Meaning & History
Meaning uncertain, possibly from Greek βῆσσα (bessa) meaning "wooded valley". This was the name of a 5th-century Egyptian hermit who was a disciple of Saint Anthony the Great. It was later adopted by the scholar Basilios Bessarion (1403-1472), a Greek born in Byzantine Anatolia who became a Roman Catholic bishop.
Entry updated May 29, 2020