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 1000 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. The Roman names here are ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.

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Ancient Greek Names

Mythological Names

  1. Aurelia
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "the golden one"
    • Description:

      Aurelia is an ancient Roman name that's become a surprise hit in the contemporary world. A top favorite on Nameberry, it reentered the US Top 1000 in 2014 after a 70-year absence and continues to climb.
  2. Felix
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "happy, fortunate"
    • Description:

      Felix is one of those ancient but nontraditional names for boys that have come into favor over the past few decades, a favorite of parents who want a masculine name with history and heft that breaks ranks with the standard Franks and Freds. Felix is also an international darling, ranking in the Top 100 in several European and English-speaking countries.
  3. Atticus
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "from Attica"
    • Description:

      Atticus, with its trendy Roman feel combined with the upstanding, noble image of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, is a real winner among boy names. Atticus entered the US Top 1000 in 2004 and is a firm Nameberry favorite.
  4. Cassius
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "hollow"
    • Description:

      Cassius, a Shakespearean name rooted in antiquity, is trending in a major way. It's one of a raft of Cas-starting names for both boys and girls, including Caspian, Cassian, and Cassia, that are enjoying a new moiment in the sun.
  5. Aurelius
    • 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.
  6. Cecilia
    • Origin:

      Feminine form of Cecil, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "blind"
    • Description:

      Cecilia is a lovely classic name deservedly enjoying a new turn in the sun. Always among the Top 500 girls' names in the US, Cecilia is now at its highest point ever.
  7. Magnus
    • 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.
  8. Claudia
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of Claude
    • Meaning:

      "lame; enclosure"
    • Description:

      Claudia is a classic name with ancient Roman roots. Never truly in or truly out, Claudia feels like a strong, modern choice that hits the sweet spot between too popular and too unusual..
  9. Mila
    • Origin:

      Slavic, Russian
    • Meaning:

      "gracious; dear"
    • Description:

      Mila is a popular name that took a 125 year nap, ranking in the Top 1000 in 1881 and then not ranking again until 2006, after actress Mila Kunis appeared on That 70s Show.
  10. Cassia
    • 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."
  11. Julia
    • 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".
  12. Lucius
    • 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.
  13. Valentina
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "strength, health"
    • Description:

      Effortlessly stylish, with plenty of sweetness and strength, Valentina feels like a fresh alternative to Valerie, Victoria, or Vanessa.
  14. Augustus
    • 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.
  15. Rufus
    • 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.
  16. Octavia
    • 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.
  17. Priscilla
    • Origin:

      Latin, diminutive of Prisca
    • Meaning:

      "ancient"
    • Description:

      Despite her somewhat prissy, puritanical air, Priscilla has managed to stay widely used for well over a century -- it reached as high as Number 127 in 1940 -- appreciated for its delicacy and solid history.
  18. Cato
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "all-knowing"
    • Description:

      Cato conjures up images of ancient Roman statesmen and southern antebellum retainers; it could have revival potential, with its 'O' ending and the current interest in the names of Greek and Roman antiquity.
  19. Gaia
    • Origin:

      Greek and Latin
    • Meaning:

      "earth mother; rejoicing"
    • Description:

      The name of the Greek mythological earth goddess and universal mother; actress Emma Thompson stated that she was attracted by its ecological element, so other "green" parents may want to follow her lead.

  20. Livia
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Olivia or Latin
    • Meaning:

      "blue, envious"
    • Description:

      Though it sounds like a chopped-off variation of Olivia, which means olive, the distinctively attractive Livia has been an independent name since the days of the ancient Romans, when it belonged to Livia Drusilla—the powerful wife of the Emperor Augustus—and is still commonly heard in modern Italy.