Base to Bath Stone
Base The basis, or that on which an animal walks (Greek, baino, to go, and basis, a footstep). The foot is the foundation- hence, base of a pillar, etc. It is also the lowest part, and hence the notion of worthless. Bass in music (Italian, basso) is the lowest part, or the part for the lowest compass of voice.
Base Tenure Holding by copy of court-roll, in opposition to freeholders.
Base of Operation in war. That is, a fortified or otherwise secure spot, where the magazines of all sorts can be formed, whence the army can derive stores, and upon which (in case of reverse) it can fall back. If a fleet, it is called a movable base; if a fortified or other immovable spot, it is called a fixed base. The line from such a base to the object aimed at is called the Line of Operation.
Bashaw An arrogant, domineering man; so called from the Turkish viceroys and provincial governors,
each of whom bears the title of bascha (pacha).
Basilian Monks Monks of the Order of St. Basil, who lived in the fourth century. This Order has produced 14 popes, 1,805 bishops, 3,010 abbots, and 11,085 martyrs.
Basilica Originally the court of the Athenian archon, called the basileus, who used to give judgment in the stoa basilike. At Rome these courts of justice had their nave, aisles, porticoes, and tribunals; so that when used for Christian worship very little alteration was needed. The church of St. John Lateran at Rome was an ancient basilica.
Basilics or Basilica. A digest of laws begun by the Byzantine emperor Basilius in 867, and completed by his son Leo, the philosopher, in 880.
Basilidians A sect of Gnostic heretics, followers of Basilides, an Alexandrian Gnostic, who taught that from the unborn Father Mind was begotten; from Mind proceeded The Word; from the Word or Logos proceeded Understanding; from Understanding Wisdom and Power; from Wisdom and Power Excellencies, Princes, and Angels, the agents which created heaven. Next to these high mightinesses come 365 celestial beings, the chief of whom is Abraxas (q.v.), and each of whom has his special heaven. What we call Christ is what the Basilidians term The firstbegotten Mind.
Basilisco A braggart; a character in an old play entitled Solyman and Perseda. Shakespeare makes the Bastard say to his mother, who asks him why he boasted of his ill-birth, Knight, knight, good mother, Basilisco-like- i.e. my boasting has made me a knight. (King John, i. 1.)
Basilisk The king of serpents (Greek, basileus, a king), supposed to have the power of looking any
one dead on whom it fixed its eyes. Hence Dryden makes Clytus say to Alexander, Nay, frown not
so; you cannot look me dead. This creature is called a king from having on its head a mitre-shaped
crest. Also called a cockatrice, and fabulously alleged to be hatched by a serpent from a cock's egg.
Like a boar
Basket To be left in the basket. Neglected or uncared for. Left in the waste-basket.
Basochians Clerks of the basilica or palace. When the Kings of France inhabited the Palace of Justice, the judges, advocates, proctors, and lawyers went by the common name of the clercs de la basoche; subsequently (in 1303) divided into Clerks of the Palace, and Clerks of the Châtelet. The chief of the basochians was called Le roi de la basoche, and had his court, coin, and grand officers. He reviewed
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