Basil, St. Commonly called the "Great." Was born in Cappadocia about A.D. 329. He studied at Antioch, Caesarea, Constantinople, and Athens. Having gained distinction as a professor of rhetoric, he visited the monasteries of Egypt and Libya, and in consequence, embraced the monastic life. He was ordained priest by Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, and on the death of Eusebius, was elected to his see. He was much engaged in theological controversy, and boldly defended his opinion against the Emperor Valens. He died about 380. An order of monks was named after this saint.