Eretria, Eritrea

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Origin: Greek

Meaning: the name of a town in Euboea, Greece, meaning “city of the rowers” or “rowing city” from Greek eretes “rower” and verb eressein/erettein “to row”, probably named so because it had a powerful naval force.

Spelled Eritrea, it becomes a country in the Horn of Africa (a peninsula in Northeast Africa). The name comes from an ancient Greek name, eruthra thalassa (red sea), erythros meaning “red”.

The first time I came across this name was on a television series called The Shannara Chronicles, based on a series of books by Terry Brooks. One of the main characters is called Eretria. I thought it was a made up name at first but when I finally got around to looking up this name, to my surprise I found it was a legitimate, historical name, though whether the author knew this or not I don’t know.

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