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PronouncedPron.SEEL-vya Italian
SEEL-bya Spanish
SIL-vee-ə English
ZIL-vya German

Meaning & History

Feminine form of SILVIUS. Rhea Silvia was the mother of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. This was also the name of a 6th-century saint, the mother of the pope Gregory the Great. It has been a common name in Italy since the Middle Ages. It was introduced to England by Shakespeare, who used it for a character in his play 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona' (1594). It is now more commonly spelled Sylvia in the English-speaking world.
VariantsSílvia Portuguese Sylvia English Sylvia German
Masculine FormsSilvio Italian Silvio Spanish Silvio Portuguese Silviu Romanian Silvius Late Roman Silvius Roman Mythology
Other Languages & CulturesSilviya, Silva Bulgarian Sílvia Catalan Silvija Croatian Silvie Czech Sylvia Danish Sylvia, Sylvi Finnish Sylvie French Szilvia Hungarian Silvija Latvian Silvija Lithuanian Silvija Macedonian Sylvia, Sølvi, Sylvi Norwegian Sylwia Polish Silvija Serbian Silvija, Silva Slovene Sylvia, Sylvi Swedish
Same SpellingSílvia
User SubmissionSilvía


Mars and Rhea Silvia by Peter Paul Rubens (1617)Mars and Rhea Silvia by Peter Paul Rubens (1617)


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Entry updated July 2, 2017   Contribute