Boece, Hector

Boece or Boethius, Hector bōēsˈ, bois, bōēˈthēəs [key], 1465?–1536?, Scottish historian. He studied at the Univ. of Paris, where he knew Erasmus, and in 1498 he went to Aberdeen as the first principal of the new university. The most important of his works is a Latin history of Scotland (1527); it is a vast collection of historical fables from medieval chronicles, generously sprinkled with myths and miracles. Despite its shortcomings it was held in high repute until the 18th cent. It supplied Holinshed with the Duncan-Macbeth tale from which Shakespeare took his plot. In the 16th cent. it was translated into a metrical Scottish version by William Stewart and a better-known prose Scottish version by John Bellenden.

See Boethius: His Life, Thought, and Influence (ed. by M. Gibson, 1982); R. McInerny, Boethius and Aquinas (1990).

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