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This article is about the male first name. For other uses, see Alexander (disambiguation).
Istanbul - Museo archeol. - Alessandro Magno (firmata Menas) - sec. III a.C. - da Magnesia - Foto G. Dall'Orto 28-5-2006 b-n.jpg
Statue of Alexander III "The Great" of Macedon, the most prominent bearer whose legacy and fame popularized the name's use throughout Europe and Asia.
Pronunciation /ˈæləɡzˈændər/ or /ˈæləɡzˈɑːndər/
German: [ˌalɛˈksandɐ]
Russian: [ɐlʲɪkˈsandr]
Czech: [ˈalɛksandr]
Serbo-Croatian: [alě̞ksaːndar]
Ukrainian: [olɛksandɐr]
Gender Masculine, the feminine form being Alexandra.
Name day August 30
Word/name Via Latin Alexander, originally from the Greek Ἀλέξανδρος (Alexandros), from alexein meaning "to ward off, keep off, turn away, defend, protect" and andros, genitive of anēr meaning "man".
Meaning "Defender, protector of man".

Alexander (/ˈæləɡzˈændər/, /ˈæləɡzˈɑːndər/) is a common male first name, and less common surname derived from the Greek "Αλέξανδρος" (Aléxandros). The most famous 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 alexein, "to ward off, to avert, to defend"[2] and the noun ἀνήρ anēr, "man" (GEN ἀνδρός andros).[3] It is an example of the widespread motif of Greek (or Indo-European more generally) 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 for him.[citation needed]

People known as Alexander[edit]

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

Rulers of antiquity[edit]

Rulers of the Middle Ages[edit]

Modern rulers[edit]

Other royalty[edit]

Several other princes have borne the name Alexander:

Religious leaders[edit]

Other people[edit]

Other people using the name Alexander include:


Middle Ages[edit]


Given name[edit]

Internationally famous people with the given name Alexander or variants include:

See also[edit]


  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