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Roman Names for Boys

Roman Names for Boys

Roman names for boys are enjoying a major style revival. The fashion for Roman boy names was influenced by Hunger Games and by the HBO series Rome. Many of these baby boy names, such as Cyrus and Julius, had been buried for centuries, only to seem fresh and new in the modern US. Along with Cyrus and Julius, other Roman boy names in the US Top 1000 include Atticus, Felix, Justus, Titus, Cassius, Linus, Magnus, and Marcus. Unique Roman boy names gaining visibility include Sirius, Thaddeus, Cato, and Aurelius. Even the boys' names Roman, Romeo. and Romulus are fashionable. Among the Roman names for boys are the following, all at home in the modern world. You might also want to browse our list of Roman Names for Girls.

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.

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.

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. In more modern times, Cassius Clay was an abolitionist and also the birth name of boxer Muhammad Ali. It was chosen for their sons by singer Bobby Brown and Getty heir/actor Balthazar Getty. Vanessa Marcil and Brian Austin Green used the nouveau Kassius spelling for theirs. With these namesakes, it's no surprise this name has become popular in recent years.

CyrusHeart

  • Origin:

    Persian
  • Meaning:

    "sun"
  • Description:

    Very popular in the Iranian community, this name of the founder of the Persian Empire has had a more down-home, corncob pipe-smoking image for most Americans in the past, but this has begun to change.

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.

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.

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.

IgnatiusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "fiery"
  • Description:

    Ignatius? Good gracious! This is a name making a truly surprising return, sparked by its selection by not one but two celebrities--Cate Blanchett and Julianne Nicholson.

    Ignatius, the name of several saints including the founder of the Catholic Jesuit order, was considered more apt to be borne by churches and schools than babies in the recent past, though it was not unusual from the late nineteenth century to 1930; it ranked as high as Number 602 in 1913.

TitusHeart

  • 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.

CaiusHeart

  • 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. Caius is currently Number 164 on Nameberry.

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.

LinusHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "flax"
  • Description:

    Can Linus lose its metaphorical security blanket and move from the Peanuts page onto the birth certificate? We think it has enough charm and other positive elements going for it for the answer to be yes.

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.

ThaddeusHeart

  • Origin:

    Aramaic, meaning unclear, possibly from Theodore
  • Meaning:

    "gift of God"
  • Description:

    Thaddeus, a distinguished, long-neglected name, has several areas of appeal: a solid New Testament legacy, a nice antique feel, and the choice of several more modern nicknames and international variations.

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.

JuliusHeart

  • 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.

JuliusHeart

  • 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.

MaximusHeart

  • 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.

DariusHeart

  • Origin:

    Persian or Latin from Greek
  • Meaning:

    "weath, kingly"
  • Description:

    Darius is a historic name via Emperor Darius the Great, a key figure in ancient Persian history, and several other Persian kings. His name today has an appealingly artistic image, which might well be found on a concert program or gallery announcement.

SiriusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin from Greek
  • Meaning:

    "burning"
  • Description:

    Yes, it's the name of the brightest star in the sky, but can't you just hear people saying, "Are you serious?" Singer Erykah Badu used it as a middle name for son Seven.

MarcusHeart

  • 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.

AmadeusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "lover of God"
  • Description:

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's middle name could make an interesting pick for music-loving parents--if only in middle place. Amadeus is the title of a Peter Shaffer play which became an award-winning film in 1984.

AloysiusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "famous warrior"
  • Description:

    This name is a classic example of an underused golden oldie that ticks so many boxes - unusual yet traditional, heaps of cute nicknames, a statement name that exudes retro cool. Aloysius is the Latin form of many more common names like Louis, Luis, Luigi and the uncommon but symphonically familiar Ludwig.

MariusHeart

  • 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.

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.

CatoHeart

  • 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.

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.

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.

OctaviusHeart

  • 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.

TarquinHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, Roman clan name
  • Description:

    One of the few ancient Roman names that doesn't end in us, the rarely heard Tarquin has a decidedly creative, even dramatic flair, which could appeal to the parent looking for a strikingly original name. Sir Laurence Olivier used it for his oldest child, who was named Simon Tarquin but called by his middle name.

SeverusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "stern"
  • Description:

    Though it has literary credentials--making an appearance in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park and as the mean-spirited teacher Severus Snape in the Harry Potter books, most modern parents would find it too--well--severe.

ErasmusHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "beloved, desired"
  • Description:

    Erasmus has long retained the image of the bearded and bespectacled Dutch philosopher, but could be one that the audacious baby namer just might dare to dust off.

BarnabasHeart

  • Origin:

    Aramaic
  • Meaning:

    "son of consolation"
  • Description:

    Barnabas, whose birth name was Joseph, was one of the earliest Christian disciples in Jerusalem, who undertook missionary journeys with Paul the Apostle, His name is a bit Old World compared to the update Barnaby, but could gain some attention as boys' names ending in 's' are enjoying a comeback.

SeptimusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "the seventh son"
  • Description:

    Septimus is one of the more dashing of the birth-order Latin number names that were revived by the Victorians. So even if you don't anticipate son number 7, you might be bold enough to consider this relic, certainly preferable to sixth-son name Sextus.

SeptimusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "the seventh son"
  • Description:

    Septimus is one of the more dashing of the birth-order Latin number names that were revived by the Victorians. So even if you don't anticipate son number 7, you might be bold enough to consider this relic, certainly preferable to sixth-son name Sextus.

GaiusHeart

  • 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. You could also see Gaius as a male version of the earth-goddess name Gaia.

CletusHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "called forth"
  • Description:

    Sometimes used as a short-form of Catholic Pope name Anacletus, Cletus is an ancient name that has not-yet found the popularity of Theodore, Leo, Atticus and Max. It perhaps suffers from its association to the yokel character in The Simpsons , but we think it's time for a reconsideration, given how well it fits into several current trends. Nickname Clete is cute as a button!

TheophilusHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "friend of God"
  • Description:

    This is a multi-syllabic New Testament relic that could be yet another fresh way to get to Theo. In the beginning of Luke's gospel, he dedicates his words to Theophilus.

BrutusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "heavy, dull"
  • Description:

    Brutus is the quintessential brute--far too close to the word brutal. And any child with this name would spend much of his life hearing "Et tu."

CyprianHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "man of Cyprus"
  • Description:

    With a long and noble history -- Cyprian was one of the great Christian Latin writers -- this could make a highly unusual but meaningful choice.

JustusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "just"
  • Description:

    More unusual than Justin, less word-like than Justice, this New Testament name could make an intriguing choice. After being off the popularity lists from 1904 to 1993, it is now being used in steady numbers.

SilvanusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "wood; forest"
  • Description:

    In Roman mythology, Silvanus was the god of the forests. He protected farmers and fields and was credited with developing a system for marking field boundaries.

PhiloHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "loving"
  • Description:

    Could Philo be the next Milo?

ClaudiusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "lame; enclosure"
  • Description:

    Claudius is one of the most user-friendly of the ancient Roman names – even though it's associated with the villainous character in Shakespeare's Hamlet. But as with feminine form Claudia, the "lame" meaning may stymie the rise of Claudius. Some etymologists theorize that the name may relate to the word for enclosure or clause, an alternate meaning that may appeal to a child with a form of this otherwise-appealing name.

FlorinHeart

  • Origin:

    French and Romanian
  • Meaning:

    "flower; flourishing"
  • Description:

    Florin is one of the legion of names derived from the root word for flower, most of them like Flora and Florence used for girls. But the boys' form Florin is among the popular French names for boys, along with sister name Fleur for girls. There was a ninth century Swiss St. Florin. The related Florian was the name of a second century Roman saint.

UrbanHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "of the city"
  • Description:

    Urban was not an uncommon name through the 1930s (rising as high as Number 435), having been attached to several saints and early popes, but it has completely disappeared from the landscape--both urban and rural. Yet in this era of word name appreciation and trend for 'an'-ending boys' names, we're thinking it might be ready for a return.

QuintusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "fifth"
  • Description:

    A literary name figuring in the story of Ben Hur and the novels of Anthony Trollope that has the feel of Roman antiquity that is beginning to appeal to many parents. Quintus was one of only about twenty male first names in ancient Rome.

CadmusHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "one who excels"
  • Description:

    Cadmus is the name of the serpent-slaying hero of Greek mythology who also founded the city of Thebes and is credited with inventing the alphabet. Its ancient feel might appeal to modern parents — especially since Cadmus Peverell is a human Harry Potter character, one of the three original owners of the Deathly Hallows.

CalibanHeart

  • Origin:

    Romanian
  • Meaning:

    "black"
  • Description:

    In Shakespeare's The Tempest, Caliban is the name of the deformed son of a witch: not the greatest literary reference for a child. But Caliban does have an appealing international-yet-accessible feel and a rhythmic sound. As long as nobody knows its origin, it might make a great name for a boy or even a girl.
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