Roman nomen gentile that was derived from MESSUS. Known bearers of this name include Roman Emperor Decius (3rd century AD) and Roman politician Flavius Messius Phoebus Severus (5th century AD). Also, last but not least, note that while it is tempting to also assume that this name could have been a latinization of Hebrew messiah "anointed" (thus referring to JESUS), it is very unlikely. For example, in the case of Roman Emperor Decius - who was the first emperor to establish universal and organized persecution of Christians - it was unlikely that his non-Christian parents would give him a name that was clearly inspired by Christianity (only Christian parents would do such a thing, and Decius clearly did not have a Christian background, for otherwise he would not have persecuted Christians under his reign). As such, Messius is not a name that has its roots in Christianity and the Hebrew language, but in the Latin language and Roman religion and culture.