List of Latin names of cities

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Users of Neo-Latin have taken the Latin language to places the Romans, and consequently, their language, never spread to, and consequently, have created a need to construct Latin city names in these places.

Strategies for constructing Latin names[edit]

Little is known about how Romans adapted foreign place names to Latin form, but there is evidence of the practices of Bible translators. They reworked some names into Latin or Greek shapes; in one version, Yerushalem (tentative reconstruction of a more ancient Hebrew version of the name) becomes Hierosolyma, doubtless influenced by Greek ἱερος (hieros), "holy". Others were adopted directly, often treating the new place names as indeclinable nouns; here Yerushalem is brought over as Jerusalem, with the Latin J being pronounced as an English Y sound and the /sh/ being transliterated to the closest Latin sound, /s/.

Similar strategies are used for places beyond those known to the Roman Empire:

  • A classical ending such as -um or -a is added or substituted on the end of the source word. Hence Baltimorum for "Baltimore," Albania for "Albany."
  • The word may already be in Latin or Greek form: Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Atlanta.
  • Calques are resorted to if the New World name is based on an Old World name; the various Parises in the United States are likely to become Lutetia, and Novum Eboracum or Neo-Eboracum represents New York, because Eboracum is the city of York in England.
  • The words are adjusted to fit Latin declensions: Kansas appears as either Cansas, Cansatis or Cansa, Cansae; Chicago, Ohio, and Idaho become consonant stems, with genitives Chicagonis, Ohionis, Idahonis, &c., by analogy with many Latin nouns whose nominative form ends in o.
  • The words are re-interpreted to fit Latin declensions; Illinois is treated as a third-declension noun.
  • If the city is named for a specific thing, and especially if its name is a Romance language word or phrase, it may be directly translated into Latin. For example, the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles is called Diocesis Angelorum in Latin, "Diocese of (the) angels".
  • On the other hand, in some dioceses the church chose to simply apply a Latin locational suffix to the existing name; the diocese of Des Moines, Iowa is simply Dioecesis Desmoinensis.
  • The words are treated as indeclinable, like some Biblical names; Connecticut is sometimes treated this way.

In many cases, there is no consensus as to how to treat any given names, and variants exist. A town which is the site of a university or an episcopal see is more likely to have a standard form hallowed by usage. Note that names of cities are usually feminine in gender in Latin, even if they end in –us. This rule is not always strictly observed in the New World.

Note on word endings[edit]

Latin being an inflected language, names in a Latin context may have different word-endings to those shown here, which are given in the nominative case. For instance Roma (Rome) may appear as Romae meaning "at Rome" (locative), "of Rome" (genitive) or "to/for Rome" (dative), as Romam meaning "Rome" as a direct object (accusative), or indeed as Romā with a long a, probably not indicated in the orthography, meaning "by, with or from Rome" (ablative). Similarly names ending in -um or -us may occur with -i or -o, and names ending in -us may occur with -um. The words urbs and civitas may occur as urbis, urbi, or urbe, and civitatis, civitati or civitate.

List of names[edit]

Latin Name English Name, [other name(s)], [older name(s)], [province], [state]
Aarhusium Århus, Denmark
Aemona Ljubljana, Slovenia
Alexandria (Aegyptus) (1) Alexandria (Al-Iskandriyah), Egypt
Alexandria (Columbia Britannica) Alexandria, British Columbia
Alexandria (Ontario) Alexandria, Ontario
Alexandria (Virginia) Alexandria, Virginia
Algeris Algiers, Algeria
Antunnacum Andernach, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Aquae Sextiae Aix-en-Provence, France
Arae Flaviae Rottweil, Germany
Arbela, Arbila Erbil, Iraq
Ascalon Ashkelon, Israel
Athenae Athens, Greece
Atlanta Atlanta, Georgia
Augusta Augusta, Maine
Augusta Treverorum Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Augusta Vindelicorum Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany
Austinopolis Austin, Texas
Baltimorum, Baltimori Baltimore, Maryland
Berytus Beirut, Lebanon
Bona Aera Buenos Aires, Argentina
Bostonia Boston, Massachusetts
Botrus Batroun, Lebanon
Byblos Byblos, Lebanon
Camulodunum Colchester, England
Cansae, Civitas Kansas City
Carnium Kranj, Slovenia
Carolopolis Charleston, South Carolina
Carolinapolis Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Cantabrigia Cambridge, England; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Cambridge, Ontario
Celeia Celje, Slovenia
Civitas Cincinattas Cincinnati, Ohio
Civitas Alphabetica Alphabet City, Manhattan, New York
Civitas California California City, California
Civitas Florida Florida City, Florida
Civitas Oklahoma Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Civitas Panama Panama City, Florida
Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium Cologne (Köln), North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Columbus Columbus, North Carolina
Constantia Constance (Konstanz), Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Corcagia, Hibernia Cork, Ireland
Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, Texas
Cultellus Flavus Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
Dallasium Dallas, Texas
Damascus Damascus (Dimashq), Syria
Dublinum/ Eblana, Hibernia (2) Dublin, Ireland
Eboracum York, England
Edessa Sanli Urfa
Equus Albus Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
Florentia Florence, Italy
Flumen Januarii Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Francofurti ad Viadrum Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany
Fredericopolis Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Georgiopolis Georgetown, Guyana
Gevalia Gävle (Gefle), Sweden
Hafnia Copenhagen, Denmark
Halifacium Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Heliopolis Baalbeck, Lebanon
Hippo Regius Bone, Algeria
Hierosolyma (3) Jerusalem, Israel/Palestinian territories
Hongcongum Hong Kong
Hustonia Houston, Texas
Indianapolis (7) Indianapolis, Indiana
Iuliacum Juliers (Jülich), North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Jericho (3) Jericho, West Bank (Palestinian territories)
Jonesopolis Jonestown, Guyana
Leptis Magna, Lepcis Magna near Tripoli, Libya
Londinium, Africa Australis London, South Africa
Londinium, Britannia (6) London, United Kingdom
Londinium (Ontario) London, Ontario
Ludovicopolis Louisville, Kentucky
Lutetia Parisiorum Paris, France
Marathon (Ontario) Marathon, Ontario
Massalia Marseille, France
Medaba Mecca (Makkah), Saudi Arabia
Medina, Arabia Medina, Saudi Arabia
Medina, Nova Eburaca Medina, New York
Mediolanum Milan, Italy
Melburnium, Victoria (Regna) Melbourne, Australia
Mons Regius, Marianopolis, Villa Maria Montreal, Quebec
Minneapolis (1) Minneapolis, Minnesota
Neapolis Naples, Italy
Nova Aurelia, Novum Aurelium New Orleans, Louisiana
Nova Helvetia Nueva Helvecia (New Switzerland), Uruguay
Novum Baltimorum New Baltimore, Michigan
Nova Bedfordia New Bedford, Massachusetts
Novum Hamburgium New Hamburg, Ontario
Urbs Novum Eboracum New York City, New York
Novum Glasgovium New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada
Novum Londinium* New London, Connecticut
Novus Portus New Haven, Connecticut
Olympia (Vasingtonia) Olympia, Washington
Oxonia Oxford, England
Pechinum Beijing, China
Philadelphia (1) Amman, Jordan; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Phoenix (1), Arizona Phoenix, Arizona
Praetoria? Pretoria, South Africa
Providenia? Provideniya, Russia, west of Alaska
Providentia Providence, Rhode Island
Urbs Quebecis Quebec City, Quebec
Urbs Reginae Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Rubricobacilensis, Ludoviciana Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Regiopolis Kingston, Jamaica; Kingston, Ontario
Sancti Iacobi Santiago
Sancti Spiriti Sancti Spiriti, Argentina
Sanctus Johannes Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada; San Juan, Puerto Rico
Sanctus Johannes Terrae Novae St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Sanctus Paulus São Paulo, Brazil, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Sarnia Sarnia, Ontario
Sciamhaevum Shanghai, China
Sicagum Chicago, Illinois
Sidon (1) Sidon, Lebanon
Sinus Tonitralis Thunder Bay, Ontario
Tempe (Arizona) Tempe, Arizona
Tiberias Tiberias (Teverya), Israel
Tingis Tangier, Morocco
Torontinum, Torontinus Toronto, Ontario
Tripolis (1) Tripoli, Lebanon; Tripoli, Libya
Tunis Tunis, Tunisia
Turicum Zürich, Switzerland
Tyrus Tyre, Lebanon
Vasingtonium, Dioecesis Columbiae Washington, DC
Victoria (Regna), Columbia Britannica Victoria, British Columbia
Vigornia Worcester, England; Worcester, Massachusetts
  1. Latinized form of a Greek name. Naples/Neapolis is a rare exception to the rule of Latinization of foreign city names owing to the fact that it was established by the Greeks and predates Rome by many centuries. There was no need to change it as the name was too deeply entrenched.
  2. Claudius Ptolemy mentions "Eblana" in his texts and scholars believe this is a name for Dublin. The Latinized name is more common in medieval texts.
  3. Latinized form of a Hebrew name.
  4. London was founded directly by the Romans as a fort, approximately where Westminster stands today. Classical texts written by Tacitus generally label this area of the frontier as "Britannia" with others later differentiating "Caledonia" or "Scotia" for Scotland. England didn't quite exist as a concept yet as the entire island was largely inhabited by Celts; the Angles were centuries away.
  5. Latinized form of a name derived from Amerindian languages.
  6. Cincinattus was a real man in Roman history who died in 430 BC. The city in Ohio is named after him.
  7. polis is a Greek suffix; it is adopted into Latin as a third declension noun with stem polit–.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]