His theological attitude was that known as semiArian or Homoiousian, and his associates were Eustathius of Sebaste and Basil of Ancyra.
The former substituted for the salt, sulphur and mercury of Basil Valentine and Paracelsus three earths - the mercurial, the vitreous and the combustible - and he explained combustion as depending on the escape of this last combustible element; while Stahl's conception of phlogiston - not fire itself, but the principle of fire - by virtue of which combustible bodies burned, was a near relative of the mercury of the philosophers, the soul or essence of ordinary mercury.
In 867 Michael was assassinated by Basil the Macedonian, a former groom, who had overthrown the influence of Bardas and in 866 been associated in the Empire.
His festival (semiduplex) is observed by the Roman Catholic Church on the 17th of November, For the facts of his biography we have an outline of his early years in his eulogy on Origen, and incidental notices in the writings of Eusebius, of Basil of Caesarea and Jerome.
Ivan III., notwithstanding the influence of his Greek consort, showed some respect for the ancient traditions and the susceptibilities of those around him, but his successor Basil did not follow his father's example.
Finally, in 371 or 372 he was ordained by his brother Basil to the bishopric of Nyssa, a small town in Cappadocia.
On July 29, 1014, Byzantine emperor Basil II defeated the Bulgarian army in the Battle of Kleidion.
The statement in his Life that Ephraim miraculously learned Coptic falls to the ground with the narrative of his Egyptian visit: and the story of his suddenly learning to speak Greek through the prayer of St Basil is equally unworthy of credence.
The rhetorical schools experienced a brilliant revival under Constantine and his successors, when Athens became the alma mater of many notable men, including Julian, Libanius, Basil and Gregory of Nazianzus, and in her professors owned the last representatives of a humane and moralized paganism.
For the 3rd, and especially the 4th and following centuries, the writers are much more numerous; for instance, in the East, Origen and his disciples, and later Eusebius of Caesarea, Athanasius, Apollinaris, Basil and the two Gregories, Cyril of Jerusalem, Epiphanius, Chrysostom, Ephraim the Syrian, Cyril of Alexandria, Pseudo-Dionysius; in the West, Novatian, Cyprian, Commodian, Arnobius, Lactantius, Hilary, Ambrose, Rufinus, Jerome, Augustine, Prosper, Leo the Great, Cassian, Vincent of Lerins, Faustus, Gennadius, Ennodius, Avitus, Caesarius, Fulgentius and many others.