Pregnancy

Mother holding the hands of a little baby boy who she'll choose one of these Roman boy names for
Shutterstock

21 Roman Baby Boy Names With Ancient Appeal

These ancient names still pack a punch.

There are lots of cool things about the Romans — their architecture, their gods, and even their sandals. But they also had a lot of awesome names. Whether you loved world history class as a kid and memorized extra god and goddess names for fun (that might have been me) or purged it from your brain as soon school was out, this list of Roman boy names might give you some ideas about names for your little boy that have a Romanesque flair. These names give new meaning to the phrase “classic name.”

Some of these Roman boy names are obviously referencing a famous character from Roman mythology (Aeneas, Ulysses), and others are more subtle (Leo or Marcus), where you’ll probably have to tell people about its Roman roots. Some have simply fallen out of style and are waiting for a comeback. A lot of these names are pretty unusual (and unusual names are trendy), so if you’re looking for a name that will stand out, and not be shared by every other little boy in class, many of these Roman boy names might fit the bill. Whatever you choose, hope that your little boy shares some of the great aspects of the Romans: their inventions, their language, their intelligence — and not so much their propensity to fight with lions.

1

Aeneas

Virgil’s Aeneid is one of the foundational myths of Rome. The story goes that Aeneas set off on a journey not dissimilar to Odysseus’s, where he meets love interests (Dido), shrieking harpies, self-doubt, saboteurs, all of which he leaves behind to go on found the city of Rome. The name itself means “praiseworthy” or “commendable.”

2

Leo

Anita Csejtei / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images

This name was the 31st most popular boy’s name in 2021 and it’s easy to see why: super cute, easy to say, and easy to spell (the little Leos I know are very proud to share that their name is spelled L-E-O.) But you might not know that it has Latin roots: Leo is Latin for “lion.” Perfect for a strong but loving little boy!

3

Augustus

This name sound positively regal and it’s easy to see why: it comes from the Latin word for “venerable.” Caesar Augustus was probably the most famous emperor of the Roman Empire. The name lends itself to lots of cute nicknames: August or Auggie both sound adorable.

4

Felix

If you choose this name, you really might have the happiest baby on the block: it’s the Latin word for “happy” and “lucky.” A bunch of lovely words come from its root, including felicity, felicitations. And he’s also a minor character in Roman mythology: Felix was one of the four sons of Saturn and Entoria.

5

Claudius

This awesome name comes from the Latin word “claudo” which means “to close, shut, or block up.” One meaning of Claudius is “enclosure.” Yes, this name may have belonged to a less-than-beloved emperor but that shouldn’t stop you from choosing this unusual and elegant name. Claude also makes a great nickname.

6

Marcus

Shutterstock

This name is shared by one of the most famous Roman emperors: Marcus Aurelius. The name in Latin means “dedicated to Mars”— who famously was the god of war, but also considered more level-headed than his Greek counterpart Ares. It is a cute choice and lends itself easily to the nickname Marc or Marco.

7

Julius

For people with kids, this name might be less less associated with the Romans now and more with the Kevin Henkes’s book Julius, Baby of the World. It’s a wonderful book, and you’re sure to get several copies at a little Julius’s first birthday party. The name has an awesome meaning: youthful, or downy-bearded. Whether it’s the Henke’s book or the Shakespeare play, a little Julius will have lots of opportunities to see himself in literature.

8

Cassius

Cassisus is a great name, though you probably don’t want to have brothers named both Julius and Cassius (Cassius was the leader of the plot to assassinate Julius Caesar). The name comes from the Latin word “cassus” meaning “empty or hollow.” There were also some people named Cassius who stayed far away from assassinations: Dio Cassius was a famous Roman historian and Cassius Clay was both an abolitionist and the birth name of Muhammed Ali.

9

Evander

Evander is a name with deep roots: in Roman mythology: Evander founded the city that preceded Rome, and was the son of the god Hermes. And anyone hopes his or her son will live up to this name’s meaning: it means, simply, “good man.”

10

Lucius

Joyce Diva/E+/Getty Images

The Latin word “lux,” meaning “light” or “bright,” is the root of so many great names: Lucius or Lucian are just two of them (the female names Luciana and Lucille come from the same root). This name is perfect for a little boy who is sure to be the light of your life.

11

Ulysses

Any Ulysses is likely to see lots of his name throughout his entire education: Ulysses is the name of the Roman equivalent of Odysseus: the explorer who traveled for 20 long years before returning to his homeland. It’s also the name of a president (Ulysses S. Grant) and the James Joyce novel that few have finished but many have started). The name means “wrathful.”

12

Caesar

Your kid may face a few “Hail!” and salad jokes, but it doesn’t get more classic than this name. If you want to, you could spell and pronounce the name Italian way, Cesare (pronounced “Che-sa-ray”). The name means “thick head of hair” — particularly funny for a bald baby.

13

Apollo

Jasonfang/E+/Getty Images

Apollo is one of the rare deities whose name is the same in both the Greek and Roman traditions — maybe because the Roman’s couldn’t top how cool this name is. And Apollo is also an amazing god: among other things, he’s the god of light, the sun, medicine, knowledge, and architecture. Maybe you can skip the terrible two’s if you choose this name too: he’s also the god of “harmony, reason, and moderation.”

14

Roman

Doesn’t get much more Roman than this. This name has Latin origins from the word “Romanus” which means “of Rome.” It also has a French meaning: novel, hence the phrase “roman a clef.” This name has been rising in popularity in recent years: it cracked the top 100 most popular names in 2016, and came in at number 75 in 2021.

15

Cyrus

This name is best known as being the name of a Persian emperor (Cyrus the Great, who ruled between 590-529 BC), but it also has Latin roots: the word “cyrus” means “sun.” A lovely choice for a little boy who is sure to light up your life.

16

Remus

In one mythological version of the founding of Rome, twin boys named Romulus and Remus were briefly raised by a wolf, then, as adults, fought over where the city that would eventually bear one of their names would be (Rome’s name gives you a clue of who won). The name means “oar” in Latin.

17

Ignatius

This Latin name means “fiery” or “ardent” — so if you choose this name, be prepared for some strong opinions. The name is most associated with Ignatius of Loyola, a Spanish priest who founded the Jesuits, a branch of Catholicism that emphasized missionary work and education. It’s an unusual and cool choice that lends itself to the awesome nickname “Iggy.”

18

Cyprian

Kseniya Starkova/Moment/Getty Images

In the third century BC, Cyprian was a saint born in what we now refer to as Roman Africa. He is well known for his powerful writing. The name has some similarities with some more popular names like Cyrus, but with a unique twist. It might be just right for a little boy who isn’t afraid to stand out from the crowd.

19

Aurelius

This name has a wonderful meaning: “the golden one.” It could be an extra-cute choice for a blonde little boy (though that’s usually hard to tell when they’re babies). Marcus Aurelius was both a philosopher and the fifth of the “good emperors.” He has lots of famous quotes, including this one: “If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.”

20

Marius

Like Marcus, this name is connected to the god Mars, meaning both “manly” and “dedicated to Mars.” As musical theater fans know, it’s also a character in Les Mis. It’s never been in the top thousand names since 1900 so it’s an unusual choice that doesn’t feel too “out there.”

21

Atticus

Shutterstock

This name is by far the most associated with the father in To Kill A Mockingbird, but it actually has Roman roots, coming from the Latin meaning “of Attica” or “Athenian.” This name has seen a steep rise in popularity, starting in 2004.

There are so many Roman inventions and words that we still use in our modern day — and there’s no reason not to borrow some of their names, too. Rome may have fallen, but their names can live on.