- The Consolation of Philosophy of Boethius
The Consolation of Philosophy is a philosophical work by the Roman statesman Boethius, written around the year 524. It has been described as the single most important and influential work in the West on Medieval and early Renaissance Christianity, as well as the last great Western work of the Classical Period.
Little is known about Boethius's life before his imprisonment and execution in the 520s. He was born around 480 into an influential Roman aristocratic family of Anicii which produced two Roman Emperors - Petronius Maximus (ruled 17 March - 31 May 455) and Olybrius (ruled April or May - October 23 or November 2, 472) as well as several Roman consuls. According to some authors, Pope Gregory the Great came from the Anicii family as well.
Most authors believe that Boethius's father was Manlius Boethius, Roman consul in 487 although many also think that his father may had been Boetios, the perfect of Alexandria c. 476. It is known that Boethius lost his father at a young age and was adopted by another influential aristocrat, Quintus Aurelius Memmius Symmachus who is thought to play an important role in Boethius's interest in philosophy and literature by introducing him to Greek-Latin learning and encouraging him to update it.