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BOGADINES


611


BOGOMILI


tracts, some of which, as we shall see, are undoubtedly genuine. That he remained a Christian is the obvious inference from the ascertained fact of his continued association with SjTnmachus; and if the "Consolations of Philosophy bears no trace of Christian influence, the explanation is at hand in the fact that it is an entirely artificial exercise, a philo- sophical dialogue modelled on strictly pagan pro- ductions, a treatise in which, according to the ideas of method which prevailed at the time, Christian feeling and Christian thought had no proper place. Besides, even if we disregard certain allusions which some interpret in a Christian sense, there are passages in the treatise which seem plainly to hint that, after philosophy has poured out all her consola- tions for the benefit of the prisoner, there are more potent remedies (validiora remedia) to which he may have recourse. There can be no reasonable doubt, then, that Boethius died a Christian, though it is not easy to show from documentary sources that he died a martyr for the Catholic Faith. The absence of documentary e\adence does not, however, prevent us from gi\"ing due value to the constant tradition on this point. The local cult of Boethius at Pavia was .sanctioned when, in 1S83, the Sacred Congrega- tion of Rites confirmed the custom prevailing in that diocese of honouring St. Sev'erinus Boethius, on the 23d of October.

To the science of mathematics and the theory of music Boethius contributed the "De Institutione Arithmetica Libri II", "De Institutione Musica Libri V", and "Geometria EucUdis a Boethio in Latinum translata". The last-mentioned work is found in various M.S.S. of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. There is also found among the MSS. a work "De Geometria, which, in its extant form, is considered to be a ninth- or tenth-centurj' elaboration of a work of Boethius. How far the work is genuine, and to what extent interpolations have crept in, is a question of more than ordinary interest for the stu- dent of general history, for on the answ'er to this question depends the determination of tne date of the first use of .\rabic numerals in Western Europe. Boethius' pliilosopliical works include: (a) transla- tions from the Greek, e. g. of Aristotle's logical treatises (with commentaries) and of PorphjTy's "Isagoge" (with commentaries); (b) commentaries on Porphj'Tjs "Isagoge", translated by Marius Victorinus, and on Cicero's "Topica"; (c) original logical treatises, "De Categoricis Syllogismis", "Introductio ad Syllogismos Categoricos", "De Divisione" (of doubtful authenticity), and "De Differentiis Topicis". These exercised very great influence on the development of medieval terminol- ogj', method, and doctrine, especially in logic. In fact, the schoolmen, down to the beginning of the twelfth century, depended entirely on Boethius for their knowledge of Aristotle's doctrines. They adopted his definitions and made them current in the schools; for instance, the definitions of "person", "eternity", etc.

The theological works of Boethius include: "De Trinitate"; two short treatises (opuscula) addressed to John the Deacon (afterwards Pope John I); "Liber contra Eutychen et Nestorium"; and "De Fide Catholica" (generally regarded as spurious, although the only argument against its genuineness is the lack of manuscript authority). These were much studied in the early Middle Ages, as is testified by the number of glosses found in the MSS. as far back as the ninth century (e. g. glosses by John Scotus Erigena and Renii of Auxerre). To the theologians of the Middle Ages generally they appealed as the genuine works of the Christian martjT, Boethius. In modern times, those who denied that Boethius was a Christian were, of course, obliged to reject all the opuscula as spurious. However, the publica-


tion of the so-called "Anecdoton Holderi" (ea. by Usener, Leipzig, 1877) brought to light a new argu- ment for their genuineness. For, as Cassiodorus ought certainly to ha\e known which works of Boethius were genuine, when he WTote "[Boethius] scripsit librum de Sancta Trinitate et capita qua^dam dogmatica et librum contra Nestorium", he settled the question as far as four of the treatises are concerned.

Boethius' best-known work is the "Consolations of Philosophy wTitten during his imprisonment — "by far the most interesting example of prison literature the world has ever seen. " It is a dialogue between Pliilosophy and Boethius, in which the Queen of Sciences strives to console the fallen states- man. The main argument of the discourse is the transitoriness and unreality of all earthly greatness and the superior desirability of the things of the mind. There are evident traces of the influence of the Neo-Platonists, especially of Proclus, and little, if anything, that can be said to reflect Christian influences. The recourse to Stoicism, especially to the doctrines of Seneca, was ine\'itabie, consider- ing the nature of the theme. It does astonish the modern reader, although, strange to say, it did not surprise the medieval student, that Boethius, a Christian, and, as everyone in the Middle Ages believed, a Christian martyr, should have failed, in his moment of trial and mental stress to refer to the obvious Christian sources of consolation. Perhaps the medieval student of Boethius understood better than we do that a strictly formal dialogue on the consolation of philosophy sliould adhere rigorously to the realm of "natural truth and leave out of consideration the lesson to be derived from the moral maxims of Christianity — " supernatural truth".

The work takes up many problems of metaphysics as well as of ethics. It treats of the Being and Nature of God, of providence and fate, of the origin of the universe, and of the freedom of the wiU. In medieval times, it became one of the most popular and in- fluential philasophical books, a favourite study of statesmen, poets, and historians, as well as of philoso- phers and theologians. It was translated into Anglo-Saxon by King Alfred the Great, and into Old German by Notker Teutonicus; its influence may be traced in Beowulf and in Chaucer, in Anglo- Norman and Provencal popular poetry, in the first specimens of Italian verse, as well as in the " Divina Commedia". The important part which it played in Dante's mental struggle after the death of Beatrice is described in the "Convito", where, strange to say, it is referred to as "a book not known to many". Echoes of it and citations from it occur frequently in the "Divina Commedia". For instance, the lines which Tennyson paraphrases by "a sorrow's crown of sorrow" are themselves at least a haunting memory of Boethius' "In omni adversitate fortunae infelicissiraum genus est infortunii fuisse felicem" (De Consol. Phil., II, Pros. IV). That the "De Consolatione" w-as a favourite study of the theolo- gians as well as of the poets is evidenced by the numer- ous imitations under the title "De Consolatione Theologiifi" which were widely read during the later Middle Ages. The complete works of Boetliius were first published at Venice in 1497; the best edition is in P. L. LXIII, L.XIV. A good edition of the De Consolatione is that of Peiper in Teubner Collection, where are also to be found the commentaries on Aristotle, ed. Meiser.

Stewart, Boethius (London, 1891); Bosisio, Sul catloticisma di Boezio (Pavia, 1867): Semeria, II cristianesimo di Boezio rivendicato (Rome, 1900); Prietzf.l, Boethius u. seine Stellun^ zum Chrislenthum (Lobau, 1879); Acta See. Sedis (Rome. 1883), XVI, 302, 303.

William Turner.

Bogadines. See Franciscans.

Bogomili, a Neo-Manichsean sect, found in the