Gladiator Baby Names

Gladiator Baby Names
Gladiator baby names — boys' names from Ancient Rome — are suddenly hot again after a couple of millennia, thanks to Hunger Games, HBO's Rome, Atticus Finch, and Russell Crowe. In Ancient Rome, Lucius — traditionally given to boys born at dawn — was the most popular prenomen, or first name, for boys, followed by Gaius and Marcus. The vast majority of names in gladiator times ended in -ius.

Along with Marcus, other gladiator baby names in the US Top 1000 include Augustus, Cassius, Julius, Maximus, and Titus. Other Ancient Roman names due for revival include Aurelius, Caius, Marius, and Silvanus.

Included on this list are names that were used in Ancient Rome. If you're looking for a baby name for your own little gladiator — or emperor or god, for that matter — consider the following.
  1. Caius
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "rejoice"
    • Description:

      Caius is classical and serious but also has a simple, joyful quality. There was a third century pope named Caius, as well as an early Christian writer, several Shakespearean characters, and a Twilight vampire. We would pronounce the name to rhyme with eye-us though at Cambridge University in England, where it's the name of a college, it's pronounced keys.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Acacius
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "thorny; or, innocent, not evil"
    • Description:

      Acacius is a Latinized form of the Ancient Greek Akakios and can be interpreted to relate to the same root as the name Acacia, for the thorn bush, or Akakios which means "not evil." With the modern taste for ancient names that end in "us," this obscure but attractive choice may have a chance of new life. Acacius is the name of three early saints.
  6. 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.
  7. Titus
    • Origin:

      Latin, meaning unknown, possibly "title of honour"
    • Meaning:

      "title of honour"
    • Description:

      Titus, once seen as a slightly forbidding Roman, New Testament, and Shakespearean name, was brought back to contemporary life in the USA by the TV series Titus 2000, increasing in popularity along with other revived ancient names like Linus and Silas.
  8. Maximus
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "greatest"
    • Description:

      The powerful name of the powerful character played by Russell Crowe in the 2000 film Gladiator first appeared on the popularity charts that same year. Max to the max. One time considered a "too much name" name, Maximus has entered the realm of possibility.
  9. Marius
    • Origin:

      Latin, from a Roman family name related to Mars, the god of war
    • Description:

      Marius, frequently heard in Germany and France, is a slightly fusty yet accessible name that has (Les Mis) to Anne Rice. With the rise in interest in such Latin names as Maximus and Atticus, Marius might start attracting more attention. Mario, the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese version of Marius, is much more widely used.
  10. Marcus
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "warlike"
    • Description:

      Though ancient, Marcus now sounds more current than Mark, in tune with today's trend towards us-ending Latinate names.
  11. Cornelius
    • 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.
  12. Julius
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "youthful, downy-bearded"
    • Description:

      Immortal through its association with the ancient Caesar (it was his clan name), Julius may still lag behind Julian, but is definitely starting to make a comeback, and in fact feels more cutting edge, in line with the current trend for Latin -us endings.
  13. Tiberius
    • 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.
  14. Lars
    • Origin:

      Scandinavian from Latin Laurentius
    • Meaning:

      "crowned with laurel"
    • Description:

      Lars is a perfect candidate for a cross-cultural passport: it has been heard often enough here to sound familiar and friendly, yet retains the charisma of a charming foreigner.
  15. Nero
    • 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.
  16. Virgil
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "staff bearer"
    • Description:

      The name of the greatest Roman poet and an early Irish saint who believed the earth was round, Virgil is heard most notably today as the name of designer Virgil Abloh of Off-White.
  17. Vinicius
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "wine / vine"
    • Description:

      An Ancient Roman clan name, deriving from Latin vinum ("wine"). Marcus Vinicius was a Roman consul, general, and friend of the emperor Augustus.
  18. Gaius
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "to rejoice"
    • Description:

      Stately Gaius (pronounced GUY-us) was in the name of many ancient Romans, including Julius Caesar. Little-used before the year 2000, it now feels like a fresh possibility in the revival of Latin boys' names like Atticus and Cassius. Caius and derivatives like Caio come from the same root, and in ancient Roman times Caius was probably pronounced as Gaius. You could also see Gaius as a male version of the earth-goddess name Gaia.
  19. Romulus
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "citizen of Rome"
    • Description:

      He was the original Roman, Remus's twin and a founder of Rome. But parents attracted to this name are advised to read the legend first. Romulus does have some less than savory characteristics, including killing his twin brother and making Rome in his own image, and is later deified as Quinnius. Romy and Quinn might make good twin names.
  20. Octavius
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "eighth"
    • Description:

      Octavius, which was at one time used for the eighth child in a family, has the worn leather patina of all the ancient Roman names now up for reconsideration. As a Roman family name, it derives from the uncommon forename Octavus, which designated an eighth son.