Basil the Great

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Related to Basil the Great: John Chrysostom, Gregory of Nyssa

Basil the Great


(also Basil of Caesarea). Born circa 330, in Caesarea, Cappadocia; died there on Jan. 1, 379. Christian church leader. One of the church fathers. Bishop of Caesarea from 370.

Basil the Great belonged to circles of the eastern Roman aristocracy that accepted Orthodox Christianity without reservation. Striving to consolidate the forces of Christianity, Basil opposed Arianism. He preached asceticism and supported the monastic way of life. Basil defended the independence of the church from the emperor. He considered it possible to make “valuable use” of the ancient pagan Greco-Roman culture in the interests of Christianity (the sermon Address to the Youth).

Basil the Great’s principal works are Philocalia (an anthology of the works of Origen, compiled with Gregory the Theologian), Against Eunomius (a refutation of Arian doctrine), and conversations (including the Commentary on the Six Days of Creation, in which the grounds for Christian cosmogeny are expounded). The works of Basil the Great (especially the Philocalia and the Commentary on the Six Days of Creation)were translated into Slavic languages and served as a source for acquainting readers with ancient Greco-Roman thinkers, many of whom Basil cited. The letters of Basil the Great (about 250) are an especially important source for the history of the ecclesiastical conflict in the empire during the fourth century.


Patrologia Graeca, vols. 29-32. Edited by J. P. Migne. Paris, 1912.
Lettres, vols. 1-3. Paris, 1957-66.
In Russian translation:
“Tvoreniia izhe vo sviatykh otsa nashego Vasiliia Velikogo. …” In Tvoreniia sviatykh otsov, vols. 5-11. Moscow, 1843-1915.


Allard, P. Saint Basile, 4th ed. Paris, 1903.
Treucker, B: Politische und sozialgeschichtliche Studien zu den Basilius-Briefen. Munich, 1961.
Dehnhard, H. Das Problem der Abhängigkeit des Basilius von Plotin. Berlin, 1964.


References in periodicals archive ?
11) St Basil the Great was the prototype of the religious diplomat, the one who, although very strict in observing the ritual, the canons, the Christian ethics, and doctrine, succeeded in maintaining an efficient dialogue with the representatives of the Roman state, who were most frequently his opponents.
The footnote to this passage contains references to Basil the Great, Theodoret of Cyr, and Augustine.
Chapter 4 contains the more specific argument that it was Basil the Great who initiated the first true hospital (called the Basileias, reportedly even in his lifetime) on the outskirts of Caesarea.
At the very high point of the Liturgy, in the Anaphora of St Basil the Great, the priest prays for God to "be mindful .
From a sermon on charity by Saint Basil the Great, bishop
Contrasting his approach with that of Irenaeus and Basil the Great, Grdzelidze suggests that Florovsky may not have spoken the ultimate word on the subject.
Audacious as it may seem, Carmelite historians traced their direct roots back to Elijah the Prophet, and the "sons of the prophets"; they appropriated John the Baptist, perhaps the Essenes, Mary and Martha, Basil the Great, John Cassian, even Druids
Basil the Great some years after he had been ordained, desiring a regular spiritual life and hoping to avoid being made a bishop.
Although he notes that the founder of Kommunitat Adelshofen was quite critical of monastic tradition at times, Joest still perceives interesting similarities between the goals of this group and those advocated by Basil the Great.
And so we may well pray with St Basil the Great, as did the member churches of the WCC in launching the Decade to Overcome Violence (see Message, p.
After the celebration of the liturgy of Basil the Great (330-379), patriarchs and political leaders attended a dinner hosted by Yasser Arafat.