The name Basil, has origins from the male Greek name Βασίλειος ("Basileios"). It is derived from Gr. βασιλεύς a word of pre-Hellenic origin meaning kingly or royal from "basileus" which means king. The female version is Bασιλική ("Vasiliki").
In Arabic, the name means "brave" and the name has been derived in different languages to include: Basile in French; Basilius in German; Basilio in Italian and Spanish and Vasil in Albanian.
Basil has many variant forms: Basile, Basilic, Basilides, Basileios, Basilie, Basilio, Basilius, Bazeel, Bazeelius, Bazil, Bazyli, Vasil, Vasile, Vasileos, Vasilije, Vasilios, Vasilios, Vasilius, Vasilus, Vassilis, Vasili, Vassili, Vasily, Vassilij, Vassily and Wassily.
There are several saints named Basil, including the following:
- Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea (January 1)
- Basil of Ancyra, Bishop of Ancyra and 4th century martyr (January 2)
- Memory of St. Basil the Great's family (January 8)
- St. Basil, or St. Eustratios the Wonderworker (January 9)
- Miracle of St. Basil the Great (January 19)
- Basil the Confessor, Archbishop of Thessaloniki (February 1)
- Basil the Confessor, Bishop of Parium (February 28 and April 12)
- Basil the Martyr (February 6)
- Basil of Ostrog, Metropolitan of Zahumlje and Herzegovina (1639-1671) (April 29) - (Serbian, Saint Vasilije)
- Basil of the Kiev Caves (August 11)
- Basil (August 16)
- Basil the Blessed, the Fool-for-Christ (Russian) (August 2)
- Basil the Macedonian Emperor (August 29)
- Basil, Bishop of Trebizond (October 20), ruled from 1332.
- Basil the Martyr (October 25)
- Basil the Martyr (October 26)
- Basil the Martyr (October 28)
- Basil (December 15)
No commemoration Date
- Basil of the 300 Alamanous Cyprian martyrs and Bishop No commemoration
Historical Byzantine emperors
- Basil I the Macedonian, Byzantine E. (811-886, ruled from 867)
- Basil II Bulgaroktonus, Byzantine E. (958-1025, ruled from 976)
- Basil (Essey) of Wichita (1948-Present)
- Basil (Osborne) of Amphipolis (unknown-Present)
- Basil (Rodzianko) of San Fransisco (1915-1999)
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
The naming of this plant comes from the Greek basileus, meaning "king", as it is believed to have grown above the spot where St. Helen discovered the Holy Cross. This plant is used within Orthodox worship, particulary in the Service of the blessing of the waters.