The Roman Republic and subsequent Roman Empire encompass over a thousand years of history and glory that expanded out of what is now Italy. The people of this Republic and Empire laid the foundations of much of our modern political world, and it is from this culture that spread from Western Europe to the Near East that we have collected these last names.
What are Roman Last Names?
Roman name structures underwent several changes as the Republic and Empire expanded over the centuries. As more people came under Roman rule, their cultures, languages, and religions helped change how Romans used their names to identify themselves within their communities.
Roman citizens typically had first and last names. The first name would be a personal name and could be descriptions of characteristics parents hoped their child would have, themes about deities or veneration towards gods, or references to nature. Roman last names followed through the father’s line and were passed down through generations. Roman last names could describe where one’s family originated, what kind of work or position they held, or traits they hoped to pass down. Romans also sometimes had a ‘cognomen,’ a third name that could be what we would consider a nickname or title. On this page, you will find a comprehensive list of Roman family names.
Top 100 Roman Last Names
This list of common Roman last names contains some of the most popular and recognizable surnames. These family names were used over a thousand years ago in one of the greatest empires to have existed.
Strong Roman Last Names
It takes a great deal of strength to build a nation that expanded continents, and these last names embody the strength one needed to grow and control an empire.
Cool Roman Last Names
The Roman Republic and Empire were full of awe-inspiring people and events, and these cool last names invoke the coolness found in the hundreds of years of Roman history.
Cute Roman Last Names
Cute may not be the first word that comes to mind about the Roman Empire, but we’ve searched high and low for the cutest sounding and cutest meaning names the Romans had to offer.
Random Last Name Generator
Our last name generator will give you ideas for last names. Add your first name, and select a theme to find a surname.
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Last Names of Notable People from Ancient Rome
Gaius Julius Caesar was one of the Roman Republic’s most significant politicians and generals and was assassinated while in office. His last name, Caesar, could have several meanings. Some believe that Caesar was passed down from an ancestor who was born via cesarean section, while others believe the name was a Latin description for one who had grey eyes or thick hair. Others believe it was given to him after a Punic word for elephant after he killed one in battle.
Mark Antony, also known as Marcus Antonius, was a politician whose actions led the Roman Republic into a civil war, which in turn established the Roman Empire. His last name, Antonius, was a name passed down through his family. He claimed that his last name meant that he was descended from Anton, a son of Hercules.
Marcus Vispanius Agrippa was a politician and architect, and it was he who designed the original Pantheon. His father’s last name was Vipsanius, which Marcus didn’t use. Contemporary historians believed that his last name of Agrippa was a reference to him being born breeched, and possibly a reference to his experiences with physical ailments in his youth.
Caesar Augustus, also known as Octavian, reigned as the first Roman Emperor. His last name, Augustus, was adopted during his reign and was a title that meant ‘great’.
Cleopatra VII Philopator traveled to Rome as a client queen in 46 and 44 BC, where she stayed at Caesar’s villa. Cleopatra is one of Egypt’s most well-known rulers. Her last name, Philopater, meant ‘goddess who loves her father’, referencing the belief that Egyptian rulers descended from gods.