What Was the Red Sea Called in Ancient Times?

The Red Sea is a well-known body of water located between Africa and Asia. It is recognized for its unique location, warm waters, and diverse marine life.

But have you ever wondered what it was called in ancient times? Let’s take a closer look at the history of this famous sea.

The Red Sea in Ancient Times

In ancient times, the Red Sea was known by various names. In the Egyptian language, it was called “the Great Green” or “the Great Blue”.

The ancient Greeks called it “Erythra Thalassa,” which means “red sea”. This name was not used because of the color of the water, but because of the red tint that could be seen on the mountains surrounding the sea.

The Origin of the Name

The origin of the name “Red Sea” has been a topic of debate among scholars for many years. Some believe that it comes from a Hebrew word that means “reed”, while others suggest that it comes from an Arabic word that means “to redden”. Yet another theory suggests that it comes from an ancient Indian language and means “sea surrounded by land”.

Regardless of its origin, one thing is certain: The Red Sea has been an important part of human history for thousands of years. Its location made it a vital crossroads for trade between Africa and Asia.

Geography and Climate

The Red Sea is approximately 1,400 miles long and 225 miles wide at its widest point. It is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world and has no significant rivers flowing into it. The climate around the Red Sea is hot and dry, with temperatures often exceeding 100°F during summer months.

Marine Life

The Red Sea is home to a diverse array of marine life, including over 1,200 species of fish and 44 species of sharks. Some of the most notable species include the whale shark, the red sea urchin, and the dugong.


In conclusion, the Red Sea has played an important role in human history for thousands of years. Its unique location and warm waters have made it a vital crossroads for trade and a haven for marine life. Although its name has changed over time, its significance remains unchanged.