In botany Basil is a plant called ocimum basilicum and ocimum sanctum. In India it is called Tulsi and tulasi. Basil came late to Greece and it was believed to have been brought back by Alexander the Great http://gogreece.about.com/cs/agreekchristmas/a/christmasbasil.htm In history Basil the Great was a bishop of Caesarea. Variants of the name mean king in various languages: Vasil Bulgarian Vasile Romanian Vasili Russian Vasilica Romanian (Pet form) Vasilie Serbian Vasilios Greek Vasilis Greek Vasiliy Russian Vasily Russian Vassily Russian