ACHILLESmGreek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek Αχιλλευς (Achilleus)
which is of unknown meaning, perhaps derived from Greek αχος (achos)
"pain" or else from the name of the Achelous River. This was the name of a warrior in Greek legend, one of the central characters in Homer
's 'Iliad'. The bravest of the Greek heroes in the war against the Trojans, he was eventually killed by an arrow to his heel, the only vulnerable part of his body.... [more]
AJAXmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Αιας (Aias)
, perhaps deriving from Greek αιαστης (aiastes)
"mourner" or αια (aia)
"earth, land". In Greek mythology this was the name of two of the heroes who fought for the Greeks in the Trojan War, the son of Telamon and the son of Oileus. When the armour of the slain hero Achilles
was not given to Ajax Telamonian, he became mad with jealousy and killed himself.
ALCIBIADESmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αλκιβιαδης (Alkibiades)
, derived from αλκη (alke)
"strength" and βια (bia)
"force" with the patronymic suffix ιδης (ides)
. This was the name of a notable Greek statesman and general during the Peloponnesian War. He changed allegiance from Athens to Sparta and back again during the course of the war.
ALEXANDERmEnglish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Hungarian, Slovak, Biblical, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αλεξανδρος (Alexandros)
, which meant "defending men" from Greek αλεξω (alexo)
"to defend, help" and ανηρ (aner)
"man" (genitive ανδρος
). In Greek mythology this was another name of the hero Paris
, and it also belongs to several characters in the New Testament. However, the most famous bearer was Alexander the Great, king of Macedon. In the 4th century BC he built a huge empire out of Greece, Egypt, Persia, and parts of India. Due to his fame, and later medieval tales involving him, use of his name spread throughout Europe.... [more]
ALEXIUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αλεξιος (Alexios)
, a derivative of Αλεξις
). This was the name of five Byzantine emperors. It was also borne by a 5th-century Syrian saint who is especially venerated in the Eastern Church.
Latinized form of Aloys
, an old Occitan form of LOUIS
. This was the name of a 16th-century Italian saint, Aloysius Gonzaga. The name has been in occasional use among Catholics since his time.
Latinized form of ALFONSO
. This name was borne by Saint Alphonsus Liguori, an 18th-century Italian bishop who is regarded as a Doctor of the Church.
ANASTASIUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αναστασιος (Anastasios)
which meant "resurrection" from Greek αναστασις (anastasis)
(composed of the elements ανα (ana)
"up" and στασις (stasis)
"standing"). This was the name of numerous early saints and martyrs, including a 7th-century monk and writer from Alexandria who is especially venerated in the Eastern Church.
ANUBISmEgyptian Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Ανουβις (Anoubis)
, the Greek form of Egyptian Inpw
(reconstructed as Anapa
) which possibly meant "royal child". Anubis was the Egyptian god who led the dead to the underworld. He was often depicted as a man with the head of a jackal.
APOLLOmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Απολλων (Apollon)
, which is of unknown meaning, though perhaps related to Indo-European *apelo
"strength". Another theory states that Apollo can be equated with Appaliunas, an Anatolian god whose name possibly means "father lion" or "father light". The Greeks later associated Apollo's name with the Greek verb απολλυμι (apollymi)
meaning "to destroy". In Greek mythology Apollo was the son of Zeus
and the twin of Artemis
. He was the god of prophecy, medicine, music, art, law, beauty, and wisdom. Later he also became the god of the sun and light.
ARMINIUSmAncient Germanic (Latinized)
Latinized form of a Germanic name which was probably derived from the element ermen
meaning "whole, universal". Other theories claim that it is related to HERMAN
. Arminius was a 1st-century ruler of the Cherusci who led a rebellion against the Roman Empire.
CADMUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Καδμος (Kadmos)
, of uncertain meaning. In Greek mythology Cadmus was the son of the Phoenician king Agenor. He was sent by his father to rescue his sister Europa
, who had been abducted by Zeus
, although he did not succeed in retrieving her. According to legend, Cadmus founded the city of Thebes and introduced the alphabet to Greece.
CEPHALUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Κεφαλος (Kephalos)
, which was derived from κεφαλη (kephale)
meaning "head". In Greek legend he remained faithful to his wife Procris even though he was pursued by the goddess Eos.
CEPHEUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Κηφευς (Kepheus)
, which is of unknown meaning. In Greek legend he was a king of Ethiopia, the husband of Cassiopeia. After he died he was made into a constellation and placed in the sky.
COSMASmAncient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Κοσμας (Kosmas)
, which was derived from κοσμος (kosmos)
meaning "order, decency". Saint Cosmas was martyred with his twin brother Damian in the 4th century. They are the patron saints of physicians.
CRONUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Κρονος (Kronos)
, possibly derived from the Indo-European root *ker-
meaning "to cut". Cronus was the Titan who fathered the Greek gods. As his wife Rhea
gave birth to the gods, Cronus swallowed them fearing the prophecy that he would be overthrown by one of his children. However Rhea hid Zeus
, her last child, who eventually forced his father to disgorge his siblings. Cronus and the rest of the Titans were then defeated by the gods and exiled.
CYRUSmEnglish, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From Κυρος (Kyros)
, the Greek form of the Persian name Kūrush
, which may mean "far sighted" or "young". The name is sometimes associated with Greek κυριος (kyrios)
"lord". It was borne by several kings of Persia, including Cyrus the Great, who conquered Babylon. He is famous in the Old Testament for freeing the captive Jews and allowing them to return to Israel. As an English name, it first came into use among the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation.
DAEDALUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Δαιδαλος (Daidalos)
which was derived from δαιδαλλω (daidallo)
meaning "to work cunningly". In Greek myth Daedalus was an Athenian inventor who was banished to Crete. There he designed the Labyrinth for King Minos
, but he and his son Icarus
were eventually imprisoned inside it because he had aided Theseus
in his quest against the Minotaur. Daelalus and Icarus escaped using wings fashioned from wax, but Icarus fell from the sky to his death.
DAMOCLESmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Δαμοκλης (Damokles)
, which was derived from δαμος (damos)
"the people", a Doric Greek variant of δημος (demos)
, and κλεος (kleos)
"glory". In Greek legend Damocles was a member of the court of Dionysius the Elder, the king of Syracuse. Damocles expressed envy of the king's station so Dionysius offered to switch roles with him for a day. To illustrate to Damocles the peril of a man in his position he suspended a sword over the throne.
DEMETRIUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Δημητριος (Demetrios)
, which was derived from the name of the Greek goddess DEMETER (1)
. Kings of Macedon and the Seleucid kingdom have had this name. This was also the name of several early saints including a Saint Demetrius who was martyred in the 4th century.
DRACOmAncient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Δρακων (Drakon)
which meant "dragon, serpent". This was the name of a 7th-century BC Athenian legislator. This is also the name of a constellation in the northern sky.
ERASMUSmLate Greek (Latinized)
Derived from Greek ερασμιος (erasmios)
meaning "beloved". Saint Erasmus, also known as Saint Elmo, was a 4th-century martyr who is the patron saint of sailors. Erasmus was also the name of a Dutch scholar of the Renaissance period.
GERVASIUSmAncient Germanic (Latinized)
Probably a Latinized form of a Germanic name with a first element deriving from ger
"spear". Saint Gervasius was an early martyr from Milan whose remains were discovered in the 4th century.
HECTORmEnglish, French, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Arthurian Romance
Latinized form of Greek ‘Εκτωρ (Hektor)
, which was derived from ‘εκτωρ (hektor)
"holding fast", ultimately from εχω (echo)
meaning "to hold, to possess". In Greek legend Hector was one of the Trojan champions who fought against the Greeks. After he killed Achilles
' friend Patroclus
in battle, he was himself brutally slain by Achilles, who proceeded to tie his dead body to a chariot and drag it about. This name also appears in Arthurian legends belonging to King Arthur
's foster father.... [more]
HEPHAESTUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek ‘Ηφαιστος (Hephaistos)
, meaning unknown. It probably shares its origin with the Minoan city of Φαιστος (Phaistos)
, which is of Pre-Greek origin. In Greek mythology Hephaestus was the god of fire and forging, the husband of the unfaithful Aphrodite
. It was said that when he was born Hera
, his mother, was so displeased with his physical deformities that she hurled him off the top of Mount Olympus.
HERACLIUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek personal name ‘Ηρακλειος (Herakleios)
which was derived from the name of the Greek hero HERAKLES
. This was the name of a 7th-century Byzantine emperor, known for his victories over the Sassanid Persian Empire. This name was also borne by two early saints.
HERODOTUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name ‘Ηροδοτος (Herodotos)
, derived from the name of the goddess HERA
combined with δοτος (dotos)
meaning "given, granted". Herodotus was a Greek historian of the 5th century BC who wrote about Persian and the Persian Wars. He is known as the Father of History.
HORUSmEgyptian Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of ‘Ωρος (Horos)
, the Greek form of Egyptian Hrw
(reconstructed as Heru
) possibly meaning "falcon" or "high". In Egyptian mythology Horus was the god of light, often depicted as a man with the head of a falcon. The son Osiris
, he avenged his father's murder by killing Seth
HUGOmSpanish, Portuguese, English, Dutch, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Ancient Germanic (Latinized)
Latinized form of HUGH
. As a surname it has belonged to the French author Victor Hugo (1802-1885), the writer of 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and 'Les Misérables'.
HYACINTHUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name ‘Υακινθος (Hyakinthos)
, which was derived from the name of the hyacinth flower. In Greek legend Hyakinthos was accidentally killed by Apollo
, who caused a lily to arise from his blood. The name was also borne by several early saints, notably a 3rd-century martyr who was killed with his brother Protus.
ICARUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ικαρος (Ikaros)
, of unknown meaning. In Greek myth Icarus was the son of Daedalus
, locked with his father inside the Labyrinth by Minos
. They escaped from the maze using wings devised from wax, but Icarus flew too close to the sun and the wax melted, plunging him to his death.
Possibly from Wernerius
, a Latinized form of the Germanic name WERNER
. This was the name of a 12th-century Italian scholar and jurist.
LAIUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Λαιος (Laios)
, which is of unknown meaning. This was the name of a king of Thebes in Greek mythology, the husband of Jocasta
. Due to a prophecy that he would be killed by his son, Laius left his infant Oedipus
for dead. The boy survived but was ignorant of his true parentage. Years later he unwittingly killed Laius in a quarrel on the road.
LEANDERmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Λεανδρος (Leandros)
, derived from λεων (leon)
meaning "lion" and ανηρ (aner)
meaning "man" (genitive ανδρος
). In Greek legend Leander was the lover of Hero. Every night he swam across the Hellespont to meet her, but on one occasion he was drowned when a storm arose. When Hero saw his dead body she threw herself into the waters and perished.
MANUELmSpanish, Portuguese, German, English, Italian, French, Romanian, Late Greek (Latinized)
Spanish and Portuguese form of EMMANUEL
. In the spelling Μανουηλ (Manouel)
it was also used in the Byzantine Empire, notably by two emperors. It is possible this form of the name was transmitted to Spain and Portugal from Byzantium, since there were connections between the royal families (king Ferdinand III of Castile married Elisabeth of Hohenstaufen, who had Byzantine roots, and had a son named Manuel). The name has been used in Iberia since at least the 13th century and was borne by two kings of Portugal.
MENELAUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Μενελαος (Menelaos)
, derived either from μενω (meno)
meaning "to stay, to wait" or μενος (menos)
meaning "mind, strength, force" combined with λαος (laos)
meaning "the people". In Greek legend he was a king of Sparta and the husband of Helen
. When his wife was taken by Paris
, the Greeks besieged the city of Troy in an effort to get her back. After the war Menelaus and Helen settled down to a happy life.
METHODIUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Μεθοδιος (Methodios)
, derived from Greek μεθοδος (methodos)
meaning "pursuit" or "method", ultimately from μετα (meta)
"with" and ‘οδος (hodos)
"road". Saint Methodius was a Greek missionary to the Slavs who developed the Cyrillic alphabet (with his brother Cyril) in order to translate the Bible into Slavic.
OEDIPUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Οιδιπους (Oidipous)
, meaning "swollen foot" from οιδεω (oideo)
"to swell" and πους (pous)
"foot". In Greek mythology Oedipus was the son of the Theban king Laius
and his wife Jocasta
. Laius received a prophesy that he would be killed by his son, so he left the newborn to die of exposure. Oedipus was however rescued and raised in the home of the Corinthian king Polybus. After he had grown and learned of the same prophesy, Oedipus left Corinth so that he would not be a danger to Polybus, who he assumed was his father. On the road to Delphi he chanced upon his real father Laius and slew him in a petty disagreement, thus fulfilling the prophecy. He then correctly answered the Sphinx's riddle, winning the now vacant throne of Thebes and marrying the widowed Queen Jocasta, his own mother. Years later they learned the truth of their relationship, prompting Jocasta to commit suicide and Oedipus to blind himself.
PHAEDRUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Φαιδρος (Phaidros)
, which meant "bright". This was the name of a 5th-century BC Greek philosopher, and also of a 1st-century Roman fabulist who was originally a slave from Thrace.
PHOCASmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Φωκας (Phokas)
, which meant "a seal" from Greek φωκη (phoke)
. This was the name of an early saint and martyr from Asia Minor. Sentenced to death for being a Christian, he is said to have given his killers lodging and then dug his own grave before he was executed.
PHRIXUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Φριξος (Phrixos)
which meant "thrilling, causing shivers", derived from φριξ (phrix)
"ripple, shiver". In Greek myth Phrixus was the son of Athamus and Nephele. He was to be sacrificed to Zeus
, but he escaped with his sister Helle on the back of the ram with the Golden Fleece.
PLATOmAncient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Πλατων (Platon)
which was derived from Greek πλατυς (platys)
meaning "broad-shouldered". Plato was one of the most important of the Greek philosophers. He was a pupil of Socrates
and a teacher of Aristotle
. He constructed the theory of Forms and wrote several works, including the 'Republic'.
Latinized form of Roul
, the Old French form of ROLF
. Rollo (or Rolf) the Ganger was an exiled Viking who, in the 10th century, became the first Duke of Normandy. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century.
SELEUCUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Σελευκος (Seleukos)
, of unknown meaning. This was the name of one of Alexander the Great's generals, who established the Seleucid Empire in Western Asia after Alexander's death.
SOCRATESmAncient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Σωκρατης (Sokrates)
, which was derived from σως (sos)
"whole, unwounded, safe" and κρατος (kratos)
"power". This was the name of an important Greek philosopher. He left no writings of his own; virtually everything that we know of his beliefs comes from his pupil Plato
. He was sentenced to death for impiety.
THEODOSIUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Θεοδοσιος (Theodosios)
which meant "giving to god", derived from θεος (theos)
"god" and δοσις (dosis)
"giving". Saint Theodosius of Palestine was a monk who founded a monastery near Bethlehem in the 5th century. This also was the name of emperors of the Eastern Roman and Byzantine Empires.
Latinized form of TYGE
. This name was borne by the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601).
URANUSmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Ουρανος (Ouranos)
, the name of the husband of Gaia
and the father of the Titans in Greek mythology. His name is derived from ουρανος (ouranos)
meaning "the heavens". This is also the name of the seventh planet in the solar system.
Possibly a Latinized form of a Germanic or Celtic name, possibly Germanic WIDOGAST
. This was the name of a 6th-century saint who helped to convert the Frankish king Clovis to Christianity.
VEREMUNDmAncient Germanic (Latinized)
Latinized form of a Germanic name, probably Waramunt
, derived from war
"vigilant, cautious" and mund
"protection". This was the name of a 5th-century king of Galicia (from the Germanic tribe of the Suebi). It was later the name of kings of Asturias and León, though their names are usually spelled in the Spanish form Bermudo
ZENOmAncient Greek (Latinized), Italian
From the Greek name Ζηνων (Zenon)
, which was derived from the name of the Greek god ZEUS
. Zeno was the name of two famous Greek philosophers: Zeno of Elea and Zeno of Citium, the founder of the Stoic school in Athens.