Possibly from the Greek word “ίουλος”, pronounced “ioulos”, meaning the first beard of adolescent boys.
It is related to Jupiter, Roman god of the sky, king of the gods in ancient Roman religion.
Julius was also the name of a prominent Roman family.
Most famed member of the family was Gaius Julius Caesar, who became a dictator and was stabbed to death by Brutus.
It was not often used until the Renaissance period, after which it was imported to England as well.
Famous bearers are Julius W. Erving, Julius Peppers, Julius Tennon, Julius Harris, Julius J. Epstein, Julius Evola.
Julius W. Erving, retired American basketball player, known as Dr. J among basketball fans, is acknowledged as one of the best dunkers of the NBA.
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”.