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On this page: Boeo – Boeotus – Boethius



had assisted the Athenians in the war with the Amazons, who were defeated on the seventh of Boedromion, the day on which the Boedromia were afterwards celebrated. (Plut. Thes. 27.) According to others, the name arose from the circumstance, that in the war of Erechtheus and Ion against Eumolpus, Apollo had advised the Athenians to rush upon the enemy with a war-shout (£017), if they would conquer. (Harpocrat., Suid., Etym. M. s.v.BoydpofAios; Callim.Hi/mn.inApoll. 69.) [L.S.]

BOEO (Boi&J), an ancient poetess of Delphi, composed a hymn of which Pausanias (x. 5. § 4) has preserved four lines. Athenaeus (ix. p. 393, e.) cites a work, apparently a poem, entitled 'OpviQoyovia., which seems to have contained an account of the myths of men who had been turned into birds, but he was doubtful whether it was written by a poetess Boeo or a poet Boeus (Bo?os): Antoninus Liberalis, however, quotes it (cc. 3, 7, and 11, &c.) as the work of Boeus. The name of Boeo occurs in a list of seers given by Clemens Alexandrinus. (Strom. i. p. 333, d., ed. Paris, 1629.)

BOEOTUS (BoiwrSs), a son of Poseidon or Itonus and Arne (Antiope or Melanippe), and brother of Aeolus. [aeolus, No. 3.] He was the ancestral hero of the Boeotians, who derived their name from him. (Paus. ix. 1. § 1.) [L. S.]

BOETHIUS, whose full name was anicius manlius severinus boethius (to which a few MSS. of his works add the name of Torquatw, and commentators prefix by conjecture the praenomen Flavius from his father's consulship in a. d. 487), a Roman statesman and author, and remarkable as standing at the close of the classical and the com­mencement of scholastic philosophy. He was born between A. d. 470 and 475 (as is inferred from Consol. Phil. i. 1). The Anician family had for the two preceding centuries been the most il­lustrious in Rome (see Gibbon, c. 31), and several of its members have been reckoned amongst the direct ancestors of Boethius. But the only con­jecture worth notice is that which makes his grand­father to have been the Flavius Boethius murdered by Valentinian III. A. d.- 455. His father was probably the consul of A. d. 487, and died in the childhood of his son, who was then brought up by some of the chief men at Rome, amongst whom were probably Festus and Symmachus. (Consol. Phil ii. 3.)

He was famous for his general learning (Enno-dius, Ep. viii. 1) and his laborious translations of Greek philosophy (Cassiodor. Ep. i. 45) as well as for his extensive charities to the poor at Rome, both natives and strangers. (Procop. Goth. i. 1.) In his domestic life, he was singularly happy, as the husband of Rusticiana, daughter of Symmachus (Consol. Phil. ii. 3, 4 ; Procop. Goth. iii. 20), and the father of two sons, Aurelius Anicius Symma­chus, and Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius, who were consuls, a.d. 522. (Consol. Phil. ii. 3, 4.) He natural!}7" rose into public notice, became patri­cian before the usual age (Consol. Phil. ii. 3), consul in a. d. 510, as appears from the diptychon of his consulship still preserved in Brescia (See Fabric. Bill. Lat. iii. 15), and princeps senatus. (Procop. Goth. i. 1.) He also attracted the attention of Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, was appointed (Anonym. Valos. p. 36) magister officiorum in his court, and was applied to by him for a mathemati­cal regulation of the coinage to prevent forgery


(Cassiod. Ep. i. 10), for a sun-dial and water-clock for Gundebald, king of the Burgundians (ib. i. 45), and for the recommendation of a good mu­sician to Clovis, king of the Franks. (Ib. ii. 40.) And he reached the height of his prosperity when, on the inauguration of his two sons in the consu­late, A. D. 522, after pronouncing a panegyric on Theodoric, he distributed a largess to the Roman populace in the games of the circus. (Consol. Phil. ii. 3.)

This happiness was suddenly overcast. He had resolved, on his entrance into public life, to carry out the saying of Plato, "that the world would only be happy when kings became philosophers, or philosophers became kings." He protected and relieved the provincials from the public and private rapine to which they were exposed, defended the Campanians against the praefect of the praetorium, saved Paulinus from " the dogs of the palace," and restrained the oppressions of the barbarian officers, Triguilla and Conigastus. (Consol. Phil.i. 4.) This unflinching integrity naturally provoked enmity in the court of Theodoric; and the boldness with which he pleaded the cause of Albinus, when ac­cused of treason by the informer Cyprianus, seems to have been the plea on which Gaudentius, Opilio, and Basilius charged him and Symmachus with the intention of delivering Rome from the barba­rian yoke,—to which was added the charge of sacrilege or magic. A sentence of confiscation and death was passed against him unheard (Consol. Phil. i. 4), and he was imprisoned at Ticinum in the baptistry of the church, which was to be seen at Pavia till 1584 (Tiraboschi, vol. iii. lib. i. c. 4), dur­ing which time he wrote his book "De Consolatione Philosophiae." He was executed at Calvenzano (in agro Calventiano) (Anonym. Vales, p. 36), or ac­cording to the general belief, at Ticinum, by behead­ing (Anast. Vit. Pontif. in Joanne I.; Aimoin. Hist. Franc, ii. 1), or (according to Anonym. Vales, p. 36) by the torture of a cord drawn round his head till the eyes were forced from their sockets, and then by beating with clubs till he expired. Symmachus was also beheaded, and Rusticiana reduced to po­verty, till Amalasontha, widow of Theodoric and regent during her son's minority, replaced his sta­tues and restored to her his confiscated property. (Procop. Goth. i. 2, Anec.IQ-, Jornand.Reb. Get. 89.) Rusticiana was, however, on the sack of Rome, in a. d. 541, chiefly by her liberality to the besieged, again reduced to beggary, and was only saved by the kindness of Totila from the fury which this liberality, as well as her destruction of Theodoric's statues in revenge for her husband and father, had excited in the Gothic army. (Procop. Goth. iii. 20.) In A. d. 722, a tomb was erected to Boethius's memory by Luitprand, king of the Lombards, in the church of S. Pietro Cielo d'Oro, and in a. d. 990, a more magnificent one by Otho III., with an epitaph by pope Sylvester II. (Tiraboschi, vol. iii. lib. i. c. 4.)

With the facts stated above have been mixed up various stories, more or less disputed, which seem to have grown with the growth of his post­humous reputation.

1. The story of his eighteen years' stay at Athens, and attendance on the lectures of Proclus, rests only on the authority of the spurious treatise " De Disciplina Scholarium," proved by Thonmsius to have been written by Thomas Brabantinus, or Cantipratinus. The sentence of Cassiodorus (i. 45)

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