Family & Parenting

Baby Names From Ancient Cultures That Are Gaining Popularity Today

Why not look to ancient Rome when deciding what to name your little one?

There’s so much in a name. That’s why it’s important to give your little bundle of joy one that fits — and also why it can feel so hard to pick! Not to worry, though, because we’ve done a ton of the heavy lifting for you, by sourcing the following list of unique and creative baby names with staying power. They are derived from ancient cultures, after all, and if it was good enough for the ancient Romans, frankly, it’s good enough for us.

From folklore and mythology to classical Roman emperors and philosophers, there’s something for everyone ahead. Not to mention, every single one of these monikers has got some serious clout, and it has for thousands of years! Keep reading for plenty of beautiful baby name inspiration from classical empires and ancient cultures.

Written by Kimia Madani for Livingly.

Atticus

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “from Attica”; the name of a Roman literary figure from the Greek region around Athens

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Amadeus

Origin: Latin version of “Theophilus” (from the ancient Greek)
Meaning: “lover of God”

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Caesar

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “long-haired”; famous Roman politician and military general

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Theon

Origin: Greek
Meaning: “godly”; Theon was an ancient Greek teacher of astronomy and mathematics, in addition to being father of the first female mathematician

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Nero

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “stern”; Roman emperor

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Remus

Origin: Latin
Meaning: One of the legendary twins who, with his brother Romulus, founded Rome

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Romulus

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “citizen of Rome”; he was one of the famous twins of classical Roman mythology who, with brother Remus, founded Rome

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Titus

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “title of honor”; a Roman military commander who became Emperor, the name also appears in the New Testament, and in Shakespeare

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Aurelia

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “the golden one”; female form of the classic Roman “Aurelius”

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Cassia

Origin: Latin, feminine form of “Cassius”; Greek
Meaning: “cinnamon”

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Rufus

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “redhead”; ancient Roman name, along with being mentioned in the New Testament

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Cyra

Origin: Persian or Greek
Meaning: “sun or throne, or lord”; may be feminine version of “Cyrus”, also a standalone Persian name

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Dominica

Origin: Spanish; Italian, feminine version of “Dominic”
Meaning: “belonging to the Lord”; has been used since the Middle Ages

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Felicia

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “lucky”

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Julius

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “youthful, downy-bearded”; immortal through its association with Caesar, it was a common Christian name in Roman times

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Felix

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “happy, fortunate”; the name of four popes and 76 saints; an ancient Roman name

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Mila

Origin: Russian; diminutive of several European names
Meaning: “gracious” or “dear”

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Justina

Origin: Latin, feminine version of “Justin”; Greek
Meaning: “fair” or “just”

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Isolde

Origin: Welsh
Meaning: “ice ruler”; the beautiful Irish princess of Arthurian-era folklore and one of the fabled lovers, the mythological Tristan and Isolde

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Gaia

Origin: Greek
Meaning: “earth mother”; classical Greek goddess of the earth, the universal Mother

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Aine

Origin: Irish
Meaning: “brightness, splendor”; a traditional Irish name (pronounced AWN-ya), after the queen of the fairies, and a Celtic goddess of summertime and abundance

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Lucius

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “light”; exotic, old Roman clan name

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Marcus

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “warlike”; common in ancient Rome (for example, the emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius)

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Lazarus

Origin: Latinized, Greek variation of Hebrew “Eleazar”
Meaning: “God is my helper”; after several saints, and in the Bible, Jesus raised him from the dead

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Cyrus

Origin: Persian
Meaning: “sun”; after the ancient Persian king, Cyrus the Great, who conquered Babylon in the fifth century B.C. to found the Persian Empire

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Sabina

Origin: Latin; version of “Sabine”
Meaning: ancient Roman tribal name

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Valentina

Origin: Latin, feminine version of “Valentine”
Meaning: “strength, health”

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Cato

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “all-knowing”; after an ancient, wise Roman statesman named Cato the Elder

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Thor

Origin: Norse
Meaning: “thunder”; after the Norse god of thunder, strength, and rain (Thor’s hammer, anyone?)

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Severus

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “stern”; an ancient Roman emperor

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