Sunday, July 22, 2012



PUBLIUS AELIUS HADRIANUS AUGUSTUS — how does that sound as a modern baby's name? Hadrian for short.

According to Pamela Redmond Satran, co-creator of Nameberry, a leading baby name site, Ancient Roman names are being rediscovered in a major way.

In an article for Huffington Post Satran writes, "Rarely does a whole class of names from a place or historical period undergo this widespread a revival, but several forces are at work that are making us take a fresh look at ancient Roman names."

Below are 10 baby names (5 girl names and 5 boy names) from Roman times that are growing in popularity with Nameberry's descriptions and predictions.

ANTONIA: Antonia is a lovely if sleepy feminine form of Antonius aka Antony and Anthony. Its recent fall from the Top 1,000 might be the best possible reason to use it.

AUGUSTUS: All Augustus-related names have recently been rediscovered, from August to Augustine to Augustus itself, which means "great" and was given to the first Roman emperor.

AURELIA: Aurelia, the name of the mother of Julius Caesar and a common choice in Ancient Rome, means gold. Attractive Aurelia relatives include Aurora, Oriana, and Aurelius.

CASSIUS: Cassius, until recently best-known in the modern world as the birth name of boxer Muhammad Ali, is due for new appreciation in all its forms, which include Cassian and the feminine Cassia. Singer Bobby Brown named his son Cassius, which was also the appellation of American abolitionist Cassius Clay.

FELIX: Happy, fortunate Felix — the name was originally adopted by the Roman Sulla who believed he was blessed by the Gods — is a new style favorite. Felix was also the name of four popes and dozens of saints.

LIVIA: While Olivia sits squarely in the middle of the Top Ten, Livia is a lesser-known and completely independent ancient name that feels sleek and modern.

OCTAVIA: Octavia relates to the number eight and is the feminine form of Octavian, the original name of the first Roman emperor, called Augustus.

ROMULUS: The mythical Romulus, twin brother of Remus, was one of the founders of Rome. His name inspired such modern derivatives as Romilly, Roman, and Romy, but there's no reason you can't use the original Romulus.

RUFUS: Rufus, which means "red-haired," has been given some serious contemporary cool by singer Rufus Wainwright. A figure in both the New Testament and Gossip Girl, Rufus is also the name of several saints.

VITA: The life-affirming Vita, pronounced vee-ta, is best known now as the name of Virginia Woolf confederate Vita Sackville-West.

If you want to see the rest of the names Nameberry predicts will be all the rage this year click on over to the HuffPo article.

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