Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Boethius in known as an influential philosopher of the West who made his mark during the Middle Ages. During this time he worked under Theoderic the Ostrogoth, the ruler of Italy as a principal minister. Boethius considered himself a Christian philosopher and theologian. He took on many of the teachings of Aristotle and Plato and set out to translate all of their Greek works into Latin. In this way he felt that he could enlighten the West to start having new ideas and to not just accept what the authoritative figures of the church had to say, but to question it. He did not have much luck with this since he was soon executed for treason. Many of his works did not survive, other than some translations he made from Aristotle’s writings. These few works made many medieval philosophers value Aristotle’s teachings. An important and influential text that Boethius wrote while he was imprisoned to await trial, is known as the Consolation of Philosophy. It covers many of his ideas while he was imprisoned about how can one have freewill if their fate is determined by a god, and how evil can exist in a world governed by a god. His more positive ideas that are shown in the book is over how he felt that an individual can still achieve happiness in a world even if they never acquire fortune. Many people used his book as a way to analyze religious texts or tried to use it as a way to answer religious questions. Boethius cared deeply about educating the West, in what he thought was the best way, and bringing it out of the dark times that it was in. In many ways he achieved this because many people were tired of living under the harsh rule of the church and wanted to have a society that cared more about learning new things, and to question more. Due to his achievements as a philosopher he is considered an important figure during the Middle Ages of the Western Roman Empire.