The main purpose of a surname is to distinguish a family from another.
The history of family names dates back to the 13th century when more than one-third of the male population were John or Richard or William. The need for last names arose to distinguish one John from the other.
Surnames can be derived from location or occupation or ancestral names. Whatever the origin be, the last names are passed on for generations together.
Did Romans have last names? Yes, Romans had last names. The Romans name system is very unique with a first name, family name and an additional name. The last names were most common among the Romans of lower ranks who had double surnames. The distinctive feature of the Roman naming convention is that they use both individual names and common last names. Read on to discover Roman last names and their meanings.
Popular Roman Last Names
What were the common Roman names? The most popular Roman names were Appius, Aulus, Caeso, Decimus, Gaius, Gnaeus, Lucius, Mamercus, Manius, Marcus, Numerius, Publius, Quintus, Servius, Sextus, Spurius, Titus, and Tiberius. These names are rooted in heritage and history. Take a look at some more:
1. Afra This name, very much in contemporary use was first used as a nickname.
2. Amabilia In Latin, this name refers to someone lovable.
3. Amadeus Another name after God. Amadeus is a late Roman name, which means "Love of God".
4. Amanda This name dates back to the 17th century. It means "lovable, worthy of love."
5. Amata Means "loving" in Latin.
6. Anatolia Refers to a large peninsula that encompasses Turkey.
7. Angela Means "angel" and is used as a personal name too.
8. Barbara Refers to the patron of architects, geologists, stonemasons, and artillerymen.
9. Beatrix This surname means "traveler or explorer".
10. Benedictus This name means "blessed".
11. Candida This is a Latin name derived from candidus, meaning frank.
12. Carina This last name is derived from the word care and has the meaning "beloved".
13. Christiana A very common surname from the word Christian.
14. Clara This name means "clear, bright, and famous".
15. Delphina This is a surname derived from Delphinus which is taken from Delphi, a city in the ancient Roman empire.
16. Delphi It is derived from Delphos, meaning "womb."
17. Florentina/Florence This Roman name means "flourishing".
18. Vesta This name in Roman mythology refers to the Roman God of the hearth.
19. Salacia This name in Roman mythology refers to the Goddess of saltwater.
20. Maia The name in Roman mythology refers to the Roman Goddess of Spring.
21. Juventus This famous name refers to the Roman Goddess of youth.
Roman Traditional Last Names
The meanings associated with the ancient Roman names take us back in time. These traditional names remind us of that.
22. Aeneas This is a very famous Roman name - the Latin form of the Greek name Aineias. He is the protagonist of ‘Aeneid,’ who travels to Italy and finds the Roman state.
23. Consus Very close to the Roman culture, Consus is the name of the Roman God of grain and harvest.
24. Aries It is a Zodiac sign and a very popular Roman name.
25. Romulus This name is very special to every Roman as this is the name of Romulus - one of the founders of the city.
26. Amulius According to Roman mythology, Amulius overthrew his brother Numitor.
27. Saturn This very famous Roman name is derived from Saturn - the God of agriculture.
28. Remus Another Roman name derived from Remus - one of the founders of Rome's city.
29. Quirinus Another Roman name which directly related to a Roman God - Quirinius.
30. Pollux Having its roots in Roman mythology, Pollux is the Greek form of Polydeukes, meaning "sweet".
31. Pluto Also the name of a planet - this is the Latin variation of the Greek name Plutos, meaning "wealth."
32. Numitor The name Numitor was the king of Alba Longa and the father of Rhea Silvia.
33. Janus Janus was the Roman God of beginnings.
34. Vulcan Again a name of a Roman god, Vulcan was the God of fire.
35. Tatius As per Roman mythology, Titus Tatis was a king of the Sabines.
36. Summanus Summanus is a Roman name that means "before the morning".
37. Silvius Silvius is the name of an early Roman saint martyred in Alexandria. Silvius means "wood".
38. Silvanus Silvanus was the Roman God of forests.
39. Neptune Neptune was the God of the sea in Roman mythology.
40. Italus Italus was the father of Remus and Romulus, the founders of Rome. He is also credited to have named Italy.
41. Evander Evander comes from Evandrus, which means "good man". In Roman. Evander was the founder of the city of Palladium.
Roman Unique Last Names
Roman names are aplenty. Many were in general use and some have even come down to the present day. Some of the good Roman names are Cicero, Domiti, Felix and Hadriana. Roman names are trendy around the world. Ancient Roman characters strike a chord with the people worldwide who consider Rome a place of rich history and culture. Rome is equally famous as the Roman surnames, especially those of gods and emperors.
42. Ahenobarbus This was originally a nickname literally meaning "bronze beard" and later became a family name.
43. Albina This name is a very prevalent Roman name and belonged to Saint Albina, who was a third-century martyr from Caesarea.
44. Albus Meaning "white, bright" in Latin.
45. Antonia A famous surname.
46. Augustus Augustus was the title given to Octavian, the first Roman emperor. It is originated from the Latin word Augere which means "to increase".
47. Brutus It is the last name of the Statesman who made plans to murder Caesar.
48. Byzantine It is the name of an empire that ruled Rome in the middle ages.
49. Caesar A very popular last name of Julius Caesar the famous Roman Statesman.
50. Carbo It is an occupational last name and refers to someone who sells or extracts coal.
51. Cassia This is the last name of a famous character in Mythology.
52. Cicero The great Cicero, much revered in Roman culture, was a statesman, orator, and author of the first century BC.
53. Claudian It is the name of a popular Roman dynasty and later became a family name.
54. Colambanus It is the last name of a famous Roman saint.
55. Decimus A family name meaning "tenth".
56. Deusdedit A unique last name meaning "God's Gift".
57. Domitia This is a Roman family name, which means "having been tamed".
58. Drusus An ancient name meaning "strong".
59. Fabius Another ancient name.
60. Felice It is a beautiful last name that means "happy" or "merry".
61. Felix This is a trendy surname name among Romans. This means "lucky" in Latin.
62. Frugi It is a last name of Latin origin. It means " a bowl of fruits".
63. Fulgencio Meaning 'white, bright' in Latin.
64. Gabinus A popular last name and is the last name of a Saint.
65. Hadriana A very ancient Roman name after the ancient city of Hadria.
66. Hortensia This one is the feminine form of the Roman family name Hortensius.
67. Julius Julius is a very famous Roman family name.
68. Marcellus This is a very ancient Roman family name.
69. Mariana Feminine form of Marianus. It is derived from the name of Saint Maria.
70. Maximus Roman family name, which means "greatest".
71. Metellus It is a very old last name and is the family name of a famous Roman politician.
72. Muzaka It is the surname of a noble family that ruled the central Rome in the middle ages.
73. Octavia This again is a Roman family name, which means "eighth".
74. Pulcher This surname has the meaning "beautiful" and is of Latin origin.
75. Scipiones It is the last name of a prominent family of the Roman Republic.
76. Severan Like Claudian it was the name of a dynasty.
77. Titan It means "a powerful man".
78. Titus A Roman given name. Derived from the mythological figure Titus Andronicus.
79. Valentius A beautiful family name of Roman origin.
80. Valor This is the name of Roman saint and martyr and is used as a last name.
81. Vita Roman surname which is the Latin word meaning "life".
Common Roman Last Names
Roman last names are also prevalent in families. Family names extend to generations and there are many ancient surnames in Rome today with Latin origins. The Roman last name also has a rich legacy reflecting the Roman Republic.
82. Acisculus This very popular last name or surname means "a little adze."
83. Antias This Roman surname means "from Antium," which is a coastal Italian city that is known as Anzio in the present day.
84. Cato This Roman last name or surname means "skillful or prudent".
85. Catullus This is the name of the great 1st century BCE Roman poet.
86. Corvinus This surname, derived from "Corvus," belonged to the son of Marcus Valerius who fought the battle against the giant Gaul.
87. Falto This surname means falcon and is generally used to refer a person who walked with his toes turned inwards. In other words, it means "pigeon-toed."
88. Fava It is an occupational surname for a grower of broad beans.
89. Flaccus This family name means a defect in the ears' physical appearance, "flap-eared,"; which broadly translates to having broad ears that stick out. This surname is a very common one.
90. Manius Means "morning".
91. Marinelli It has its origin from Latin and is derived from a place called Marino in Rome.
92. Maxim An ancient family name meaning "greatest".
93. Orca This refers to a type of large-bellied sea vessel.
94. Paulus A very common surname in Rome.
95. Poplicola A very unique Roman surname - this one is a combination of two surnames the Latin words populus ("the people") and colo ("to cultivate; tend; take care of").
96. Rufus This is another popular surname which means "red-haired; hair of a reddish color."
97. Seneca One of the modern last names meaning "old".
98. Sextus A rare surname but is used as a personal name for the sixth child.
99. Triarius This is a surname which is derived and given to Roman soldiers of a particular rank in the battle frontline.
100. Martinus A surname that has its origin from Latin.
Kidadl has lots of great names articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for Roman Last Names then why not take a look at Native American Last Names, or for something different take a look at The Top Mc Names.
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