Glasses with composition xBi2O3:(60-x)BaO:40B2O3 with 10£x£50 (in mol%) have been prepared using the normal melt-quench technique. The optical absorption spectra of the glasses have been recorded in the wavelength range 400-700 nm. The fundamental absorption edge has been identified from the optical absorption spectra. The values of optical band gap are decreased with the addition of Bi2O3. The density and molar volume studies indicated that Bi2O3 in these glasses is acting partly as network modifier and partly as network former.Values of the theoretical optical basicity are also reported and discuss in term of oxide ion polarizability.