Saint Basil the Great: The Iconography
JANUARY 2
Basil was a leader of the Catholics in their struggle against the Arians. In Orthodox images like the second picture at right he will be dressed as a bishop and have a long, tapering black beard. Western images usually dress him as a bishop but are otherwise inconsistent in iconography; sometimes they give him a forked beard.

Prepared in 2014 by Richard Stracke, Emeritus Professor of English, Augusta University, revised 2015-09-14.

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Subleyras, St. Basil Celebrating Mass Before the Emperor Valens, 1745 (See the description page)


Detail from the apse at Cefalù Cathedral, Sicily, 12th century (See the description page)

DATES

  • Born in 329 or 330
  • Died in 379

NAMES

  • Also known as St. Basil of Caesarea

HAGIOGRAPHY