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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 best-known bearer of the name, whose fame popularized the name's use throughout Europe and Asia
Pronunciation/ˈælɪɡˈzændər, -ˈzɑːn-/
Ancient Greek[aléksandros]
Modern Greek[aˈleksanðros]
Czech: [ˈalɛksandr]
German: [ˌalɛˈksandɐ]
Polish: [alεˈksandεr]
Russian: [ɐlʲɪkˈsandr]
Serbo-Croatian: [aleksǎːndar, alěksaːn-]
Swedish: [alɛkˈsǎnːdɛr]
GenderMasculine, the feminine form being Alexandra
Name dayAugust 30
Word/nameVia 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
Related namesAlex, Ander, Alexandre, Alexandru, Alessandro, Alejandro, Lex, Sander, Sasha, Xander

Alexander is a male given name. The most prominent bearer of the name is Alexander the Great, the king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia who created one of the largest empires in ancient history.[1]


The name Alexander is derived from the Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος (Aléxandros; 'Defender of the people', 'Defending men',[2] or 'Protector of men'). It is a compound of the verb ἀλέξειν (aléxein; 'to ward off, avert, defend')[3] and the noun ἀνήρ (anḗr, genitive: ἀνδρός, andrós; meaning 'man').[4] 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, (/Alexandra/), written in the Linear B syllabic script.[5][6][7] Alaksandu, alternatively called Alakasandu or Alaksandus, was a king of Wilusa who sealed a treaty with the Hittite king Muwatalli II ca. 1280 BC; this is generally assumed to have been a Greek called Alexandros.

The name was one of the 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.[8] 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.[9][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]

Religious leaders[edit]

Other people[edit]


Middle Ages[edit]


  • Alexander (magician) (1880–1954), stage magician specializing in mentalism
  • Olivinha (born 1983), Brazilian basketball player also known as Alexandre

People with the given name[edit]

People with the given name Alexander or variants include:

In other languages[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hellenisms : culture, identity, and ethnicity from antiquity to modernity. Zacharia, Katerina, 1967–, Ζαχαρία, Κατερίνα, 1967–. Aldershot, England: Ashgate. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7546-6525-0. OCLC 192048201.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ Ἀλέξανδρος. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
  3. ^ ἀλέξειν in Liddell and Scott.
  4. ^ ἀνήρ in Liddell and Scott.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Chadwick, John (1999) [1976]. The Mycenaean World. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  7. ^ Mycenaean (Linear B) – English Glossary
  8. ^ Ἀλέξανδρος, Georg Autenrieth, A Homeric Dictionary, on Perseus Digital Library
  9. ^ Campbell, Mike. "Meaning, origin and history of the name Alexander". Behind the Name. Retrieved 2019-06-10.