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Basil of Caesarea or Saint Basil the Great (329 / 30-379)

Basil of Caesarea or Saint Basil the Great (329  /  30-379)


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Basil of Caesarea or Saint Basil the Great (329 / 30-379)

Byzantine Art. Basil of Caesarea or Saint Basil the Great (329/30-379). Greek bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia.12th century. Baptistery of St. Marks Basilica. Venice. Italy

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Media ID 14329969

© Thaliastock / Mary Evans

12th Ascetic Aura Aureole Baptistry Basil Basilica Bearded Bishop Byzantine Caesarea Confessor Doctor Gospel Halo Letter Mark Mosaic Scroll Thin Venice


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EDITORS COMMENTS
In this stunning 12th-century mosaic from the Baptistery of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, Italy, we find a captivating representation of Basil of Caesarea, also known as Saint Basil the Great. Born in the ancient city of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor, around 329 or 330 AD, Basil was a prominent Greek bishop, theologian, and ascetic. He is celebrated as a Father of the Church and a Doctor of the Church for his significant contributions to Christian theology and monasticism. Basil's aura of holiness and wisdom is conveyed through the intricate details of this mosaic. The venerable saint is depicted with an aged, bearded face, wearing the traditional hierarchical vestments of a bishop. His long, flowing beard and thin frame reflect the ascetic lifestyle he embraced throughout his life. In his right hand, he holds a letter or scroll, symbolizing his role as a teacher and theologian. In his left hand, he cradles an omophor, a pastoral staff adorned with a cross, signifying his role as a shepherd of the Church. The halo surrounding Basil's head and the aureole above it further emphasize his saintly status. The mosaic's intricate details, such as the delicate folds of his clothing and the intricate patterns on his omophor, demonstrate the exceptional craftsmanship of the Byzantine artists who created this masterpiece. Basil's legacy extends beyond the borders of Cappadocia and Greece, as this mosaic attests. The Baptistery of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice is a testament to the enduring influence of Basil's teachings and the spread of Christianity throughout Europe during the Middle Ages. This image invites us to reflect on the rich history of the Christian faith and the remarkable men and women who have shaped its development.

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