a macaque, Macaca mulatta, of India, used in experimental medicine.

1830–40; < Neo-Latin, arbitrary use of Latin Rhēsus name of a Thracian king allied with Troy < Greek Rhêsos

rhesian [ree-shuhn] , adjective
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World English Dictionary
Rhesus (ˈriːsəs)
Greek myth a king of Thrace, who arrived in the tenth year of the Trojan War to aid Troy. Odysseus and Diomedes stole his horses because an oracle had said that if these horses drank from the River Xanthus, Troy would not fall

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Word Origin & History

1827, from Mod.L. genus name of a type of E. Indian monkey (1799), given by Fr. naturalist Jean-Baptiste Audebert (1759-1800), said to be an arbitrary use of L. Rhesus, name of a legendary prince of Thrace, from Gk. Rhesos.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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