Jump to navigation Jump to search
Statue of Alexander III "The Great" of Macedon, the best-known bearer of the name whose legacy and fame popularized the name's use throughout Europe and Asia.
Pronunciation /ˈælɪɡˈzændər, -ˈzɑːn-/
Czech: [ˈalɛksandr]
German: [ˌalɛˈksandɐ]
Polish: [alεˈksandεr]
Russian: [ɐlʲɪkˈsandr]
Serbo-Croatian: [aleksǎːndar, alěksaːn-]
Swedish: [alɛkˈsanːdɛr]
Gender Masculine, the feminine form being Alexandra.
Name day August 30
Word/name Via Latin Alexander, originally from the Greek Ἀλέξανδρος (Aléxandros), from αλέξειν aléxein meaning "to ward off, keep off, turn away, defend, protect" and ἀνδρός andrós, genitive of ἀνήρ anḗr meaning "man".
Meaning "Defender, protector of man".
Other names
See also Alex, Alexandra, Alexandre, Alessandro, Sandy, Sasha

Alexander is a male given name, and a less common surname. The most prominent bearer of the name is Alexander the Great, who created one of the largest empires in ancient history.


The name Alexander is derived from the Greek "Ἀλέξανδρος" (Aléxandros), meaning "Defender of the people" or "Defending men"[1] and also, "Protector of men", a compound of the verb ἀλέξειν aléxein, "to ward off, to avert, to defend"[2] and the noun ἀνήρ anḗr, "man" (GEN ἀνδρός andrós).[3] It is an example of the widespread motif of Greek names expressing "battle-prowess", in this case the ability to withstand or push back an enemy battle line.[citation needed]

The earliest attested form of the name is the Mycenaean Greek feminine anthroponym 𐀀𐀩𐀏𐀭𐀅𐀨, a-re-ka-sa-da-ra (transcribed as Alexandra), written in the Linear B syllabic script.[4][5][6]

The name was one of the titles ("epithets") given to the Greek goddess Hera and as such is usually taken to mean "one who comes to save warriors". In the Iliad, the character Paris is known also as Alexander.[7] The name's popularity was spread throughout the Greek world by the military conquests of King Alexander III, commonly known as "Alexander the Great". Most later Alexanders in various countries were directly or indirectly named after him.[citation needed]

People known as Alexander

Alexander has been the name of many rulers, including kings of Macedon, of Scotland, emperors of Russia and popes.

Rulers of antiquity

Rulers of the Middle Ages

Modern rulers

Other royalty

Several other princes have borne the name Alexander:

Religious leaders

Other people


Middle Ages


Given name

Notable people with the given name Alexander or variants include:

In other languages

See also


  1. ^ Ἀλέξανδρος. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
  2. ^ ἀλέξειν in Liddell and Scott.
  3. ^ ἀνήρ in Liddell and Scott.
  4. ^ Tablet MY V 659 (61). "The Linear B word a-re-ka-sa-da-ra". Palaeolexicon. Word study tool of ancient languages. "MY 659 V (61)". DĀMOS Database of Mycenaean at Oslo. University of Oslo. Raymoure, K.A. "a-re-ka-sa-da-ra-qe". Deaditerranean. Minoan Linear A & Mycenaean Linear B.
  5. ^ Chadwick, John (1999) [1976]. The Mycenaean World. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  6. ^ Mycenaean (Linear B) – English Glossary
  7. ^ Ἀλέξανδρος, Georg Autenrieth, A Homeric Dictionary, on Perseus Digital Library