Boethius, fully Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius

Boethius, fully Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius
c. 480

Roman Philosopher

Author Quotes

Providence embraces all things equally, however different they may be, even however infinite; when they are assigned to their own places, forms and times, Fate sets them in an orderly motion; so that this development of the temporal order, unified in the intelligence of the mind of God, is Providence.

There would be no place for hatred among wise men. For who but the foolish would hate good men? And there is no cause to hate bad men. Vice is as a disease of the mind, just as feebleness shows ill-health to the body.

Wisdom is the highest virtue, and it has in it four other virtues; of which one is prudence, another temperance, the third fortitude, the fourth justice.

That God is eternal, is agreed by all who possess reason. What then is eternity?... Eternity is the complete and simultaneous possession of endless life in a single whole... God lives ever in an eternal present, his knowledge transcends all movement of time, and abides in the indivisibility of his present; he grasps the past and the future in all their infinite extent, and with his indivisible cognition he contemplates all events as if they were even now taking place.

Who would give a law to lovers? Love is unto itself a higher law.

If chance is defined as an event produced by random motion without any causal nexus, I would say there is no such thing as chance.

If you think of the infinite resources of eternity you have little cause to take pleasure in any continuation of your name.

Keep the middle path of strength and virtue, lest you be overwhelmed by misfortune or corrupted by pleasant fortune. All that falls short or goes too far ahead, has contempt for happiness, and gains not the reward for labor done. It rests in your own hands what shall be the nature of the fortune which you choose to form for yourself. For all fortune which seems difficult, either exercises virtue, or corrects or punishes vice.

Music is a part of us, and either ennobles or degrades our behavior.

Nothing is miserable unless you think it so.

Of all suffering from fortune, the unhappiest misfortune is to have known a happy fortune.

Providence is the very divine reason which arranges all things, and rests with the supreme disposer of all; while fate is that ordering which is a part of all changeable things, and by means of which Providence binds all things together in their own order. Providence embraces all things equally, however different they may be, even however infinite: when they are assigned to their own places, forms, and times, Fate sets them in an orderly motion; so that this development of the temporal order, unified in the intelligence of the mind of God, is Providence. The working of this unified development in time is called Fate. These are different, but the one hangs upon the other. For this order, which is ruled by Fate, emanates from the directness of Providence.

As faintness is a disease of the body, so is vice a sickness of the mind. Wherefore, since we judge those that have corporal infirmities to be rather worthy of compassion than hatred, much more are they to be pitied, and not abhorred, whose minds are oppressed with wickedness, the greatest malady that may be.

Happiness consists in the possession in aggregate of all good things.

He who is virtuous is wise; and he who is wise is good; and he who is good is happy.

In other living creatures ignorance of self is nature; in man it is vice.

It is one thing to be carried through an endless life, another thing to embrace the whole presence of an endless life together, which is manifestly proper to the divine Mind. The temporal world seems to emulate in part that which it cannot fully obtain or express, tying itself to whatever presence there is in this exiguous and fleeting moment - a presence which, since it carries a certain image of that abiding Presence, gives to whatever may partake of it the quality of seeming to have being. But because it could not stay, it undertook an infinite journey of time; and so it came to pass that, by going, it continued that life, whose plenitude it could not comprehend by staying.

Since God hath always an eternal and present state, His knowledge, surpassing time’s notions, remaineth in the simplicity of His presence and, comprehending the infinite of what is past and to come, considereth all things as though they were in the act of being accomplished.

The trouble of the many and various aims of mortal men bring them much care, and herein they go forward by different paths but strive to reach one end, which is happiness. And that good is that, to which if any man attain, he can desire nothing further... Happiness is a state which is made perfect by the union of all good things. This end all men seek to reach, as I said, though by different paths. For there is implanted by nature in the minds of men a desire for the true good; but error leads them astray towards false goods by wrong paths.

Virtues are not honored by dignities, but dignities by virtue.

Whose happiness is so firmly established that he has no quarrel from any side with his estate of life?

Author Picture
First Name
Boethius, fully Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius
Birth Date
c. 480
Death Date

Roman Philosopher