian: Teodorico, Greek: Θευδέριχος, Theuderikhos, Old English: Þēodrīc, Old Norse: Þjōðrēkr, German: Theoderich), was king of the Ostrogoths (475–526), ruler of Italy (493–526), regent of the Visigoths (511–526), and a patrician of the Roman Empire. As ruler of the combined Gothic realms, Theoderic controlled an empire stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Adriatic Sea. He kept good relations between Ostrogoths and Romans, maintained a Roman legal administration and oversaw a flourishing scholarly culture and the largest building program in Italy in 100 years.Theoderic was born in Pannonia in 454 as the son of king Theodemir, a Germanic Amali nobleman, and his concubine Ereleuva. From 461 to 471, Theoderic grew up as a hostage in Constantinople, received a privileged education under imperial direction, and succeeded his father as leader of the Pannonian Ostrogoths in 473. Settling his people in lower Moesia, Theoderic came into conflict with Thracian Ostrogoths led by Theodoric Strabo, whom he eventually supplanted, uniting the peoples in 484. Emperor Zeno subsequently gave him the title of Patrician, Vir gloriosus, and the office of magister militum (master of the soldiers), and even appointed him as consul. Seeking further gains, Theoderic frequently ravaged the provinces of the Eastern Roman Empire, eventually threatening Constantinople itself. In 488, Emperor Zeno ordered Theoderic to overthrow the Germanic foederatus and King of Italy, Odoacer. After a victorious four-year war, Theoderic killed Odoacer with his own hands while they shared a meal, settled his 200,000 to 250,000 people in Italy, and founded an Ostrogothic Kingdom based in Ravenna. Theoderic extended his hegemony over the Burgundian and Vandal Kingdoms through marriage alliances. In 511, the Visigothic Kingdom was brought under Theoderic's direct control, forming a Gothic superstate that extended from the Atlantic to the Danube.
Theoderic's achievements began to unravel in his later years. The Burgundians and Vandals threw off Ostrogothic hegemony by 523, and Theoderic's presumptive heir to both Gothic realms and son-in-law Eutharic died in 522, throwing his succession into doubt. Theoderic's good relations with the Roman Senate deteriorated due to a presumed senatorial conspiracy in 522, and, in 523, Theoderic had the philosopher and court official Boethius and Boethius' father-in-law Symmachus executed on charges of treason related to the alleged plot. Theoderic died in Ravenna on 30 August 526, and was succeeded by his grandson Athalaric, with Theoderic's daughter Amalasuntha serving as regent. The Visigothic Kingdom re-acquired its independence on Theoderic's death.
Seeking to restore the glory of ancient Rome, he ruled Italy in its most peaceful and prosperous period since Valentinian I. Memories of his reign made him a hero of German legends, as Dietrich von Bern.Topical logic
Topical logic is the logic of topical argument, a branch of rhetoric developed in the Late Antique period from earlier works, such as Aristotle's Topics and Cicero's Topica. It consists of heuristics for developing arguments, which are in the first place plausible rather than rigorous, from commonplaces (topoi or loci). In other words, therefore, it consists of standardized ways of thinking up debating techniques from existing, thought-through positions. The actual practice of topical argument was much developed by Roman lawyers. Cicero took the theory of Aristotle to be an aspect of rhetoric. As such it belongs to inventio in the classic fivefold division of rhetoric.
The standard classical work on topical logic was the De Topicis Differentiae (On Topical Differentiae) by Boethius. Differentiae refer to case analysis, being the differentiations used to distinguish the cases into which a question is divided. Besides Aristotle and Cicero, Boethius built on Themistius. In terminology, the Greek axioma and topos in Boethius became the Latin maxima propositio (maxim, universal truth) and locus.
In the Middle Ages topical logic became a theory of inference, for which the name "axiomatic topics" has been suggested. Abelard wanted to complete a theory of entailment by invoking the loci in Boethius to fill in conditionals, a flawed if bold development. Peter of Spain, in his De locis, developed the ideas of Boethius.The De inventione dialectica of Rodolphus Agricola (1479) made large claims for this method, as an aspect of dialectic (traditionally contrasted with rhetoric) subordinated to inventio. The precise relationship of "dialectic" and "rhetoric" remained vexed well into the sixteenth century, hinging on the role assigned to loci. It was expounded in different fashions by Philipp Melanchthon and Petrus Ramus. The debate fed into the later development of Ramism.
See also Renaissance philosophy
|Concepts in religion|
|Conceptions of God|
|Existence of God|
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