Illustrious Names of Ancient Roman Leaders

Hello everyone! I'm excited about these names that I'm going to be sharing with you today! History has always been one of my favorite subjects, especially ancient history. Now that we're out of the "Ides of March", I figured it would be a safe time to share with you these illustrious names of ancient Roman leaders!
So about this list, I said leaders as opposed to emperors because not everyone on the list were emperors. I only included males on this this but I will be working on a list of some awesome Roman leaders who were female. This this is by no means a comprehensive list! I had to cut several names out (even some very prominent ones) and there are more than enough to do a part two to this article later. These aren't in chronological order, either. If you're interested in learning more about who these leaders were, I included a link to a bio for each one, just click on their name. I would definitely encourage you to click the link if you like any of these names so that you know who your child would be sharing a name with. 

Ancient Rome was a really cool time period for names! Some of these are enduring classics and some have completely fallen off the radar. I think this style of naming is really making a comeback though so it's time to dust some of these off! Many of these names have been given more modern exposure thanks to popular YA novels such as Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and even The Fault In Our Stars.  Ancient Roman names tend to be a favored choice for authors of fantasy or dystopian novels.

I've got a lot of great names for you today so lets get started!

Ranked #309

Where else could we begin besides Julius, the most famous Roman leader of all time? This is a very handsome name meaning "youthful". It's definitely being used but it's not too common. Variant Julian is in the top 50. Julius makes a great distinctive alternative to Julian that retains an air of prestige. 

"to rejoice"
Not Ranked

Gaius (pn. GUY-us) is a cool sounding name that doesn't have a lot of potential here in the U.S. because of pronunciation issues. Gaius was Julius Caesar's first name. Alternative Caius might be more usable these days, especially with the nickname Cai.

Ranked #544                             
Augustus is a dashing name that's enjoying a much deserved comeback thanks to media attention, most notably, The Fault in Our Stars. Augustus was the name of Julius Caesar's adopted son and Rome's first emperor. His given name was Caius Octavius but he was given the name Augustus at the beginning of his monarchy. The nicknames Gus and Auggie make Augustus accessible for a little boy.
Not Ranked
Augustus Caesar was originally named Caius Octavius and often went by Octavian. This name has never been in the U.S. 1000 but I think it has a strong sound that will appeal to modern parents. My husband recently told me that he liked this name, and another dad also mentioned liking this name, so if you're having trouble finding a name that your guy will like, try Octavian. Tavi, Tay, or even Otto would be cute nicknames. 

Not Ranked                                        
Remus is the super-cool name of one of the mythical founders of Rome, the twin brother of Romulus. As legend has it, they were raised by wolves. Remus has very strong ties to wolves because of this myth and because of the werewolf Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter series. The meaning is disputed but "swift" is a possibility. Remy would be a sweet nickname. If it can overcome past stereotypes, Remus would make a handsome choice!

"citizen of Rome"
Not Ranked

Romulus is one of the mythical twin brothers who founded Rome and the city bears his name. He was later deified in Roman mythology. This name, like so many on this list, has a very bold, appealing sound and great nicknames like Rome and Romy. Unfortunately, Romulus did kill his brother Remus, according to legend, so that's a pretty unfortunate association. Otherwise Romulus is a very cool name!

"of the Tiber"
Not Ranked

I feel like Tiberius is another name that dads may like. It has a strong, bold sound and a lot of modern media coverage, most notably, Captain James Tiberius Kirk of Star Trek. Tiberius Caesar is not really a great association, though, which is unfortunate because otherwise this is a really cool name. Some do say that his bad reputation is unfounded, though. If you decide to overlook the Caesar association, Ty would be a great nickname to make Tiberius more usable on a little boy.

Ranked #158

Marcus is probably the most popular name on this list and was the first name of many important Roman leaders such as Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony) and Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Marcus isn't as popular now as it was in decades past but it still has a hold on the top 200. Marcus is a very handsome classic in my opinion.

"just, righteous"   
Not Ranked    
Justinian is a fun, bold alternative to the very popular Justin. Though I prefer Justus as alternative to Justin, I've always been attracted to the sound of Justinian. Emperor Justinian of the Byzantine (eastern Roman) empire has a very interesting story.

Not Ranked

Lucius is a name-lovers name with strong a very strong (though negative) Harry Potter connection. Lucius was the name of several important people in Roman history including Lucius Verus, a co-emperor of Marcus Aurelius. Besides the Roman and Harry Potter ties, Lucius was also used several times by Shakespeare and is important to the Batman story line.

"title of honor"
Ranked #285                                          
Titus is a very distinguished name that's rising in popularity. Emperor Titus was a notable ruler. He was a Roman military commander during the siege and fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. The arch of Titus commemorating his victory still stands in Rome today. His reign as emperor was short but he was unexpectedly popular among his fellow Romans. There is also a book of the Bible called Titus, named for a protege of the Apostle Paul. 

Not ranked

Marcellus is such a handsome name! It was one of the names of Roman official and soldier Marcus Claudius Marcellus, the nephew of Augustus.  Marcellus would make such a wonderful alternative to Mark or Marcus, or a great way to honor a Mark or Marcus. Marcellus is a familiar but off-the-radar enough to feel really fresh and distinctive. 

meaning unknown
Not ranked                                               
Trajan might not be usable but I like it's cool sound. Trajan was short for Traianus. The emperor Trajan expanded Rome's borders and undertook vast building projects. 

Not ranked                                                               

Quintus is an interesting Q name, which is always a fun initial. Quintus would be a different way to get to the very popular name Quin. Quintus Fabius Verrucosus was a Roman military commander and statesman. He was one of many important men named Quintus in Ancient Rome. Quintus is a name used in the Hunger Games novels. 

Not ranked

Cornelius is a robust name with a distinguished history. Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus was a celebrated Roman general. A devout centurion named Cornelius  is an important figure in the biblical book of Acts. Cornelius also has connections to Shakespeare, Harry Potter, and the TV show Boy Meets World (it's protagonist Cory's full first name). With nickname options like Cory and Neil, Cornelius would be a cool name to revive.
"conqueror of Germania"
Not Ranked

Germanicus is such a bold and handsome name! The ancient Germanicus  was a much celebrated Roman general. He was incredibly popular in his day. Some have called him "the best emperor Rome never had". Unfortunately, he died under suspicious circumstances before he had the chance to rule. I really love the powerful sound of this name and nicknames Manny, Nick, and Nico make it seem fun and accessible. 
"dark hair"
Not Ranked

Hadrian is cool-sounding name that's related to the much more popular name Adrian. Hadrian doesn't change much from Adrian, but the H connects it to a powerful history and makes it really stand out. Emperor Hadrian is regarded as one of the "Five Good Emperors". 

Not Ranked

Claudius is a very handsome name that's been outshined by its female counterpart: Claudia. They share the same meaning, "lame", though some speculate that it could mean "enclosure" instead. The Emperor Claudius finalized the annexation of Britain and was an accomplished historian. His contemporaries didn't necessarily like him, though. Claudius is another name used in the Hunger Games novels. I think Claudius is a totally usable name on a boy today! It's familiar but not overused. 
Ranked #977

Magnus is a very bold, grand name that's a lot shorter than most other names that would fit in that catergory. Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (commonly known as Pompey) was a great Roman general. The fact that Magnus is in the top 1000 really surprised me but I think it was helped along by its exposure as a celebrity baby name. Several celebrities used this name, most notably Will Ferrell. Magnus has a really clunky sound to me but I think you could get the nickname Max from it which is very cute and on-trend.

So that's all that I have for you today! Part II with female Roman leaders is coming up shortly and there's plenty more male Roman leaders with awesome names that I might feature at a later date! 

Which name is your favorite on this list? Can you use one to make a cool combo? What would be a cool character name using one of these names? Let me know in the comments! I love to hear from you!

God bless and thanks for reading!

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  1. I had a History/English teacher with sons Augustus, Octavian and Tiber (after the river, I'm pretty sure his full name wasn't Tiberius).

    Most of my favourite names are Roman or Greek, Augustin/Augustus 'August' is my top boys name.
    I like Octavian but I love, love Octavia it's my top girls name. Love Magnus too


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