basil

Last name origin & meaning:

English and French: from a medieval personal name, ultimately from Greek Basileios ‘royal’. The name was borne by a 4th-century bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, regarded as one of the four Fathers of the Eastern Church; he wrote important theological works and established a rule for religious orders of monks. Various other saints are also known under these and cognate names. The popularity of Vasili as a Russian personal name is largely due to the fact that this was the ecclesiastical name of St. Vladimir (956–1015), Prince of Kiev, who was chiefly responsible for the introduction of Christianity to Russia. As an American surname, this has also absorbed some Greek, Russian, and other derivatives of Greek Vasili.

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