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.