chapter  3
51 Pages


Although the beginning of this chapter follows on from the last chronologically, it may seem as if it takes a step back in time. Boethius, with whom it begins, was a Christian who wrote in Latin and was born towards the end of the fifth century, but his intellectual world was far closer than Augustine’s to that of the Greek pagan philosophers, whose works he could read in the original and knew well. The same is even more obviously true of the pagan philosophers and their Christian opponent, John Philoponus, later in the sixth century. These instances of a sort of counter-flow in intellectual history underline the impossibility of making any more than an arbitrary and institutional division between medieval philosophy, as we have come to call it, and the thought of later antiquity. But Boethius’s longer-lived and politically more fortunate (or cunning?) successor, Cassiodorus already seems to inhabit a different intellectual universe.