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The Yale, the Aberdeen Bestiary

Aberdeen Bestiary

More on Boëthius

Surfing the net in search of appropriate pictures and music for Boëthius, I was surprised to find that he had many admirers.

Among the material I discovered on You Tube is a German-language account of his death.  I have put a link to this website at the very bottom of this post.  It provides a more detailed account of his life than mine. 

For instance, I did not mention that Boëthius was accused of treason when and perhaps because he rose to the defense of ex-consul Cæcina Decius Faustus Albinus who had just been accused of treasonous correspondence with Justin I, the Byzantine emperor.  Boëthius pointed out that if Albinus could be accused of treason, so could he, which is precisely what happened. 

Rising to someone’s defense

So poor Boëthius learned, for the duration of his imprisonment, that one does not question the judgment of the “great.” Given his rank and the nature of his position, it could be that Boëthius believed he was at liberty to defend Albinus.  But the nature of his position also allowed communication between Boëthius and Justin I.  Boëthius was an accomplished Hellenist.   

We are now better protected against false accusations, but the fact remains that  rising to the defense of an unjustly accused person is  dangerous, which may explain why so many of us will not help victims of an injustice.  By and large, people in high places will not lift a finger to help a person who is the victim of an injustice 

Émile Zola: the Dreyfus affair

When Émile Zola published his: “J’accuse” in an effort to help Dreyfus, an army captain falsely accused of treason, he [Zola] was tried and convicted but managed to flee to England.  The traitor was Charles Marie Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy (16 December 1847 – 21 May 1923) who never had to face punitive measures. 

And it goes on and on.  This morning, I posted a short message on President Obama’s Facebook page and was immediately deluged with mostly unsavoury mail.  When President Bush discovered the US was facing a financial collapse, averted by TARP, I lost a third of my pension fund.  President Bush was bailed out by the Democrats and my situation has improved, but I thank God and Lady Fortune for the fact that Barack Obama was elected President of the United States and that I was born in a country that has social programs.              

Finally I thank Boëthius for writing The Consolation of Philosophy (524 ce).  He could not avoid torture and death but he reminded us that the scenario is always the same: from ashes to ashes.  And he also reminded us that life which sometimes brings the worst can also bring the best.  It can be ornamented.  

The above picture has both nothing and everything to do with this blog.  It is a thing of beauty, naïve beauty, and therefore a small pleasure.  When I receive unsavoury messages, I turn to beauty wherein I find a temporary refuge.  Marcus Aurelius looked upon his soul as his best refuge.  It could be that my soul is also my best refuge, but I need a guardian angel as I struggle to reach it.

How does a blogger say to her readers that she is there for them? 

    

Der Tod des Boëthius (524 n. Chr.)
Bourbon Louis XIII  (1601–1643 ): Ballet de la Merlaison
(please click on titles to listen)

February 22, 2012