Basle (Basilea), the capital of a canton of the same name in Switzerland, with a university. In 1505 the people of Basle entered into the Swiss alliance, and, having declared themselves in favor of the Reformation, drove out John Philip, their bishop, from which time the Roman bishops of Basle made Porentrui their residence, and the chapter was at Freiburg, in Breisgau. At present the bishops of Basle have their residence at Solothurn. The cathedral church contains the tomb of Erasmus. The University was founded in 1459 by Pope Pius II, and has a fine library. It is the seat of an active and prosperous Protestant Missionary Society. See MISSIONS. The bishop was a prince of the German empire. See Switzerland — Landon, Eccl. Dict. s.v.