Of Greek origin.
From the word “σέβας”, pronounced “sevas”, meaning reverence, respect, awe.
Adjective is “σεβαστός”, pronounced “sevastos”, also meaning venerable, and it was the Greek translation of Roman emperor Augustus.
It then became a Latin name, Sebastianus, which also referred to someone “from Sebastia”.
Sebastia or Sebaste, was an ancient city located in Asia Minor.
It became a popular name in medieval Europe, mostly in France and Spain, following Saint Sebastian’s popularity.
Saint Sebastian, born in what is now Southern France and taught in Milan, was a soldier at the time of emperor Diocletian’s ruling the Roman Empire.
He was killed by arrows, after it was discovered he was a Christian. He is depicted, in several art works, in painting and literature, tied to a tree and shot with arrows.
Some of the greater painters in the world were inspired by Saint Sebastian and his martyrdom: El Greco, Albrecht Dürer, Georges de La Tour, Raphael, Hendrick ter Brugghen, Andrea Mantegna and Gustave Moreau.
Sebastian is the name of two Shakespearean characters in the plays “Twelfth Night” and “Tempest”.
Other forms of the name are: Sébastien, Sebastián, Sebastião, Sevastian, Sebastiano, Seb, Bastian, Sepi, Seppo, Bas, Bastien, Bastiaan.
Famous bearers are Sebastian Coe, Sebastian Vettel, Johann Sebastian Bach, Sebastian Bach, Sébastien Loeb, Sebasian Koch, Sebastian Ingrosso, Sebastian Roche, Sebastião Salgado, Sebastian Stan, Sébastien Chabal, Sébastien Tellier, Sébastien Benoît, .
Sebastian is a popular name in Chile, Mexico, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Australia, Czech Republic, England, Wales, Poland and the United States.
Sebastião Salgado is a Brazilian photographer, who has traveled in more than 100 countries for his projects and is consider a visionary and one of the greatest photographers of the 21st century.
Director Wim Wenders co-directed, with the photographer’s son Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, a documentary that features the epic work of Sebastião Salgado.