One of the boldest empires in world history, with a legacy that lingers with us today across the world, the Romans established many of the most famous cities on earth. From the Middle East to the westernmost point of Europe Roman settlements dot the landscape. For example, in the UK any city name that ends in “-chester” was originally settled by Rome (e.g. Manchester, Gloucester, Chesterfield).
Good Roman City Names
A good Roman city name is bold, combining the easiness off the tongue of the romance languages with the stern logical solidity of Latin. Sounding both ancient and yet somehow futuristic, Roman names have been the inspiration for many of the coolest and most grand cities in fiction.
The fresh Mediterranean sea passes through the Tyrrenhian to the gulf of Salerno where it provides sustenance for the new encampment that has sprung up along the jagged coastline. Although not too far from Rome, approximately the shoelaces on the Italian boot, Salernum reminds us that even one’s home provinces were once colonies.
- Aquae Sulis
Caught between the valley of the Cetina river, Aequum stood out above the Dalmatian hinterland. All hustle and bustle, every deal with the Romans had to be done within the orthogonally laid-out complex guarded, as ever, by the most fearsome soldiers in Europe.
Gauls, in Italy? Pushed out of France over the Alps and into the Italian peninsula, such an affront to the natural borders of Rome cannot be allowed to go unpunished. The territory they chose, however, did catch the eye. And so, Roman Modoetia was founded, upon the bloodshed of its neighbors, as usual.
- Augusta Taurinorum
- Deva Victrix
- Aurelia Aquensis
- Portus Victoriae Iuliobrigensium
The cool summer air draped over Develtos like a thin cloth robe. The former Thracian city was thriving under Roman rule, trade and investment had expanded it beyond its old owners ever could.
- Urbs Aurelianorum
- Praetorium Agrippinae
- Lindum Colonia
- Faventia Paterna Barcino
- Portus Lemanis
- Lutetia Parisiorum
- Aquae Mattiacorum
The most important location in Roman Switzerland, Aventicum’s golden age was unlike anything central-northern Europe had ever seen.
- Valentia Edetanorum
- Nicopolis ad Istrum
- Colonia Narbo Martius
The site of a bloody battle between two rival Roman emperors, Constantine and Lucinius, Cibalae was not used to such death and destruction. Its pleasant continental climate became unlivably humid once the smell of the 20,000 corpses hit the residents who lived nearest the fighting.
- Castra Regina
- Cannstatt Castrum
Some of the most brutal colonial suppression the Romans had to dish out took place in modern day Wales. The fort of Moridunum, in what is now Carmarthern, had to be defended with the best weapons and the best soldiers to deal with the angry local celts waiting for any opportunity to end Roman rule in Britannia.
- Villa Euracini
- Regium Lepidi
- Colonia Patricia Corduba
- Ulpia Noviomagus Batavorum
- Aelia Capitolina
The Romans were known for their fearsome battles, orderly and precise architecture and extravagant civil society. However, to the majority of those they colonized they must have been known for their dedication to hot spring bathing. Aqua Calidae, Latin for “hot water”, was a public bathing house that grew so large as to become a whole settlement.
I hope you have enjoyed this walk through antiquity and have gained the confidence you need to choose a Roman city name to use in your own creative writing project. Whether it is inspiration for an area in which to set your historical romance, or an innovative and daring campaign for your new roleplaying game system, let us know in the comments below how you have used our names.