A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Boece, or Boethius, Hector

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Boece, or Boethius, Hector (1465?-1536). — Historian, probably b. at Dundee, and ed. there and at Paris, where he was a regent or professor, 1492 to 1498. While there he made the acquaintance of Erasmus. Returning to Scotland he co-operated with Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen, in founding the univ. there of which he was the first Principal. His literary fame rests on two works, his Lives of the Bishops of Mortlach and Aberdeen, in which his friend Elphinstone figures prominently, and his History of Scotland to the accession of James III. These works were, of course, composed in Latin, but the History was translated into Scottish prose by John Bellenden, 1530 to 1533, and into English for Hollinshed's Chronicle. The only predecessor of the work was the compendium of Major, and as it was written in a flowing and pleasing style it became very popular, and led to ecclesiastical preferment and Royal favour. B. shared in the credulity of his age, but the charge of inventing his authorities formerly brought against him has been shown to be, to some extent at any rate, unfounded.