What Was Ireland Called in Ancient Times?

Ireland, the Emerald Isle, is a beautiful country steeped in history and mythology. But what was Ireland called in ancient times? Let’s take a journey back in time and explore the names that were used to refer to this magical land.

Ancient Names of Ireland


One of the earliest recorded names for Ireland is “Ériu.” This name comes from the goddess Ériu, who was said to be the queen of the land. The name Ériu means “abundant land,” which is a fitting description for Ireland’s lush greenery.


Another name for Ireland was “Banba.” Banba was also a goddess who was believed to have been one of the first settlers in Ireland. The name Banba means “unplowed land,” which again describes Ireland’s natural beauty.


Fódla was another goddess who was said to have ruled over Ireland. The name Fódla means “sod or turf,” which represents the fertile soil found throughout Ireland.


The Romans referred to Ireland as “Hibernia.” The origin of this name is not clear, but it is believed to have come from the Greek word “hibernos,” meaning winter or cold. This may refer to how cold and harsh the winters can be in Ireland.


In conclusion, there were many different names used to refer to Ireland in ancient times. Each name carried its own unique meaning and significance, often rooted in mythology or geography. Today, we know this beautiful country as simply “Ireland,” but it’s fascinating to explore its rich history and past names.

  • Ériu: Abundant Land
  • Banba: Unplowed Land
  • Fódla: Sod or Turf
  • Hibernia: Winter or Cold

So the next time you visit Ireland, take a moment to appreciate its ancient past and the many names that have been used to describe this magical land.