Boethius

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Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (A.D. 480 - 524 or 525) was a Christian philosopher of the 6th century. He was born at Rome of an important family - several ancestors had been consul, but worked as an official for the kingdom of the Ostrogoths. He was executed by King Theodoric on suspicion of having conspired with the Byzantine Empire.

Boethius's most recognized work was the Consolation Of Philosophy, which he wrote in prison in Pavia waiting to be executed. Boethius also translated some of Aristotle's works on logic from Greek into Latin, and until the 12th century they were the only significant portions of Aristotle available in that language.

Boethius also wrote a commentary on the Isagoge by Porphyry, in which he discusses the nature of the species: whether they are subsistent entities which would exist whether anyone thought of them, or whether they exist as ideas alone. This work started one of the most vocal controversies in medieval philosophy. Taken more generally the question of the ontological nature of universal ideas became known as the problem of universals.