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Contributor Contrib.telfalathiel on 2/21/2011
Likely from Artois, the name of a region in France (for which "artesian wells" are named), itself derived from Atrebates, a Belgic tribe that inhabited the region of Gaul and Britain during Julius Caesar's time; Atrebates is cognate with Irish aittrebaid meaning "inhabitant".In the Elizabethan play The Birth of Merlin, this is the name of the sister of the Saxon leader Ostorius, who used her wiles to seduce King Aurelius Ambrosius of Britain, blinding him to the gradual Saxon invasion of his kingdom. Uther Pendragon discovered her treachery, but she managed to have Aurelius banish his brother from court. In the end, Artesia and her brother betrayed and murdered Aurelius. When Uther reclaimed the kingdom, he had Artesia executed.