Roman names typically consisted of a first name (praenomen), a family name (nomen), and a personal or family identifier (cognomen) for individuals who required further distinction.
Roman names were inherited from the father and were an important part of a person’s identity and social status.
Praenomina were typically abbreviated to one or two letters and were used only among close friends and family.
Nomen were usually derived from the name of an ancestor’s gens, or clan, and cognomina could be descriptive, such as “Africanus” or “Caesar,” or based on a person’s accomplishments, such as “Magnus” or “Felix.”
Women typically used the feminine form of their father’s nomen with the suffix “-ia,” and often used a cognomen as well.
The use of a tripartite naming system was unique to the Romans and reflected their emphasis on family and social status.
Roman Names and Meanings
Some common Roman names and their meanings:
- Gaius (or Caius) – “rejoice”
- Marcus – “warlike”
- Lucius – “light”
- Quintus – “fifth”
- Titus – “honored”
- Decimus – “tenth”
- Publius – “public”
- Tiberius – “of the Tiber River”
- Augustus – “venerable” or “majestic”
- Julius – “youthful” or “downy-bearded”
Note that these meanings are based on the Latin roots of the names and may not have been the actual intended meanings when the names were given. Additionally, the meanings of some names may have evolved over time or may have different connotations in modern times.
Roman Names for Boys
Some common Roman names for boys were:
- Gaius (or Caius)
These names often included a praenomen, nomen, and cognomen, as explained in my previous answer.
Roman Names for Girls
Here are some popular Roman names for girls:
Note: Roman names are often Latin in origin, so some of the names may also appear in the ancient Roman culture, mythology, and history.
How They Did It – Baby Names in Ancient Rome (Tria Nomina)
Roman Names for Greek Gods
The ancient Romans often adopted and adapted the names of Greek gods and goddesses into their own religious beliefs.
Here are some examples of how they translated these names:
- Zeus = Jupiter
- Hera = Juno
- Poseidon = Neptune
- Demeter = Ceres
- Athena = Minerva
- Apollo = Apollo
- Artemis = Diana
- Ares = Mars
- Aphrodite = Venus
- Hermes = Mercury
These names were often used in religious contexts and in literature, as the ancient Romans were heavily influenced by Greek culture and mythology.
Roman Names Generator
These Roman names were auto-generated.
Roman Names of Gods
Some popular Roman gods and goddesses and their names:
- Jupiter (also known as Jove) – King of the Gods and God of the Sky and Thunder
- Juno – Queen of the Gods and Goddess of Marriage and Women
- Mars – God of War
- Venus – Goddess of Love and Beauty
- Mercury – God of Trade and Messenger of the Gods
- Saturn – God of Agriculture and Time
- Neptune – God of the Sea
- Apollo – God of the Sun, Music, and Prophecy
- Diana – Goddess of Hunting and the Moon
- Vulcan – God of Fire and the Forge
- Vesta – Goddess of the Hearth and Home
- Minerva – Goddess of Wisdom, War, and the Arts
- Bacchus (also known as Dionysus) – God of Wine and Revelry
- Ceres – Goddess of Agriculture and the Harvest
- Proserpina (also known as Persephone) – Goddess of the Underworld and Spring
There are many other Roman gods and goddesses, but these are some of the most well-known and widely worshipped deities in ancient Rome.
Names in the Roman Republic
Roman Goddess Names
Some Roman goddess names:
- Bona Dea
Zeus Roman Names
Zeus is a Greek god, but in Roman mythology, he is often identified with the god Jupiter.
Therefore, the Roman name for Zeus would be Jupiter.
Badass Roman Names
Here are some badass Roman names:
- Marcus Aurelius
- Julius Caesar
- Cato the Younger
- Gaius Marius
- Publius Cornelius Scipio
- Lucius Vorenus
- Quintus Curtius Rufus
- Gnaeus Pompey
- Titus Flavius Josephus
- Titus Livius (Livy)
- Publius Vergilius Marone (Virgil)
Cool Roman Names
Here are some cool Roman names:
- Yulia (Julia)
Roman First Names
Below are some Roman first names:
Roman Last Names
Here are some Roman last names:
Common Roman Names
Some common Roman names:
- Gaius (or Caius)
Roman Names for Dogs
Some Roman-inspired names that would be great for dogs:
Note that these names can also be suitable for other pets.
Roman Names Mythology
Here are some common names from Roman mythology:
Gods and goddesses:
- Jupiter (king of the gods)
- Juno (queen of the gods)
- Neptune (god of the sea)
- Mars (god of war)
- Venus (goddess of love and beauty)
- Apollo (god of music, poetry, and prophecy)
- Diana (goddess of the hunt and the moon)
- Mercury (messenger of the gods)
- Pluto (god of the underworld)
- Ceres (goddess of agriculture)
Heroes and mortals:
- Aeneas (hero of the Trojan War and founder of Rome)
- Romulus (legendary founder of Rome)
- Remus (Romulus’s twin brother)
- Tarquin (the last king of Rome)
- Brutus (famous for overthrowing the monarchy and establishing the Roman Republic)
- Lucretia (a noblewoman who was raped by an Etruscan prince, leading to the downfall of the Roman monarchy)
Unique Roman Names
Here are some unique Roman names that you might consider:
- Flavius Valerius Constantius (also known as Constantine the Great)
- Gaius Julius Civilis
- Gaius Octavius (later known as Augustus)
- Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo
- Julius Agricola
- Lucius Tarquinius Superbus
- Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus
- Lucius Licinius Lucullus
- Marcus Aemilius Lepidus
- Marcus Antonius (also known as Mark Antony)
- Marcus Tullius Cicero
- Publius Cornelius Tacitus
- Publius Licinius Valerianus (also known as Valerian)
- Quintus Curtius Rufus
- Titus Flavius Vespasianus (also known as Vespasian)
These names were chosen for their historical significance, unique sound, and cultural heritage.
What Were Ancient Roman Naming Conventions?
Ancient Roman naming conventions varied over time and by social class, but here are some general patterns:
- A Roman name typically consisted of three parts: the praenomen (a personal name), the nomen (a clan name), and the cognomen (a family nickname).
- The praenomen was the first and most personal part of a Roman’s name. It was usually abbreviated to one or two letters in everyday use, and was only used by close friends and family.
- The nomen indicated a person’s clan or gens, and was shared by all members of that family. It was usually a single word ending in -ius, -ia, -us, or -a. Some well-known Roman nomen include Julius, Aurelius, and Cornelia.
- The cognomen was a nickname that distinguished one branch of a family from another. It could be based on a person’s physical or personal characteristics, a notable event, or even a place name. Some famous Roman cognomina include Cicero (“chickpea”), Brutus (“dullard”), and Caesar (“hairy”).
- In some cases, a fourth name called an agnomen was added to a person’s name later in life to commemorate a particular achievement or event.
- Women’s names typically included the feminine form of the nomen, followed by the feminine form of the cognomen. Women did not have a praenomen, but sometimes included the name of their father or husband as a second cognomen.
In practice, not all Romans had all three parts of a name, and there was a great deal of variation depending on social class, regional custom, and personal preference.
FAQs – Roman Names
What is a Roman name for a boy?
Roman Names for a Boy:
What is a typical Roman name?
Typical names for Roman boys included:
What are some Roman Empire names?
Some names oft-associated with the Roman Empire:
What is a Roman girl name?
Some Roman names for girls:
Conclusion – Roman Names
The ancient Romans had a complex and varied system of naming conventions.
These included a personal name (praenomen), a clan name (nomen) and a family nickname (cognomen).
Additionally, women usually retained their father’s or husband’s name as a second cognomen.
Roman names are still used today to honor the culture and heritage of Ancient Rome.
They can be used to pay homage to the great heroes, gods, and mortals who shaped the world we live in now.
Whether you’re looking for an unusual baby name or just interested in learning more about your own history, exploring ancient Roman names is sure to be both informative and inspiring!