Nome (Egypt)

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


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]


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.


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.


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).


  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
Nome 1 of Lower-Egypt.png
Inebu-hedj𓈠 Inebu-hedj Ineb-Ḥedjet [ 𓏠𓈖𓄤𓆑𓂋𓉴𓊖 Men-nefer/ Menfe] (Memphis)Mit RahinaWhite Walls Ptah
Khensu Nome 2 of Lower-Egypt.png
Khepesh𓈡 (Khensu)𓐍𓋉𓅓𓊖 Khem [Sekhem/ Iry] (Letopolis)AusimCow's thigh Horus
Iment (Ament) Nome 3 of Lower-Egypt.png
Iment (Ament)
Imentet/ Amentet𓈢 Iment (Ament)I-am/ Imu (Apis) Kom El Hisn West Hathor
Sapi-Res Nome 4 of Lower-Egypt.png
Nit Resu𓈣 (Sapi-Res)Ptkheka Tanta Southern shield Sobek, Isis, Amun
Sap-Meh Abydos-Bold-hieroglyph-T64C.png
Sap-Meh Abydos-Bold-hieroglyph-T64D.png
Sap-Meh Abydos-Bold-hieroglyph-T64D.png
Nit Meḥtet, Nit Meḥetet𓈤/𓈥 (Sap-Meh)𓊃𓅭𓄿𓅱𓊖 Sau/ Zau (Sais)Sa El HagarNorthern shield Neith
Khaset Nome 6 of Lower-Egypt.png
Khasu'u/ Khasu'wu𓈦 (Khaset)𓆼𓋴𓅱𓅱𓏏𓊖 Khasu (Xois)SakhaMountain bullAmun-Ra
A-ment Nome 7 of Lower-Egypt.png
Ḥui-ges Imenti/ Ḥui-ges Amenti𓈧 (A-ment)𓂧𓏇𓇌𓊖𓏌𓅃𓏤 (Hermopolis Parva, Metelis) Damanhur West harpoon Hu
Nefer-Iabti Nome 8 of Lower-Egypt.png
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
Ati Nome 9 of Lower-Egypt.png
‘Andjeti/ ‘Anedjti𓈩 (Ati)𓉐𓏤𓊨𓁹𓎟𓊽𓂧𓅱𓊖 Djed/ Djedu [Iti] (Busiris)Abu Sir Bara Andjeti Osiris
Ka-Khem Nome 10 of Lower-Egypt.png
Kem-Ur/ Kem-Wer𓈪 Ka-Ka'm (Ka-khem)𓉗𓏏𓉐𓇾𓁷𓄣𓊖 Hut-hery-ib (Athribis) Banha (Tell Atrib)Black bullHorus
Ka-Heseb Nome 11 of Lower-Egypt.png
Ḥesbu/ Ḥesebu𓈫 (Ka-heseb)Taremu/ Ikhenu (Leontopolis)Tell El UrydamHeseb bullIsis
Tjeb-Ka Nome 12 of Lower-Egypt.png
Tjeb-Netjer𓈬 (Theb-ka)𓊹𓍿𓃀𓊖 Tjebnutjer (Sebennytos)SamanudCalf and Cow Anhur
Heq-At Nome 13 of Lower-Egypt.png
Ḥeka-Redj𓈭 (Heq-At)In (Iunu)/ In-meḥ/ Iset-Tem/ Igert, Igertet, Iqert, Iugertet (Heliopolis)Materiya (suburb of Cairo)Prospering Sceptre Ra
Khent-Abt Nome 14 of Lower-Egypt.png
Khenti-Iabti/ Khenti-Aabti𓈮 (Khent-abt) Tjaru/ Dj‘anet (Sile, Tanis)Tell Abu SefaEastmost/ Foremost of the EastHorus
Djehuti Nome 15 of Lower-Egypt.png
Djeḥuti𓈯 (Tehut)Ba'h / Weprehwy (Hermopolis Parva) Baqliya Djehuti (Thoth)/ Ibis Thoth
Kha Abydos-Bold-hieroglyph-K17A.png
Ḥat Meḥit𓈰 (Kha)Djedet/ Ā'atjaba (Mendes)Tell El RubˁFish/ Foremost of the Fish Banebdjedet,or Hatmehyt
Sema-Behut Abydos-Bold-hieroglyph-Aa100.png
Sema-Behut Abydos-Bold-hieroglyph-Aa101.png
Beḥdet/ Beḥedet𓈱/𓈲 Sma-Beḥut (Sema-Beḥut)Semabehdet (Diospolis Inferior) Tel El Balamun The Throne/ Throne of Horus of Behdet Amun-Ra
Im-Khent Nome 18 of Lower-Egypt.png
Imty Khenti/ Amty Khenti𓈳 Im-Khent (Am-Khent)Per-Bastet (Bubastis)Tell Bastah (near Zagazig)Prince of the South Bastet
Im-Peh Nome 19 of Lower-Egypt.png
Imty Peḥu/ Amty Peḥu𓈴 Im-Peḥ (Am-Peḥu)Dja'net (Leontopolis Tanis) Tell Nebesha or San El Hagar Prince of the North Uatchet
Sep-d Nome 20 of Lower-Egypt.png
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
Ta-Seti Nome 1 of Upper-Egypt.png
Ta-Seti𓈶𓈶(Ta-Seti)𓍋𓃀𓃰𓅱𓎶𓈊 Abu / Yeb [Yb] (Elephantine)Sunnu/ Irp-Ḥesp (Aswan)Land of the bow Khnemu
Wetjes-Her Nome 2 of Upper-Egypt.png
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
Nekhen Nome 3 of Upper-Egypt.png
Nekhen𓈸 (Nekhen) Nekhen (Hierakonpolis)El KabShrine Nekhebet
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
Herui Nome 5 of Upper-Egypt.png
Netjerui𓈺 (Herui)𓎤𓃀𓅂𓊖 Gebtu/ Iter-Shemā (Coptos) Qift The two falcons Min
Iqer Nome 6 of Upper-Egypt.png
Iqer Abydos-Bold-hieroglyph-I106.png
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
Seshesh Nome 7 of Upper-Egypt.png
Bat𓈼 (Seshesh)Seshesh/ Pa-Khen-Iment/ Uas-Meḥ (Diospolis Parva) Hu Sistrum Hathor
Ta-wer Nome 8 of Upper-Egypt.png
Ta-Wer/ Ta-Ur𓈽 Ta-wer Thinis Great landAnhur
Min Nome 9 of Upper-Egypt.png
Menu/ Minu𓈾 (Min)Ip/ Ipi/ Ipu/ Apu/ [later: Khen-Min, perhaps another name for "Khemenu"]/ Ārty-Ḥeru (Panopolis) Akhmim Min Min
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
Set Nome 11 of Upper-Egypt.png
Set Abydos-Bold-hieroglyph-Aa106.png
Sha𓉁/𓉂 (Set) Shashotep (Hypselis)ShutbThe creature associated with Set Khnemu
Ta-wer Nome 12 of Upper-Egypt.png
Dju-fet𓉃 (Tu-ph)Pr nmty (Hieracon)al AtawlaViper mountainHorus
Ta-wer Nome 13 of Upper-Egypt.png
Nedjfet Khentet/ Nedjefet Khentet𓉄 (Atef-Khent) Zawty (z3wj-tj, Lycopolis) Asyut Upper Sycamore and Viper Apuat
Ta-wer Nome 14 of Upper-Egypt.png
Nedjfet Peḥtet/ Nedjefet Peḥtet𓉅 (Atef-Peḥu)Qesy (Cusae) El Qusiya Lower Sycamore and ViperHathor
Ta-wer Nome 15 of Upper-Egypt.png
Wenet/ Uenet/ Unit𓉆 (Wenet)Khemenu (Hermopolis Magna) El Ashmounein Hare [9] Thoth
Ta-wer Nome 16 of Upper-Egypt.png
Ma-Ḥedj𓉇 (Ma-hedj) Herwer?Hur? Oryx [9] Horus
Ta-wer Nome 17 of Upper-Egypt.png
Input𓉈 Inpu (Anpu)Saka (Cynopolis) El Qais Anubis Anubis
Ta-wer Nome 18 of Upper-Egypt.png
Nemti𓉉/𓉊 (Sep)Teudjoi / Hutnesut (Alabastronopolis) El Hiba Set Anubis
Ta-wer Nome 19 of Upper-Egypt.png
Wabwi/ Uabwi/ Uabui𓉋 (Uab) Per-Medjed/ Per-Mādjet/ Uabu-t (Oxyrhynchus) El Bahnasa Two Sceptres Set
Ta-wer Nome 20 of Upper-Egypt.png
N‘art Khentet/ N‘aret Khentet𓉌 (Atef-Khent)Henen-nesut (Herakleopolis Magna)IhnasiyaSouthern Sycamore Heryshaf
Ta-wer Nome 21 of Upper-Egypt.png
N‘art Peḥtet/ N‘aret Peḥtet𓉍 (Atef-Peḥu)Shenakhen / Semenuhor/ Ium'ā (Crocodilopolis, Arsinoe) Faiyum Northern SycamoreKhnemu
Ta-wer Nome 22 of Upper-Egypt.png
Mednit/ Medenit𓉎/𓉏 (Maten)𓁶𓏤𓃒𓏪𓊖 Tepihu (Aphroditopolis) Atfih KnifeHathor

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