Boethius (c.480–c.525/6), though a Christian, worked in the tradition of the Neoplatonic schools, with their strong interest in Aristotelian logic and Platonic metaphysics. He is best known for his Consolation of Philosophy, which he wrote in prison awaiting execution. His works also include a long series of logical translations, commentaries and monographs and some short but densely-argued theological treatises, all of which were enormously influential on medieval thought. But Boethius was more than a writer who passed on important ancient ideas to the Middle Ages. The essays here by leading specialists, which cover all the main aspects of his writing and its influence, show that he was a distinctive thinker, whose arguments repay careful analysis and who used his literary talents in conjunction with his philosophical abilities to present a complex view of the world.
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Introduction: reading Boethius whole John Marenbon; Part I. Before the Consolation: 1. Boethius's life and the world of late antique philosophy John Moorhead; 2. The Aristotelian commentator Sten Ebbesen; 3. The logical text-books and their influence Christopher Martin; 4. Boethius on utterances, understanding and reality Margaret Cameron; 5. The Opuscula Sacra: Boethius and theology David Bradshaw; 6. The metaphysics of individuals in the Opuscula Sacra Andrew Arlig; 7. The medieval fortunes of the Opuscula Sacra Christophe Erismann; Part II. The Consolation: 8. The good and morality: Consolatio 2-4 John Magee; 9. Fate, prescience and free will Robert Sharples; 10. Interpreting the Consolation Danuta Shanzer; 11. The Consolation: the Latin commentary tradition: 800–1700 Lodi Nauta; 12. The Consolation and medieval literature Winthrop Wetherbee; Appendix. Boethius's works John Magee and John Marenbon; Bibliography; Index.
John Marenbon is a Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. His publications include The Philosophy of Peter Abelard (1997, 1999) and Boethius (2003).