What Did They Call Egypt in Ancient Times?

Egypt is a land steeped in rich history and culture. It is a country that has fascinated people for centuries, with its pyramids, pharaohs, and unique way of life.

But what did they call Egypt in ancient times? Let’s explore the different names the ancient Egyptians used for their beloved homeland.

Ancient Egyptian Names for Egypt

The ancient Egyptians had several names for their country, which reflected different aspects of its geography and culture. Here are some of the most common ones:


Kemet was one of the oldest names for Egypt and was used during the early dynastic period (c. 3150-2686 BCE). The word Kemet means “black land” in reference to the dark soil surrounding the Nile River, which was ideal for farming.


Desheret was another name given to Egypt by its inhabitants. It means “red land” and refers to the desert regions on either side of the Nile River.


Ta-Merry or “beloved land” was a name given to Egypt during the New Kingdom period (c. 1550-1070 BCE). It reflects how deeply Egyptians felt about their country and its importance to their identity.

The Greek Name for Egypt

The ancient Greeks also had a name for Egypt: Aigyptos. This name is believed to have originated from “Hikaptah,” which was one of the names given to Memphis, an ancient city in Lower Egypt.

The Roman Name for Egypt

When Rome conquered Egypt in 30 BCE, they Latinized its name to Aegyptus. This name has been used ever since by Western civilizations.


In conclusion, Egypt has had many names throughout its long history. The ancient Egyptians called it Kemet, Desheret, and Ta-Merry, while the Greeks called it Aigyptos, and the Romans called it Aegyptus.

Each name reflects a different aspect of Egypt’s geography and culture. Today, we continue to use the name Egypt, but its rich history and legacy are still alive in its many other names.