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The Consolation Of Philosophy by Boethius

CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE

A.D.

470. Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius, born of most distinguished family.

470. Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius, born of most distinguished family.

493. Theodoric, the Ostrogothic king, becomes sole master of Italy.

510. Boethius consul.

522. His two sons consuls, and Boethius distributes enormous largesses.

526. While using his influence as Theodoric's magister officiorum' for the purity of the government and the welfare of the Italians, Boethius was charged with treason. Without his being allowed to defend himself, his property was confiscated, and he himself condemned to death. He was imprisoned at Ticinum (Pavia), tortured, and brutally put to death at Calvenzano. His father-in-law, Symmachus, was also executed.

722. Liutprand, king of the Lombards, erected a tomb to his memory in the Church of S. Pietro Ciel d'Oro at Pavia. (See the quotation from Dante above.)

A few words on Theodoric may conclude this note.

Theodoric was born A.D.455, educated at Constantinople as a hostage of the Emperor Leo, and succeeded his father as King of the Ostrogoths in 475. His youth was spent chiefly in war. He attacked his ally, the Emperor Zeno, in 487. To save Constantinople, Zeno gave him leave to expel Odoacer from Italy. Practically the whole Gothic nation migrated with Theodoric's army to Italy, where Odoacer was thrice defeated. He consented to allow Theodoric to reign jointly with him, but he was conveniently assassinated very soon afterwards, and Theodoric ruled till he died in 526, leaving the country certainly in a better state than that in which he found it, having ruled with moderation on the whole, and choosing good ministers such as Boethius. But in his last years he became influenced by unscrupulous men, informers, barbarian Ostrogoths, who oppressed the Italians, and the most bitter Arian sectaries, by each of which classes Boethius was hated as an honest and powerful minister, a protector of the oppressed Italians and as an orthodox Christian.

W. V. C.

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