Boethius and Augustine
A comparison of the two philosophers, Boethius’ `De Consolation Philosophiae` and Augustine’s “Confessions”.
This paper examines Neoplatonism in Boethius’ treatise from the sixth century. The paper then compares Boethius’ Neoplatonism to the Manicheism of Augustine’s pre-conversion life, and to Augustine’s “Confessions,” written after his spiritual awakening. The paper concludes that despite Boethius’ non-Christian attitude, his work shows greater authenticity about the nature of the soul than Augustine’s.
“Augustine ” at least the Augustine who wrote the Confessions ” would not have approved of the version of Christianity and the vision of the meaning of life that Boethius, the Christian philosopher, diplomat and author of the De consolatione philosophiae wrote. Boethius composed De consolation philosophiae in the sixth century A.D. while awaiting death by torture, condemned on a charge of plotting against Gothic rule, which he protested as manifestly unjust. And while a Christian, Boethius wrote about the true end of life as the soul’s knowledge of God, and consoled himself with the tenets of Greek philosophy, not with Christian precepts.”