What Was Rome Called in Ancient Times?

Rome, the capital city of Italy, has a rich and fascinating history that spans more than two and a half thousand years. It is one of the most iconic cities in the world, known for its stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and vibrant culture.

But what was Rome called in ancient times? Let’s take a closer look.

Origins of Rome

According to legend, Rome was founded in 753 BC by twin brothers Romulus and Remus. The story goes that they were raised by a she-wolf and grew up to become leaders of their own people. Romulus ultimately killed Remus in a dispute over the new city they were building, and named it after himself – Roma.

The Latin Name for Rome

The Latin language was the primary language spoken in ancient Rome. Romans referred to their city as Roma, which is still its name today.

However, the full Latin name for the city was “Roma Aeterna”, which means “Eternal City”. This name reflected the belief that Rome would last forever.

Other Names for Rome

Over time, Rome came to be known by other names as well. In ancient times, it was sometimes called “Caput Mundi”, which means “Capital of the World”. This name reflected Rome’s status as the center of the Roman Empire and one of the most powerful cities in the world.

Another name for Rome was “Urbs Sacra”, which means “Sacred City”. This name referred to the many religious sites located within the city, including temples to Roman gods such as Jupiter and Venus.

Rome’s Importance Today

Although ancient Rome no longer exists, its legacy lives on today. The city remains an important cultural center and attracts millions of visitors each year who come to see its historic landmarks such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Roman Forum.

In addition, Rome continues to be an important center for religion. It is the home of the Catholic Church and the Vatican City, which is the smallest independent state in the world.


In conclusion, Rome has had many names throughout its long and storied history. From its humble beginnings as Roma founded by Romulus to its status as Caput Mundi or Urbs Sacra, it has remained an important city for thousands of years. Today, Rome remains a vibrant and culturally rich city that attracts visitors from all over the world.