BASILIAN MONKS, those who follow the rule of Basil the Great.
St Basil's influence, and the greater suitability of his institute to European ideas, ensured the propagation of Basilian monachism; and Sozomen says that in Cappadocia and the neighbouring provinces there were no hermits but only cenobites.
However, the eastern hankering after the eremitical life long survived, and it was only by dint of legislation, both ecclesiastical (council of Chalcedon) and civil (Justinian Code), that the Basilian cenobitic form of monasticism came to prevail throughout the Greek-speaking lands, though the eremitical forms have always maintained themselves.
Basilian monachism spread from Greece to Italy and Russia.
But during the course of the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries crowds of fugitives poured into southern Italy from Greece and Sicily, under stress of the Saracenic, Arab and other invasions; and from the middle of the 9th century Basilian monasteries, peopled by Greek-speaking monks, were established in great numbers in Calabria and spread northwards as far as Rome.