Basil was born around 330 to the pious family of Basil the Elder and became bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia. His work as a bishop, rhetor, ascetic, and philanthropist were influential both during his life and to the present day. After receiving a formal education, he distributed his family fortune to the poor and travelled studying and teaching. With some of his family he established a monastic community. After attending the Council of Constantinople in 360, he was ordained a deacon in 362 in Antioch, then a presbyter in Caesarea in 365. He became a staunch opponent of Arianism and developed a strong theology of the Holy Spirit. In 370 he succeeded Eusebius as bishop of Caesarea and took on an enormous amount of work in the church and community, preaching daily and building a large complex for charity to the poor and sick. He died in 379.