Thursday, September 24, 2015

Throwback Thursday #5: Ancient Rome

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!

With names like Kingston, Duke, and Royal getting popular, why not look to the past for some imperial names? They can connote power, prestige and timelessness when used correctly.

What contenders can we find in the archives of Ancient Rome?

Male Names

Augustus - "great, venerable"
This name is already climbing up the charts, currently weighing in at #544. Originally a title given to emperor Octavian (another cool moniker), it was quickly taken as a name. Anyone looking to make August less fusty and keep the cute nickname Auggie should check it out. But it will definitely take a lot of confidence to pull Augustus off!

Hadrian - "dark one"
With an edgy, mysterious meaning and a sound similar to darlings Hayden or Adrian, why not consider Hadrian? The original namesake was one of the "five good emperors" of Ancient Rome, and credited with rebuilding the Pantheon and building, of course, Hadrian's Wall. While the name might get confused with Adrian, it assuredly has a personality all its own!

Florian - "flowery"
On the girl's side, Flora and Florence are gaining popularity, but why should they have all the fun? This name is perfect for any nature boy, and probably won't be in the top 1000 for awhile (it last made an appearance in 1941). Florian was an emperor, but was also the name of the patron saint of firefighters - a cool way to honor any in the family.

Maximian - "greatest"
If you want to keep the nickname Max but don't love Maxwell or Maximilian, this name is for you! Emperor Maximian was a military leader and co-emperor of the political Diocletian. This name is unusual enough to not have ever made an appearance in the top 1000, but not so unusual to halt pronunciation or comprehension. One odd note: the "simian" sound at the end is the name of the order of primates that humans belong to.

Jovian - from the Roman God Jove, or Jupiter
This name could honor an astronomy aficionado or a fan of ancient religions. Emperor Jovian only ruled for eight months, but this name could work from babyhood to old age. The "jovial" sound is upbeat and friendly, and the nickname Jove is too cute.

Female Names

Livia - "envious"
Only one letter off from top ten contender Olivia, but more than complete on its own. The nickname Liv is elegant and mature (think Liv Tyler), and the -via ending is vivacious. The original Livia was the wife of Augustus and the mother of the ensuing political line - she was even deified in AD 14!

Aelia - from the Greek for "sun"
While Aelia and Aelius became family names for the imperial line, Aelia isn't so bad by itself. The recent popularity with Aaliyah and Lilia will help it with recognition, but the name is totally unique. The trendy "ae" beginning adds class, and the name will be perfect for any sunny little girl.

Decima - "tenth"
It goes without saying that Decima doesn't have to be saved for a tenth daughter - any personal connection with the number ten will add meaning, but the name is independently beautiful. Nickname Deci or Dezi will tone down the femininity to make it more friendly. The connotations of elegance and grace seem to go right along with this name.

Quintina - "fifth"
Another number name, but the whole name makes up for the simple meaning. Quintina is perfect for those who like Quinn but want something softer, those who like the cool Q initial, or those who want to honor a Quentin. This name is both cool and pretty - it will fit any personality well!

Hilaria - "cheerful"
While Hilary is currently in the spotlight, Hilaria makes it more foreign and feminine. The nickname Ria is super cute, and the name could honor a relative while keeping its own style. The hilaria in Ancient Rome referred to festivals honoring the goddess Cybele - another positive and exciting connotation for this name.

While researching, I cam across this similar post by Linda Rosencrantz at Nameberry - check it out!

Did I miss any great names that came out of Ancient Rome? Tell me in the comments!

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