A curated list of the most popular ancient Roman names for boys and their meaning. Common and uncommon male names from ancient Roman and early Christian times.
Ancient Roman names and surnames make wonderful first names for boys and girls.
Ancient sources kept records of many of them: some are from pagan times, some from the Christian era, some are now rarely heard, and some roman names are so popular, you may have encountered without even realizing what their origin was!
Today, we are sharing a list of the most popular Roman names for boys with their meaning and origin.
We have also added a list of 100 ancient Roman male names, in alphabetical order, with both popular and unusual Latin names for boys you may like.
See also: 100 ancient roman baby names for girls
Latin male names: origin and meaning
Latin and Roman names tend to have one of the following origins:
Latin first names (prenomen): Roman citizens usually had a name made of three parts (e.g. Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa).
The first part of the name was called ‘praenomen’: many of the male names we still use today are ancient Latin first names: Marcus, like in Marcus Antonius, is a good example.
In many cases, Latin names still in use today are ancient Roman names that you can find in Latin form or adapted to modern spellings. Marcus > Mark
Roman Family names: the middle name of ancient Roman citizens was the name of the gens you were born into, i.e. a family name.
These would have been shared by the member of the same family, just like it happens with modern surnames, but over time became exceptionally popular first names, that we still use.
Julius is a good example: originally the surname of the gens Julia, it has been for centuries a popular first name for boys.
Roman cognomen:The third part of the ancient latin male name was called ‘cognomen’ and it was a sort of nickname.
It could come from an honorary title ‘Caesar’, ‘Magnus’ or it could distinguish a father from a son, as in Maior (the Elder) and Minor (the Young)
Roman mythology names: many Latin names have their origins in Roman myths and legends and their main characters, either hunger or heroic or divine. Saturninus from the Roman God Saturnus and Marcus from the God Mars are good examples.
Names of place of origin: in many cases, Latin names indicated the place where the person was from. Adrianus for instance means ‘from Adria’.
Descriptive names: some male Latin names were descriptive of the physical characteristics of the person who carried them. Fulvius, for instance, means ‘blond’.
How popular are ancient Roman names?
Some ancient Roman names are very popular, some are very rare.
When choosing a name, take into account that the name may still be in use today but with a different spelling.
In Ancient Rome, the names would have had Latin form: in this list, you will find the latin Roman male name, its meaning/origin when known and common current spelling of the name in contemporary languages.
35 Popular Roman baby names for boys
|Roman name in latin form||Meaning/Origin||Common Alternative Modern Spellings|
|Augustus||Venerable, sacred. Originally an ancient Roman honorary title||Augusto|
|Adrianus||Ancient Roman name meaning ‘from Hadria’ (locality)||Adrian, Hadrian, Adriano|
|Aemilius||Ancient Roman Family name||Emil, Emilio|
|Antonius||Ancient Roman family name, probably meaning ‘ that who comes first’. Very popular for its association with Mark Anthony (notoriously strong and handsome) and, later, St Anthony.||Anthony, Antonio, Antoni|
|Caecilius||Ancient Roman family name, probably of Etruscan origin.||Cecilio|
|Camillus||Ancient Roman family name||Camillo, Kamilo, Kamil, Camilo|
|Cassius||Ancient Roman family name, possibly of Etruscan origin||Cassyus|
|Caesar||Roman cognomen of uncertain origin, it became popular after C Julus Caesar and since then used with the meaning of ’emperor’||Cesare, Cesar|
|Claudius||Ancient roman surname||Claudio, Claudio|
|Consus||Name of ancient Roman God|
|Cornelius||Ancient roman surname||Cornelio, Kornelius|
|Flavius||Ancient Roman Family name||Flavio|
|Horatius||Ancient Roman Family name||Oracio, Horace, Horatio, Horatio|
|Janus||Name of Roman God|
|Julius||Ancient Roman family name (gens Julia)||Giulio, Julio|
|Justus||Righteous, fair||Giusto, Justo|
|Livius||Ancient Roman family name (gens Livia)||Livio|
|Marcellus||Ancient Roman name||Marcello|
|Marcus||Consecrated to the God Mars, also ancient roman name||Marco, Mark, Marcos|
|Marius||Ancient Roman first name, either associated with the God Mars or with the latin word mar = sea||Mario, Maryus, Maria|
|Octavius||Ancient Roman Family name probably from the numeral octo=eight||Ottavio, Octave, Octawiusz, Octavio|
|Titus||Ancient Roman first name, associate with the ancient Latin Kind Titus Tatius||Tito, Tyto|
|Romulus||Name of legendary Roman founder Romulus|
|Silvester||Of the forest, from the latin word ‘silva’=woods||Silvestro, Sylvester|
|Valerius||Ancient Roman Family name probably from the verb ‘Valerie’=to be strong, to be healthy|
100 Latin baby names for boys from Ancient Rome
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- Aemilius – ancient Roman family name
- Agrippa – ancient Roman cognomen as in Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Emperor Augustus’ son in law and builder of the Rome Pantheon
- Albinus – ancient Roman family name probably meaning ‘white’
- Albius – Roman family name probably meaning ‘white’
- Amatus – loved, from the latin verb ‘amare’ (to love)
- Amulius – name of the legendary King of Alba Longa, remembered in the legend of the birth of Rome
- Ancus – name of one of the seven ancient Kings of Rome, Anco Marco
- Annius – Roman name
- Antonius – from the gens Antonia, ancient Roman family name
- Appius – ancient Roman names, still found in the name of Via Appia, in Rome
- Aquilius – ancient Roman family name
- Ascanius – from Ascanius, son of Aeneas, ancestor of the founder of Rome
- Asinius – ancient Roman name
- Atticus – from Attica, a region of Greece
- Attilius – ancient Roman Family name
- Augustus – Venerable, sacred. Originally an ancient Roman honorary title e.g. Octavianus Augustus
- Aulus – common ancient Roman first name for a boy
- Aurelius – of the Aurelia family
- Aurelianus – name of ancient Roman Emperor (The Aurelian Walls still bear his name)
- Benedictus – blessed (from the latin verb: benedire, to bless)
- Brutus – common ancient Roman first name, associated mostly with the man who killed Julius Caesar, popularized by Shakespeare. The original meaning seems to mean ‘obtuse’
- Cato – Ancien Roman male name
- Caecilius – ancient Roman family names
- Caelestinus – of the sky, heavenly, common name for Popes
- Caelius – Roman family name probably associated with the word caelum=sky
- Calvus – ancient Roman name meaning ‘bald, with no hair’
- Camillus – ancient Roman family name
- Candidus – white, candid
- Cassius – ancient Roman male first name
- Claudius – ancient Roman family name
- Clemens – merciful
- Cocceius – Roman family name
- Cornelius – Ancient roman surname
- Costantinus – Roman first name from the word ‘constant, loyal’, associated with the first Christian Emperor of Rome Costantinus the Great
- Costantius – see Constantinus
- Crassus – ancient Roman family name
- Crispinus – from the common family name Crispus, originally meaning. with curly hair’
- Decius – ancient name, probably a contraction of ‘decimus‘=tenth
- Decimus – tenth
- Donatus -gifted, donated
- Drusus – ancient Roman first name
- Duilius – ancient Roman name
- Emilius – ancient Roman name probably originally associated with the latin word aemulus=competitor
- Fabius – ancient roman family name
- Fabricius – ancient Roman family names probably from the latin for ‘faber’=maker, craftman’
- Faustus – Favorable
- Felix – Happy
- Flavius – ancient Roman Family name. Vespasian, Titus and Domitian were three Emperors of the Flavia family
- Florius – from the latin ‘flor‘= flower or devout to the Goddess Flora
- Fulvius – blond
- Gabinius – ancient Roman family name
- Galerius – name of Roman Emperor (IV century)
- Gaius – ancient Roman first name for males
- Gellius – ancient Roman family name
- Hadrianus – ancient Roman name mostly associated with Emperor Hadrian
- Helius – Sun (Roman God)
- Hennius – ancient roman family name
- Hercules – mythological male name from the hero of the same name
- Horatius – ancient Roman Family name
- Hortensius – ‘of the gardens’, name of famous ancient Bishop
- Iginus – healthy
- Isidorus – gift of the Goddess Isis
- Iulius – ancient Roman Family name, as in G. Julius Caesar
- Iulianus – see Iulius
- Iustus – right, fair
- Lepidus – ancient Roman cognomen
- Linus – Latin form of the Greek name Linos
- Livius -ancient Roman family name
- Lucius – ancient Roman name for boys
- Magnus – great
- Manlius – ancient Roman family name
- Marcellus – ancient Roman cognomen, probably term of endearment from Marcus
- Marcus – devout to the God Mars
- Marius – devout to the God Mars or, possibly, ‘of the sea’
- Maximus – top, the biggest
- Mauritius – ancient family name possibly originally meaning ‘ from Mauritania’
- Octavius – ancient Roman family names, name of Rome’s first Emperor Gaius Octavianus Augustus
- Ovidius – ancient Roman name made famous by Odidius, the writer
- Paulus – ancient Roman cognomen, popular in the Christian Era as the name taken by St Paul
- Patricius – patrician, aristocratic
- Petrus – stone, name of St Peter’s
- Pius – pius, devout
- Pompeius – ancient Roman name, as in Pompeus Magnus (Roman general)
- Publius, common ancient Roman first name
- Quartus – Fourth
- Quintus – Fifth
- Remus – from the twin brother of Romulus, founder of Rome
- Romanus – of Rome, Roman
- Romulus – name of Rome’s legendary founder
- Rufus – with red hair
- Salvus – saved
- Sergius – ancient Roman name possibly meaning ‘protector’
- Sirius – splendent
- Terentius – ancient Roman family name
- Titus – ancient Roman first name and Emperor name
- Tullius – ancient Roman family name as in Marcus Tullius Cicero
- Ursus – bear
- Valerius – Ancient Roman Family name, probably from the Latin ‘Valere’ = to be of value,
- Varus – ancient Roman name, it was the name of the general who famously lost the battle of Teutoburg, one of the most disastrous in Roman History
- Virgilius – ancient Roman name popularized by the famous author of the Aeneid Virgil
I hope you enjoyed this list of ancient Roman names of boys!