Rhadamanthys (or Rhadamanthus) was a judge of the dead, and a son of Zeus and Europa, or a brother of Minos and Sarpedon, or even a son of Phaestus. His name looks Greek and meaningful enough, but it is not straightforward. If we bear in mind that he was a judge, then the second half of his name may relate to mantis, 'soothsayer', 'seer'. If this is so, the first half of his name can perhaps be derived from rhabdos, 'rod', 'wand', so that he is a 'rod diviner', that is, he divines by means of a rod or wand.

But would a judge actually divine? Again, as the name of a member of the family of Minos, one would expect a 'shining' name, but Rhadamanthys does not seem to relate to the moon or the sea, for example. It has been pointed out that Hesychius uses a verb rhadameo, 'to make grow', and if this combined with anthos, 'flower', we can get a sense something like 'flower-grower', in other words a sort of masculine Flora. But the truth of the matter is that the name is almost certainly pre-Greek.