Usage Late Roman
Other Forms FormsAemeterius, Aemiterius, Emetherius, Emiterius, Emitherius, Hemeterius, Hemetherius, Hemiterius, Hemitherius
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Meaning & History
This name is best known for being the name of a Roman legionary who was martyred with his fellow soldier Celedonius around 300 AD. They have since become saints, venerated in both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church.Like Celedonius, the name of Emeterius is generally thought to be of Greek origin. One source connects it to the Greek noun ἐμετήριον (emeterion) meaning "emetic", though the Greek adjective ἐμετήριος (emeterios) meaning "emetic" would have been more logical. Both are ultimately derived from the Greek verb ἐμέω (emeo) or ἐμετιάω (emetiao) meaning "to vomit, to throw up, to feel sick".Another source derives the name from the Greek adjective ἡμέτερος (hemeteros) meaning "our, of ours", whilst yet another source connects the name to the Greek noun ἡμίθηρ (hemither) meaning "half-beast". However, with these derivations, the name Emeterius should have been written as respectively Hemeterius and Hemitherius. Both spellings do exist, but they are overwhelmingly outnumbered by Emeterius, which is the dominant spelling.None of these possible etymologies seem suitable for a human male, in that they don't seem particularly flattering as the root of a given name. This might possibly indicate that the name is not of Greek origin. Perhaps the name was originally the hellenized form of a foreign name from the far east of the Roman Empire. It might even be Latin in origin, in which case it is likely connected to the Latin verb emetior meaning "to measure out". Either way, we cannot be fully certain of the true meaning and origin of the name: there are simply too many (questionable) possibilities.