The name Atreides means "descendant of Atreus" in Classical Greek.

The House of Atreus -- which is to say, House Atreides -- figures heavily in Greek tragedy, as in the Oresteia of Aeschylus. The entire house was cursed by the gods for its ancestor's blasphemous (and cannibalistic) deeds.

Hence, Frank Herbert was making a clever classical reference in placing the House Atreides in the Dune series.

The royal lineage of Duke Leto Atreides and his son Paul Muad'dib Atreides. Later, House Atreides ascended to the throne after Paul married Irulan, the previous displaced Emperor Shaddam IV's daughter. House Atreides is often considered to be the most honorable of all the Great Houses.

Also see House Harkonnen

The House Atreides of Caladan are descendants of the Ancient Greek House Atreides of Mycenae.
The founder of House Atreides is Atreus and his son, Agamemnon Atreides, who led the Greeks in the Trojan war, whose tale is told in Homer's Iliad.

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