Of Roman origin.
English form of the name Antonius, from the Etruscan language.
It was the family name of a known Roman family.
General Marcus Antonius, the most notable member of this family, ruled the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC.
He was the protagonist of Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra” tragedy.
The use of Anthony as a Christian name derives from St. Anthony the Great. He was the founder of Christian monasticism.
Spelling the name with an “h” started in the 16th century and it’s due to the claim of the origin of the name from the Greek word “anthos”, that means flower.
The name has many forms depending on the country: Antoine in French, Antonio in Italian and Spanish, Anton in Russia, Romania and Scandinavia, Antal in Hungary etc.
Famous bearers are Anthony Kiedis, Tony Curtis, Anthony Hopkins, Tony Bennett, Tony Allen, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Perkins, Tony Parker, Tony Blair, Anthony Bourdain.
Anthony is a popular name in United States, Canada, Australia, Greece, Italy.
Additional information concerning the Ancient Roman naming system:
According to the Roman naming rules, the basic elements of Roman names were three. A “praenomen”, a “nomen”, and a “cognomen”.
A “praenomen” was the first name, indicating the personal name.
A “nomen” was the second name, indicating the ‘gens’ to which the bearer of the name belonged to. Gens, meaning the group of families sharing a common “nomen”.
“Nomen” would stand as the group of loosely connected families claiming common ancestors. “Nomen” were always patrilinear, meaning from the father.
A “cognomen” was the third name and was something like the surname. Cognomina (plural of cognomen) were usually inherited. They were rarely given to the bearer by general consensus by the prominent members of the community.
There were several types of “cognomina”, such as geographical, adoptive, occupational, etc. In very rare cases the “cognomina” could be metronymic, meaning from the mother’s “nomen