Born of a distinguished family, Boethius received the best possible education in the liberal arts in Athens and then entered public life under Theodoric the Ostrogoth, ruler of Italy. Boethius obtained the highest office, but was later accused of treason, imprisoned, and executed. In the dungeon of Alvanzano, near Milan, during his imprisonment, he composed "The Consolation of Philosophy," a remarkable piece of prose literature as well as philosophy. Boethius's outlook, like that of all the Church Fathers, was Platonistic, but he preserved much of the elementary logic of Aristotle. Boethius reported in his commentaries the views of Aristotelians even when they disagreed with his Platonism. Thus he created an interest in Aristotle in subsequent centuries and provided a basis for the introduction of Aristotle's works into Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Boethius was put to death in 526.
David R. Slavitt was born in White Plains, New York in 1935. He received an AB and an MA from Columbia University. After graduating from college and beginning a Ph.D., he worked as a movie critic for Newsweek from the late 1950s through the mid-1960s. During this time, he published his first book of poetry, Suits for the Dead. His first novel, Rochelle, or Virtue Rewarded, was published in 1966. He has written about 100 works of fiction, poetry, and poetry and drama in translation including Alice at 80, The Cock Book, Falling from Silence: Poems, The Latin Odes of Jean Dorat, Milton's Latin Poems, and Three Greenlandic Poets. He also writes under the names David Benjamin, Henry Lazarus, Lynn Meyer, and Henry Sutton. As Henry Sutton, he has written less "literary" works that have sold well such as The Exhibitionist and The Sacrifice: A Novel of the Occult.