It means "defending men", from Greek alexo - "to defend, help" and aner - "man". In Greek mythology
this was another name of the hero Paris, and it also belongs to several characters in the New
Testament. However, the most famous bearer was Alexander the Great, King of Macedon. In the 4th
century BC he built a huge empire out of Greece, Egypt, Persia, and parts of India. Due to his fame,
and later medieval tales involving him, use of his name spread throughout Europe.
Ancient Greek, "Andreas" was derived from "aner" - "man" (genitive "andros" - "of a man"), which
would translate as "brave, manly, of men". It is also the form used in modern Greek, German and
Welsh. In the New Testament the apostle Andreas (Andrew) is the first disciple to join Jesus. He
later preached in the Black Sea region (in Dobrogea area - South East of Romania, and then up to
Dnieper river). There are legends saying he was crucified on an X-shaped cross, after returning into
Greece, in the city of Patras, in Peloponnese. Andreas, being a Greek name, was probably a nickname
or a translation of his real Hebrew name, which is not known. On the other hand, it is possible that
this name may have been quite common among the Jews of that time, under the Roman conquest.