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The son of Macrina the Elder, Basil is said to have moved with his family to the shores of the Black Sea during the persecution of Christians under Galerius.
He is said to have been a well known lawyer and rhetorician, noted for his virtue. He married into the wealthy family of his wife Emmelia, and settled in Caesarea. There, he and his wife, with the help of his mother, raised a family that would greatly influence Christian history. Of their nine children (other sources claim ten children), five of them are remembered by name and are considered to be saints: Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Peter of Sebaste, Naucratius, and Saint Macrina the Younger. After his death, his family property was converted into a monastic community for female virgins.
Keenan, Mary (1950), "De Professione Christiana and De Perfectione: A Study of the Ascetical Doctrine of Saint Gregory of Nyssa", Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Dumbarton Oaks, 5: 167+169-207, doi:10.2307/1291077, ISSN0070-7546, JSTOR1291077
Smith, J Warren (April 2006), "The Body of Paradise and the Body of the Resurrection: Gender and the Angelic Life in Gregory of Nyssa's "De Hominis Opificio"", The Harvard Theological Review, Cambridge University Press, 99 (2): 207-228, doi:10.1017/s0017816006001210, ISSN0017-8160, JSTOR4125294