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Ancient Roman Names

Ancient Roman Names

Ancient Roman Names are suddenly hot and fresh again as fashionable baby names, especially for boys — with names such as Felix, Atticus, Cassius, and Cyrus powering up the US popularity charts.

The resurgence of Roman baby names is partly thanks to The Hunger Games, the futuristic book that featured Roman names for most of the male characters, partly because of the HBO series Rome, and also thanks to the classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird and its hero Atticus Finch. Baby names from Ancient Rome on today's roster include several familiar choices along with some fascinating unique baby names yet to be revived.

Roman girl names in the US Top 1000 include Octavia, Valentina, Cecilia, Camilla, and Priscilla. Roman boy names in the US Top 600 include Julius, Titus, Marcus, Atticus, and Felix.

Common Roman female names today include Antonia, Claudia, Valentina, and Cecilia.

The craze for mythological baby names is another influence on the newfound popularity of Roman names. For even more ancient Roman names, check out our lists of Roman Goddess Names and Roman God Names.

  1. AureliaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "the golden one"
    • Description:

      Aurelia is the female form of the Latin name Aurelius, an ancient Roman surname. Aurelius is derived from the Latin word aureus, meaning "golden," which was also the name of a gold coin used in Ancient Rome. Aurelius was a cognomen, a third name in Roman culture that often referenced a personal characteristic or trait, likely used for someone with golden hair.
  2. AtticusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "from Attica"
    • Description:

      Atticus derives from the Greek Attikos, meaning "from Attica," the Ancient Greek region that contained Athens. Atticus is a literary name in more ways than one. Before it became synonymous with Atticus Finch, the name Atticus was associated with Titus Pomponius Atticus, a Roman literary figure.
  3. FelixHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "happy, fortunate"
    • Description:

      Felix was originally a Roman surname but was adopted as a nickname by the ancient Roman Sulla, who believed that he was especially blessed with luck by the gods. It is the name of four popes and sixty-seven saints; in the Bible, Felix is a Roman procurator of Judea.
  4. CassiusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "hollow"
    • Description:

      Cassius, a Shakespearean name rooted in antiquity, is coming into fashion in a major way. There were two notable Ancient Roman figures named Cassius. Cassius Dio wrote an 80-volume history of Rome. Gaius Cassius Longinus, a senator who led the assassination plot against Julius Caesar, is the main figure in Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.
  5. MagnusHeart
    • Origin:

      Scandinavian from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "greatest"
    • Description:

      Magnus is a Latin name, literally meaning “greatest,” that has a Scandinavian feel. It dates back to Charlemagne being called Carolus Magnus, or Charles the Great. Norwegian king Magnus I, named after Charlemagne, introduced it to his culture, and thus Magnus was the name of six early kings of Norway and four of Sweden. It is still a highly popular name in Denmark and Norway.
  6. AureliusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "the golden one"
    • Description:

      Since Aurelius was given the supermodel seal of approval by Elle Macpherson, this is one of the Roman emperor names, like Augustus, now in the realm of possibility. Like the female Aurelia and Aurora, Aurelius has a particularly warm golden aura.
  7. CeciliaHeart
    • Origin:

      Feminine form of Cecil, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "blind"
    • Description:

      Cecilia is a feminine form of Cecil, which was derived from a Roman clan name related to the Latin caecus, meaning "blind." The martyred Saint Cecilia was designated the patron of musicians, either because she supposedly sang directly to God while the musicians played at her wedding, or because she sang to God as she was dying. The name was popularized in the Middle Ages as an homage to the Saint.
  8. LuciusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "light"
    • Description:

      Lucius is an old Roman clan name that has lots of religious and literary resonance, yet is still vital today. It was the name of three popes, appears in several Shakespeare plays, and, like all the names beginning with 'luc' relates to the Latin word for light.It was one of a limited number of forenames used in ancient Rome, and because of its meaning was often given to boys born at dawn.
  9. JuliaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "youthful or sky father"
    • Description:

      Julia was an ancient Roman imperial name given to females in the house of a Julius, as in Caesar. Its origin is shrouded in history, but possible roots include Latin iuvenis, meaning "youthfu"; Greek ioulos, meaning "downy-bearded"; or Jovis, a form of Jupiter, which means "sky father".
  10. MilaHeart
    • Origin:

      Slavic, Russian
    • Meaning:

      "gracious; dear"
    • Description:

      Mila is a given name with Russian and Slavic provenance. It began as the diminutive form for names such as Ludmila, Milena, and Milica. Mila can be a nickname for any name containing the element mil, meaning "gracious" or "dear."
  11. RufusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "red-head"
    • Description:

      Rufus is a rumpled, redheaded (it was the nickname for red-haired King William) ancient Roman name popular with saints and singers (e.g. Rufus Wainwright); now, Rufus is on the cutting edge of cool.
  12. ClaudiaHeart
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of Claude
    • Meaning:

      "lame; enclosure"
    • Description:

      A classic name with a hint of ancient Roman splendor that has never been truly in or truly out, Claudia still feels like a strong, modern choice — one of our "sweet spot" names.
  13. AugustusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "great, magnificent"
    • Description:

      Parents are beginning to look at imposing, somewhat fusty-sounding names like this one with fresh eyes: they definitely make a strong statement.
  14. ValentinaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "strength, health"
    • Description:

      Valentina is a more romantic and artistic ballerina-type successor to Valerie; a pretty, recommended choice. Mexican-born actress Salma Hayek and husband Francois-Henri Pinault named their daughter Valentina Paloma.
  15. RemusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin, meaning unknown
    • Description:

      Remus is one of the legendary twins who, with brother Romulus, founded Rome. An unusual yet classic name for the extremely adventurous who can put aside the stereotyped image of Uncle Remus. Though because of that "ream" first syllable, we prefer Romulus.
  16. CassiaHeart
    • Origin:

      Feminine form of Cassius or Greek
    • Meaning:

      "cinnamon"
    • Description:

      Cassia is related to the cassia tree, which has yellow flowers and produces a spice that can be a substitute for cinnamon. Keziah, the name of Job’s daughter in the Old Testament, derives from the name of the plant as well. Cassia also has ties to the Ancient Roman name Cassius, an Ancient Roman family name meaning "hollow."
  17. NeroHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "stern"
    • Description:

      The association with the infamous Nero, the fiddling Roman emperor, would be unavoidable. But there was also the detective Nero Wolfe, hero of many mystery stories.
  18. OctaviaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "eighth"
    • Description:

      Octavia began as the Latin, then Victorian name for an eighth child. While there aren't many eighth children anymore, this ancient Roman name has real possibilities as a substitute for the overused Olivia; recommended for its combination of classical and musical overtones. It was chosen for his daughter by Kevin Sorbo.
  19. TiberiusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "of the Tiber"
    • Description:

      The name of an important ancient Roman emperor, Tiberius might sound a bit heavy for a modern boy to carry, but with the rise of Atticus, Tiberius and brothers begin to feel more baby-friendly, much in the same way as Old Testament names like Elijah and Isaiah have been rejuvenated.
  20. CorneliusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "horn"
    • Description:

      Cornelius, the New Testament name of a third century Pope and saint, is one of those venerable Latin names on the edge of consideration, despite the corny nickname alert.