I am hoping to visit Roccamonfina and have been trying to figure out precisely what this name means---but without success. (Perhaps fina is a person's name, and does not mean "fine.")

Can someone tell me the literal meaning of "Roccamonfina"?

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


Name Roccamonfina comes from Latin: Roccae Monfinum which means "rocca della mia Fina", Fina was how it was used to refer to mountain Santa Croce: Monte Fino

Back in time, roman emperor Decio followed his lover Fina there so he built a fortress, a rocca: Rocca della Mia Fina": Roccae Monfinum in Latin, the fortress of my Fina.

Una famosa leggenda vuole Roccamonfina fondata dall’imperatore romano Decio, rifugiatosi in queste terre per inseguire la sua amata Fina, in onore della quale avrebbe fatto costruire, nel 250 d. C. una Rocca, cioè la “Rocca della Mia Fina” . La coincidenza di date fra leggenda e tradizione, il conforto di studi storici,archeologici e numismatici avvalorano l’ipotesi che Roccamonfina sia nata intorno al III sec. D. C. per una naturale fusione di genti autoctone di origine aurunca con altre di origine romane, fuggite per sottrarsi alle persecuzioni contro i cristiani.


Origin of Rocca Monfina

Rocca Monfina was founded by 10 Roman families which moved away from the dangerous life in Rome to these mountains, together with the brother of the emperor Filippo Arabo called Teles, and his daughter called Fina looking for a safer place to live.

Source: La sede degli Aurunci popoli antichissimi dell'Italia.- Girolamo Perrotta 1737 - Chapter: Della Fondazione di Roca Monfina - Page 91

Then Decius (whose real name was: Gaius Messius Quintus Traianus) Decio revolted against Philip the Arab and ruled from 249 to June 251 (c. 1 year and 9 months).


Decio looked for her beloved Fina until he found her in that land.

In her honor, he wanted to build a castle, a rocca, named Di Fina, o de Monte di Fina.

Source: La sede degli Aurunci popoli antichissimi dell'Italia.- Girolamo Perrotta 1737 - Chapter: Della Fondazione di Roca Monfina - Page 91

la solita usurpazione dell'Imperio di que'tempi fatta da Decio: l'aver cercata indi il medesimo Decio quella gente, tra la quale era la sua sospirata Fina: e l'averla finalmente qui ritrovata, ove a memoria di quella volle, che una Rocca sopranomata di Fina, o de Monte di Fina, vi fosse edificata.

enter image description here


Veritas temporis filia

  • 4
    Did the Roman emperor speak Italian? In other words, even if supported by Wikipedia, this seems a folk etymology.
    – egreg
    Commented Jan 31 at 20:46
  • 3
    I was obviously referring to “rocca della mia Fina”, of which I doubt quite a lot.
    – egreg
    Commented Feb 1 at 21:37
  • 2
    Can you add some (reliable) source, please?
    – DaG
    Commented Feb 2 at 16:19
  • 1
    This is meaningless. Decius was emperor for just a couple of years; I doubt that among fighting the Goths, persecuting Christians, quarrelling with the Senate and building baths in Rome, he would have found time to dedicate a fortress to a lover. But the main thing is that rocca or roccae isn't a Latin word. “Rocca della mia Fina”, if anything, would be something like “oppidum meae Finae”. So, do we have an actual source?
    – DaG
    Commented Feb 2 at 22:42
  • 1
    Ok, let me be constructive rather than just criticize. While, if Teles and Fina where real historical persons, they would appear in modern history books, you've however made an interesting discovery, that is, that this legend about a woman beloved by Decius dates at least to the 18th century. It would be interesting to understand if it is even older than that.
    – DaG
    Commented Feb 9 at 18:08

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