It is also a widely held tradition that Saint [[Theosebia]] was his youngest sister, who is also a saint in the Church.
While still a child, the family moved to Pontus; but he soon returned to Cappadocia to live with his mother's relations, and seems to have been brought up by his grandmother Macrina. Eager to learn, he went to Constantinople and spent four or five years there and at Athens, where he had the future emperor [[Julian the Apostate|Julian]] for a fellow student and became friends with [[Gregory the Theologian]]. Both Basil and Gregory
, were deeply influenced by [[Origen]] and compiled an anthology of uncondemned writings of Origen known as the ''Philokalia'' (not to be confused with the [[Philokalia|later compilation of the same name]]).
It was at Athens that he seriously began to think of religion, and resolved to seek out the most famous hermit saints in Syria and Arabia, in order to learn from them how to attain enthusiastic piety and how to keep his body under submission by asceticism.