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Basil of Caesarea: Ascetical Works
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Basil of Caesarea: Ascetical Works


Catholic University of America 1962

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


His zealous and intrepid defense of the orthodox faith and his contribution to handling the external affairs of the Eastern Church were by no means the whole service to which St. Basil the Great devoted his considerable talents. His life both exemplified and shaped the ascetical movement of his time. After renouncing a brilliant career as rhetorician, he traveled widely, studying the various forms of asceticism practiced in Eastern Christendom. On his return, he retired in the year 358 to a place near Neocaesarea to put into practice the best of what he had seen, and there disciples soon joined him. When his friend Gregory of Nazianzus visited him there in 358, he began to write his Rules and other works that have had great importance in promoting and regulating the common life of monasticism. This life, regulated and freed from excess, as an expression of the law of charity was to be the monk’s path to union with God. Basil’s concept of the monastic ideal, socially directed and moderate without being lax, became the fundamental concept of Greek and Slavonic monasticism, and it influenced St. Benedict in legislating for Western monasticism.

The ascetical writings of St. Basil contained in this volume, addressed to both monks and laymen, are of prime importance for understanding the role their author played in the Church of the fourth century and, through his influence, still plays today.

In the Logos edition, this work becomes enhanced by amazing functionality. Links to the patristic writings of the Early Church Fathers will bring you right to the source—to the very quote—allowing you to see instant context. Footnotes appear on mouseover, as well as references to Scripture and extra-biblical material in your library, and you can perform near-instant searches across these volumes, searching for references to keywords or Scripture passages.

Key Features

  • Collects the writings of Basil of Caesarea related to asceticism
  • Lays out Basil’s teaching on monastic life, which influenced both Eastern and Western monasticism
  • Includes an introduction with background on the author and era

Product Details

About Basil of Caesarea

Basil of Caesarea (330–379) was bishop of Caesarea and an influential figure in the fourth century Church. The Orthodox Church reveres him as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs (along with Ss. Gregory Nazianzus and John Chrysostom), and he is commemorated on January 1. He is best known for his monastic Rule as well as his monumental Treatise on the Holy Spirit. His homilies on the six days of creation (Hexaemeron) as well as on the Psalter are also treasured. The Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great, used in the Orthodox Church throughout Great Lent, as well as on other specific feast days, is also attributed to him.

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