BOETHIUS, Anicius Manlius Severinus. b. ca. 475-77; d. ca. 524. Born into an aristocratic family, the Anicii, Boethius was adopted into an even more illustrious family, the Symmachi, following his father’s death. In his twenties he married his adopted father’s daughter, Rusticiana, and began a project to write books on the four mathematical sciences or quadrivium (arithmetic, music, geometry and astronomy – his writings on only the former two survive). His rapid political rise, marked by election as consul in 510, did not deflect him from scholarly pursuits. He devoted his intellectual energies to translations, commentaries and textbooks on logic and related areas of rhetoric, as well as...

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