Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century/Basilius of Ancyra, a presbyter

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Basilius of Ancyra, a presbyter who became a martyr under Julian A.D. 362. During the reign of Constantius he had been an uncompromising opponent of Arianism. He was more than once apprehended by the provincial governors, but recovered his liberty. The Arian council under Eudoxius at Constantinople in 360 forbade him to hold any ecclesiastical assembly. The zeal of Basil was still further quickened by the attempts of Julian to suppress Christianity. Sozomen tells us that he visited the whole of the adjacent district, entreating the Christians everywhere to be constant to the faith and not to pollute themselves with sacrifices to idols (Soz. H. E. v. 11). He was apprehended and put to the torture. On the arrival of Julian at Ancyra, Basil was presented to him, and after having reproached the emperor with his apostasy was further tortured. Basil's constancy remained unshaken, and after a second interview with Julian, in which he treated the emperor with the greatest contumely, he suffered death by red-hot irons on June 29 (Soz. H. E. v. 11; Ruinart, Act. Sinc. Martyr. pp. 559 seq.; Tillemont, vii. 375 seq.).