Bishop and ecclesiastical writer, date of birth uncertain; d., probably, between 458 and 460; was distinguished during the period when the Eastern Church was convulsed by the Monophysite struggles, and was necessarily obliged to take sides in all those controversies. Those of his writings which have come down to us, though somewhat too rhetorical and involved, prove clearly that he was a man of great literary ability.
He was appointed Bishop of Seleucia in Isauria, between the years 432 and 447, and was on of those who took part in the Synod of Constantinople, which was summoned (448) by the Patriarch Flavian for the condemnation of the Eutychian errors and the deposition of their great champion, Dioscurus of Alexandria. Curiously enough, though Basil seems to have agreed to these measures, he attended the Latrocinium, or Robber Synod, of Ephesus, held in the next year (440) and induced probably more by the threats and violence of the Monophysite party than by their arguments, he voted for the rehabilitation of Eutyches and for the deposition of the Patriarch of Constantinople, and was thus regarded for a time as a supporter of Monophysite opinions. Like the other prominent supporters of Dioscurus, he should have been removed from his see had he not in the meantime accepted the doctrine contained in the Dogmatic Epistle of Pope Leo to Flavian, and joined in the condemnation of Eutyches and Dioscurus. After this period he seems to have continued a zealous opponent of the Monophysite party, for we find that in the year 458 he joined with his fellow-bishops of Isauria, in an appeal to the Emperor Leo I, requesting him to use his influence in forwarding the Decrees of Chalcedon, and in securing the deposition of Timotheus Aelurus, who had intruded himself (457) into the Patriarchate of Alexandria. This is the last reference we find to Basil, and it is commonly supposed that he died shortly afterwards.
Forty-one sermons ( logoi ) on different portions of the Old Testament have come down to us under his name, and are found in Migne (P.G., LXXXV, 27-474), where is also his history of the protomartyr Thecla and of the miracles wrought at her grave (ibid., 477-618). Most of these sermons may be regarded as genuine, though some of them are now generally assigned to Nestorius. According to Photius, Basil also dealt in verse with the life and miracles of Thecla.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online