Nome (Egypt)

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A nome ( /nm/ , [1] from Ancient Greek : νομός, nomós, "district") was a territorial division in ancient Egypt. [2]

Contents

Each nome was ruled by a nomarch (Ancient Egyptian : ḥrj tp ꜥꜣ Great Chief). [3] The number of nomes changed through the various periods of the history of ancient Egypt. [4]

Etymology

The term nome comes from Ancient Greek νομός, nomós, meaning "district"; the Ancient Egyptian term was sepat or spAt. [5] Today's use of the Ancient Greek rather than the Ancient Egyptian term came about during the Ptolemaic period, when the use of Greek was widespread in Egypt. [6] The availability of Greek records on Egypt influenced the adoption of Greek terms by later historians.

History

Dynastic Egypt

The nomes & towns of Egypt in hieroglyphics Ancient Egypt map-hiero.svg
The nomes & towns of Egypt in hieroglyphics

The division of ancient Egypt into nomes can be traced back to prehistoric Egypt (before 3100 BC). These nomes originally existed as autonomous city-states[ citation needed ], but later began to unify. According to ancient tradition, the ruler Menes completed the final unification. [7]

Not only did the division into nomes remain in place for more than three millennia, the areas of the individual nomes and their ordering remained remarkably stable. Some, like Xois in the Nile Delta or Khent in Upper Egypt, were first mentioned on the Palermo Stone, which was inscribed in the Fifth Dynasty. The names of a few, like the nome of Bubastis, appeared no earlier than the New Kingdom. Under the system that prevailed for most of pharaonic Egypt's history, the country was divided into 42 nomes.

Lower Egypt nomes

Lower Egypt nomes Lower Egypt Nomes 01.png
Lower Egypt nomes

Lower Egypt (Egyptian "Ā-meḥty"), from the Old Kingdom capital Memphis to the Mediterranean Sea, comprised 20 nomes. The first was based around Memphis, Saqqara, and Giza, in the area occupied by modern-day Cairo. The nomes were numbered in a more or less orderly fashion south to north through the Nile Delta, first covering the territory on the west before continuing with the higher numbers to the east. Thus, Alexandria was in the Third Nome; Bubastis was in the Eighteenth.

  1. White Walls Nome
  2. Travellers land
  3. Cattle land
  4. Southern shield land
  5. Northern shield land
  6. Mountain bull land
  7. West harpoon land
  8. East harpoon land
  9. Andjety god land
  10. Black bull land
  11. Heseb bull land
  12. Calf and Cow land
  13. Prospering Sceptre land
  14. Eastmost land
  15. Ibis-Tehut land
  16. Fish land
  17. The throne land
  18. Prince of the South land
  19. Prince of the North land
  20. Sopdu-Plumed Falcon land

Upper Egypt nomes

Upper Egypt nomes UpperEgyptNomes.png
Upper Egypt nomes
Middle Egypt nomes Middle Egypt Nomes.jpg
Middle Egypt nomes

Upper Egypt was divided into 22 nomes. The first of these was centered on Elephantine close to Egypt's border with Nubia at the First Cataract – the area of modern-day Aswan. From there the numbering progressed downriver in an orderly fashion along the narrow fertile strip of land that was the Nile valley. Waset (ancient Thebes or contemporary Luxor) was in the Fourth Nome, Amarna in the Fourteenth, and Meidum in the Twenty-first.

  1. Bows land
  2. Throne of Horus land
  3. Shrine land
  4. Sceptre land
  5. The two falcons land
  6. The crocodile land
  7. Sistrum land
  8. The Great land
  9. Min-God land
  10. Cobra land
  11. Sha-Set animal land
  12. Viper mountain land
  13. Upper Sycamore and Viper land
  14. Lower Sycamore and Viper land
  15. Hares land
  16. Oryx Nome
  17. Anubis land
  18. Set land
  19. Two Sceptres land
  20. Southern Sycamore land
  21. Northern Sycamore land
  22. Knife land

Ptolemaic Egypt

Some nomes were added or renamed during the Graeco-Roman occupation of Egypt. [8] For example, the Ptolemies renamed the Crocodilopolitan nome to Arsinoe. Hadrian created a new nome, Antinoopolites, for which Antinoöpolis was the capital.

Roman Egypt

The nomes survived into Roman times. Under Roman rule, individual nomes minted their own coinage, the so-called "nome coins," which still reflect individual local associations and traditions. The nomes of Egypt retained their primary importance as administrative units until the fundamental rearrangement of the bureaucracy during the reigns of Diocletian and Constantine the Great.

From AD 307/8, their place was taken by smaller units called pagi . Eventually powerful local officials arose who were called pagarchs, through whom all patronage flowed. The pagarch's essential role was as an organizer of tax-collection. Later the pagarch assumed some military functions as well. The pagarchs were often wealthy landowners who reigned over the pagi from which they originated.

Nomarch

For most of the history, each nome was headed by a nomarch. The position of the nomarch was at times hereditary, while at others they were appointed by the pharaoh. Generally, when the national government was stronger, nomarchs were the king's appointed governors. When the central government was weaker, however—such as during foreign invasions or civil wars—individual nomes would assert themselves and establish hereditary lines of succession. Conflicts among these different hereditary nomarchies were common, most notably during the First Intermediate Period, a time that saw a breakdown in central authority lasting from the 7th–11th Dynasties which ended when one of the local rulers became strong enough to again assert control over the entire country as pharaoh.

List of nomes (ancient Egyptian: Sepat-Isti)

The nomes (Ancient Egyptian: sepat) are listed in separate tables for "Isti" - "the two Egypts" (Upper and Lower Egypt).

Note:

  1. older or other variants of the name in square brackets '[ ]';
  2. names vary from different time or era, or even titles, most epithets, honorific titles with a slash '/';
  3. Greek-Egypto derived names from the original Egyptian in parentheses '()'

Lower Egypt

NumberNome Standard (Symbol on top of head of man or woman)Ancient Egyptian

Nome Name

CapitalModern name of capital siteTranslationGod
KnownVariants
1
Nome 1 of Lower-Egypt.png
Inebu-hedj𓈠 Inebu-hedj Ineb-Ḥedjet [ 𓏠𓈖𓄤𓆑𓂋𓉴𓊖 Men-nefer/ Menfe] (Memphis)Mit RahinaWhite Walls Ptah
2
Khensu Nome 2 of Lower-Egypt.png
Khensu
Khepesh𓈡 (Khensu)𓐍𓋉𓅓𓊖 Khem [Sekhem/ Iry] (Letopolis)AusimCow's thigh Horus
3
Iment (Ament) Nome 3 of Lower-Egypt.png
Iment (Ament)
Imentet/ Amentet𓈢 Iment (Ament)I-am/ Imu (Apis) Kom El Hisn West Hathor
4
Sapi-Res Nome 4 of Lower-Egypt.png
Sapi-Res
Nit Resu𓈣 (Sapi-Res)Ptkheka Tanta Southern shield Sobek, Isis, Amun
5
Sap-Meh
Sap-Meh Abydos-Bold-hieroglyph-T64C.png
Sap-Meh Abydos-Bold-hieroglyph-T64D.png
Sap-Meh
Sap-Meh
Sap-Meh Abydos-Bold-hieroglyph-T64D.png
Sap-Meh
Nit Meḥtet, Nit Meḥetet𓈤/𓈥 (Sap-Meh)𓊃𓅭𓄿𓅱𓊖 Sau/ Zau (Sais)Sa El HagarNorthern shield Neith
6
Khaset Nome 6 of Lower-Egypt.png
Khaset
Khasu'u/ Khasu'wu𓈦 (Khaset)𓆼𓋴𓅱𓅱𓏏𓊖 Khasu (Xois)SakhaMountain bullAmun-Ra
7
A-ment Nome 7 of Lower-Egypt.png
A-ment
Ḥui-ges Imenti/ Ḥui-ges Amenti𓈧 (A-ment)𓂧𓏇𓇌𓊖𓏌𓅃𓏤 (Hermopolis Parva, Metelis) Damanhur West harpoon Hu
8
Nefer-Iabti Nome 8 of Lower-Egypt.png
Nefer-Iabti
Ḥui-ges Iabti/ Ḥui-ges Aabti𓈨 Nefer-Iabti (A-bt)Thek/ Tjeku / Iset-Tem [= 𓉐𓏤𓏏𓍃𓅓𓏏𓊖 Per-Atum]/ Ān (Heroonpolis, Pithom) Tell al-Maskhuta East harpoon Atum
9
Ati Nome 9 of Lower-Egypt.png
Ati
‘Andjeti/ ‘Anedjti𓈩 (Ati)𓉐𓏤𓊨𓁹𓎟𓊽𓂧𓅱𓊖 Djed/ Djedu [Iti] (Busiris)Abu Sir Bara Andjeti Osiris
10
Ka-Khem Nome 10 of Lower-Egypt.png
Ka-Khem
Kem-Ur/ Kem-Wer𓈪 Ka-Ka'm (Ka-khem)𓉗𓏏𓉐𓇾𓁷𓄣𓊖 Hut-hery-ib (Athribis) Banha (Tell Atrib)Black bullHorus
11
Ka-Heseb Nome 11 of Lower-Egypt.png
Ka-Heseb
Ḥesbu/ Ḥesebu𓈫 (Ka-heseb)Taremu/ Ikhenu (Leontopolis)Tell El UrydamHeseb bullIsis
12
Tjeb-Ka Nome 12 of Lower-Egypt.png
Tjeb-Ka
Tjeb-Netjer𓈬 (Theb-ka)𓊹𓍿𓃀𓊖 Tjebnutjer (Sebennytos)SamanudCalf and Cow Anhur
13
Heq-At Nome 13 of Lower-Egypt.png
Heq-At
Ḥeka-Redj𓈭 (Heq-At)In (Iunu)/ In-meḥ/ Iset-Tem/ Igert, Igertet, Iqert, Iugertet (Heliopolis)Materiya (suburb of Cairo)Prospering Sceptre Ra
14
Khent-Abt Nome 14 of Lower-Egypt.png
Khent-Abt
Khenti-Iabti/ Khenti-Aabti𓈮 (Khent-abt) Tjaru/ Dj‘anet (Sile, Tanis)Tell Abu SefaEastmost/ Foremost of the EastHorus
15
Djehuti Nome 15 of Lower-Egypt.png
Djehuti
Djeḥuti𓈯 (Tehut)Ba'h / Weprehwy (Hermopolis Parva) Baqliya Djehuti (Thoth)/ Ibis Thoth
16
Kha Abydos-Bold-hieroglyph-K17A.png
Kha
Ḥat Meḥit𓈰 (Kha)Djedet/ Ā'atjaba (Mendes)Tell El RubˁFish/ Foremost of the Fish Banebdjedet,or Hatmehyt
17
Sema-Behut Abydos-Bold-hieroglyph-Aa100.png
Sema-Beḥut
Sema-Behut Abydos-Bold-hieroglyph-Aa101.png
Sema-Beḥut
Beḥdet/ Beḥedet𓈱/𓈲 Sma-Beḥut (Sema-Beḥut)Semabehdet (Diospolis Inferior) Tel El Balamun The Throne/ Throne of Horus of Behdet Amun-Ra
18
Im-Khent Nome 18 of Lower-Egypt.png
Im-Khent
Imty Khenti/ Amty Khenti𓈳 Im-Khent (Am-Khent)Per-Bastet (Bubastis)Tell Bastah (near Zagazig)Prince of the South Bastet
19
Im-Peh Nome 19 of Lower-Egypt.png
Im-Peḥ
Imty Peḥu/ Amty Peḥu𓈴 Im-Peḥ (Am-Peḥu)Dja'net (Leontopolis Tanis) Tell Nebesha or San El Hagar Prince of the North Uatchet
20
Sep-d Nome 20 of Lower-Egypt.png
Sep-d
Sepdju/ Sepedju𓈵 Sep-d (Sopdu)Per-Sopdu Saft El Hinna Plumed Falcon/ Sepdju Sopdet

Upper Egypt

NumberNome Standard (Symbol on top of head of man or woman)Ancient Egyptian

Nome Name

CapitalModern CapitalTranslationGod
KnownVariants
1
Ta-Seti Nome 1 of Upper-Egypt.png
Ta-Seti
Ta-Seti𓈶𓈶(Ta-Seti)𓍋𓃀𓃰𓅱𓎶𓈊 Abu / Yeb [Yb] (Elephantine)Sunnu/ Irp-Ḥesp (Aswan)Land of the bow Khnemu
2
Wetjes-Her Nome 2 of Upper-Egypt.png
Wetjes-Her
Wetjes-Ḥer𓈷 (Wetjes-Hor)𓌥𓃀𓊖 Djeba (Apollonopolis Magna)Ineb/ Iset-Unep/ Iset-en-Rā/ Iset-Neterui/ Iset-Ḥeq/ Iset-Khnem-Iten/ Iset-Sekhen-en-Ḥeru-Iakhuti/ Iset-Shu/ Isebt/ Ā'ay-t-en-Beḥud/ Ā'a-t-enty-Ā'ap (Edfu)Throne of Horus Horus-Behdety
3
Nekhen Nome 3 of Upper-Egypt.png
Nekhen
Nekhen𓈸 (Nekhen) Nekhen (Hierakonpolis)El KabShrine Nekhebet
4
Uas (Uaset/ Waset) Nome 4 of Upper-Egypt.png
Uas (Uaset/ Waset)
Waset/ Uaset𓈹 Uas (Uaset/ Waset)Niwt-rst / Waset [Ir-t Rā/ Iset-Sekhenu-en-Ākhemu/ Ānkh] (Thebes) Karnak SceptreAmun-Ra
5
Herui Nome 5 of Upper-Egypt.png
Herui
Netjerui𓈺 (Herui)𓎤𓃀𓅂𓊖 Gebtu/ Iter-Shemā (Coptos) Qift The two falcons Min
6
Iqer Nome 6 of Upper-Egypt.png
Iqer
Iqer Abydos-Bold-hieroglyph-I106.png
Iqer
Meseḥ/ Mes-ḥ𓈻 (Iqer)In/ In-en-P'teḥ/ In-en-Nut/ In-Ta-Neferet/ Iset-Au-Ib/ Iset-Au-Ib-enti-Neteru-Nebu/ Iset-Iabes-Ḥet-Ḥer/ Iset-Iset-em-Khet-Ḥā-s/ Iset-urt-en-Ḥem-Ḥeru-Iakhuty/ Iset-Per-Ḥet-Ḥer-Kher-Menu/ Iset-Per-Seshem-en-Ḥet-Ḥer-Ureth-Nebt-Tawy-Im/ Iset-Peṣis-Ta/ Iset-Pesh-Nebty/ Iset-M'as-Menu-ent-Ḥet-Ḥer-Imṣ/ Iset-M'as-Snef-sa/ Iset-Meskhenet-en-Iset/ Iset-enth-Mut-Ḥeru/ Iset-ent-Rā-Ḥeru-Iakhuti/ Iset-enth-Ḥemt-Nesu/ Iset-ent-Ḥet-Ḥer-Nebt-In/ Iset-Hy/ Isut-Ḥeru/ Iset-Ḥeḥ/ Iset-Khadbut-em-Āq-en-Netert-Ten/ Iset-Sekhem-Ānkh-en-Neter/ Iset-Shātu-Menu-en-Neb-In-Im-ṣ/ Iset-Shepset-Ḥent-Neterit/ Iset-Qen-Ḥeru-em-Baḥ-Mutef-Iset/ Iset-Tekh/ Iset-Tekh-ent-Ḥeru-Iakhuti/ Iset-Djeser/ Ān-Ḥer/ Iunet (Tantere/ Tentyra/ Dendera)In/ In-en-P'teḥ/ In-en-Nut/ In-Ta-Neferet/ Iset-Au-Ib/ Iset-Au-Ib-enti-Neteru-Nebu/ Iset-Iabes-Ḥet-Ḥer/ Iset-Iset-em-Khet-Ḥā-s/ Iset-urt-en-Ḥem-Ḥeru-Iakhuty/ Iset-Per-Ḥet-Ḥer-Kher-Menu/ Iset-Per-Seshem-en-Ḥet-Ḥer-Ureth-Nebt-Tawy-Im/ Iset-Peṣis-Ta/ Iset-Pesh-Nebty/ Iset-M'as-Menu-ent-Ḥet-Ḥer-Imṣ/ Iset-M'as-Snef-sa/ Iset-Meskhenet-en-Iset/ Iset-enth-Mut-Ḥeru/ Iset-ent-Rā-Ḥeru-Iakhuti/ Iset-enth-Ḥemt-Nesu/ Iset-ent-Ḥet-Ḥer-Nebt-In/ Iset-en-Sek-Djet/ Iset-Hy/ Isut-Ḥeru/ Iset-Ḥeḥ/ Iset-Khadbut-em-Āq-en-Netert-Ten/ Iset-Sekhem-Ānkh-en-Neter/ Iset-Shātu-Menu-en-Neb-In-Im-ṣ/ Iset-Shepset-Ḥent-Neterit/ Iset-Qen-Ḥeru-em-Baḥ-Mutef-Iset/ Iset-Tekh/ Iset-Tekh-ent-Ḥeru-Iakhuti/ Iset-Djeser/ Ān-Ḥer/ Iunet (Tantere/ Tentyra/ Dendera)The crocodileHathor
7
Seshesh Nome 7 of Upper-Egypt.png
Seshesh
Bat𓈼 (Seshesh)Seshesh/ Pa-Khen-Iment/ Uas-Meḥ (Diospolis Parva) Hu Sistrum Hathor
8
Ta-wer Nome 8 of Upper-Egypt.png
Ta-wer
Ta-Wer/ Ta-Ur𓈽 Ta-wer Thinis Great landAnhur
9
Min Nome 9 of Upper-Egypt.png
Min
Menu/ Minu𓈾 (Min)Ip/ Ipi/ Ipu/ Apu/ [later: Khen-Min, perhaps another name for "Khemenu"]/ Ārty-Ḥeru (Panopolis) Akhmim Min Min
10
Uadj (Wadjet) Nome 10 of Upper-Egypt.png
Uadj (Wadjet)
Uadj (Wadjet) Abydos-Bold-hieroglyph-Aa105.png
Uadj (Wadjet)
Wadjyt/ Uadjyt𓈿/𓉀 Uadj (Wadjet)Djew-qa / Tjebu (Antaeopolis) Qaw El Kebir CobraHathor
11
Set Nome 11 of Upper-Egypt.png
Set
Set Abydos-Bold-hieroglyph-Aa106.png
Set
Sha𓉁/𓉂 (Set) Shashotep (Hypselis)ShutbThe creature associated with Set Khnemu
12
Ta-wer Nome 12 of Upper-Egypt.png
Ta-wer
Dju-fet𓉃 (Tu-ph)Pr nmty (Hieracon)al AtawlaViper mountainHorus
13
Ta-wer Nome 13 of Upper-Egypt.png
Ta-wer
Nedjfet Khentet/ Nedjefet Khentet𓉄 (Atef-Khent) Zawty (z3wj-tj, Lycopolis) Asyut Upper Sycamore and Viper Apuat
14
Ta-wer Nome 14 of Upper-Egypt.png
Ta-wer
Nedjfet Peḥtet/ Nedjefet Peḥtet𓉅 (Atef-Peḥu)Qesy (Cusae) El Qusiya Lower Sycamore and ViperHathor
15
Ta-wer Nome 15 of Upper-Egypt.png
Ta-wer
Wenet/ Uenet/ Unit𓉆 (Wenet)Khemenu (Hermopolis Magna) El Ashmounein Hare [9] Thoth
16
Ta-wer Nome 16 of Upper-Egypt.png
Ta-wer
Ma-Ḥedj𓉇 (Ma-hedj) Herwer?Hur? Oryx [9] Horus
17
Ta-wer Nome 17 of Upper-Egypt.png
Ta-wer
Input𓉈 Inpu (Anpu)Saka (Cynopolis) El Qais Anubis Anubis
18
Ta-wer Nome 18 of Upper-Egypt.png
Ta-wer
Nemti𓉉/𓉊 (Sep)Teudjoi / Hutnesut (Alabastronopolis) El Hiba Set Anubis
19
Ta-wer Nome 19 of Upper-Egypt.png
Ta-wer
Wabwi/ Uabwi/ Uabui𓉋 (Uab) Per-Medjed/ Per-Mādjet/ Uabu-t (Oxyrhynchus) El Bahnasa Two Sceptres Set
20
Ta-wer Nome 20 of Upper-Egypt.png
Ta-wer
N‘art Khentet/ N‘aret Khentet𓉌 (Atef-Khent)Henen-nesut (Herakleopolis Magna)IhnasiyaSouthern Sycamore Heryshaf
21
Ta-wer Nome 21 of Upper-Egypt.png
Ta-wer
N‘art Peḥtet/ N‘aret Peḥtet𓉍 (Atef-Peḥu)Shenakhen / Semenuhor/ Ium'ā (Crocodilopolis, Arsinoe) Faiyum Northern SycamoreKhnemu
22
Ta-wer Nome 22 of Upper-Egypt.png
Ta-wer
Mednit/ Medenit𓉎/𓉏 (Maten)𓁶𓏤𓃒𓏪𓊖 Tepihu (Aphroditopolis) Atfih KnifeHathor

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References

Citations

  1. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition. Merriam-Webster, 2007. p. 841
  2. "Nome | ancient Egyptian government". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2020-09-14.
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