From Mycenaean Greek 𐀣𐀯𐀩𐀄 (qa-si-re-u); further etymology uncertain. Likely Pre-Greek in origin (i.e. Minoan). Case-forms show Attic shortening of the original stem βασιληϝ- basilēw- (see quantitative metathesis). It could also derive from an Anatolian language (see Lydian 𐤡𐤠𐤯𐤯𐤬𐤳 (“king”)), although Mycenean (Linear B) evidence points to an original form with initial gʷ.
- βᾰσῐλῆος (basilêos) (Homeric (genitive))
- βᾰσῐλῆϝος (basilêwos) (Arcadocypriot (genitive))
- 𐠞𐠪𐠐𐠵𐠩 (pa-si-le-wo-se) (Cypriot syllabary)
- (5th BC Attic): IPA: /basile͜ʊ́s/
- (1st BC Egyptian): IPA: /basilɛ́ʍs/
- (4th AD Koine): IPA: /βasiléɸs/
- (10th AD Byzantine): IPA: /vasiléps/
- (15th AD Constantinopolitan): IPA: /vasiléps/
During specific periods of Greek history βασιλεύς was used to describe certain foreign leaders, such as the Persian kings and Roman Caesars. In this usage, it often took on certain modifications, such as a lack of definite article or the use of the adjective μέγας.
- English: basilean, basileolatry, basileus, basilolatry
- Greek: βασιλεύς (vasiléfs), βασιλέας (vasiléas), βασιλιάς (vasiliás)
- Arabic: باسل