Basil or Basilius (2)
Basil Or Basilius chief of the Bogomiles of the twelfth century. This sect took its rise in Bulgaria Though it is likely that their enemies laid false charges against them, it is clear that they held many corrupt ideas and practices. From their habit of incessant praying they derived the name of Bogomili, which in the Sclavonic language means "God have mercy upon us." In their notions they resembled the Manichaeans and Paulicians, which last sect arose about the same time. They denied the Trinity; held that the body of Jesus was a phantom, and that Michael the archangel was incarnate. They opposed the worship of the Virgin, of the saints, and of images. They affected an appearance of extreme sanctity, and wore the monkish dress. Basilius was a physician, and had twelve principal followers, whom he designated his apostles, and also some women, who went about spreading the poison of his doctrine everywhere. When before the council called by the patriarch John IX in 1118 to examine into the matter, Basilius refused to deny his doctrine, and declared that he was willing to endure any torment, and death itself. One peculiar notion of this sect was that no torment could affect them, and that the angels would deliver them even from the fire. Basilius himself was condemned in the above-mentioned council, and burnt in this year. Several of his followers, when seized, retracted; others, among whom were some of those whom he called his apostles, were kept in prison, and died there. Several councils were held upon this subject. See Neander, Ch. Hist. 4:555 sq.; Landon, Eccl. Dict. 2:67. SEE BOGOMILES.