Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Names of Jerusalem
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Names of Jerusalem

This article explores the different names of Jerusalem and their linguistic natures, etc. For a discussion of the politics and history of Jerusalem itself, the Jerusalem article is probably a better place to start.

Over the millennia, there have been many names of Jerusalem in many different languages.

Table of contents
1 Names
2 External links



In the Book of Genesis, Salem or Shalem is the supposed name of the area during the time of Abraham. It is ruled by Melchizedek, a righteous king.

Salem is also regarded as a shorter name for Jerusalem.


In the Book of Genesis, Moriah is the name of the Temple Mount supposedly at a time when it is uninhabited. It is the place where, in Abrahamic religion, Abraham attempts to sacrifice his son.


In the Old Testament, Jebus is the name of the Canaanite fortress on the Temple Mount during the time of King David. David conquers Jebus and establishes Jerusalem on its place as the new Israelite capital.


Jerusalem is the name most commonly used in the Bible, and is the preferred name in Jewry and the Western World. Its Arabic counterpart, Ūršalīm, is the term used by the government of Israel in Arabic, and by Arabs in certain historic or Biblical contexts.

It is first attested in the Akkadian language Tell el-Amarna tablets, as Urusalim, and later in Assyrian as Ursalimmu.

In ancient Greek, it also had the variants Hierousalēm and Hierosolyma, combining the word hieros "holy", as well as the shortened form Solyma.


Zion or Sion is a traditional name for the Temple Mount and the city surrounding its slopes.


Ariel is a poetic name for Jerusalem.

lia Capitolina

lia Capitolina was the Roman name given to Jerusalem after all Jews were expelled from the area. Its Arabic counterpart, Īlyā was sometimes used in early times Middle Ages, as in some Hadith (Bukhari 1:6, 4:191; Muwatta 20:26), like Bayt ul-Maqdis (see below.)


Al-Quds is the most common Arabic name for Jerusalem, used also by many cultures influenced by Islam. The variant al-Quds aš-Šarīf has also been used, notably by the Ottomans.

Bayt ul-Maqdis

Bayt ul-Maqdis or Bayt ul-Muqaddas is a less common Arabic name for Jerusalem, a variant of the previous. It is the base from which nisbas (names based on the origin of the person named) are formed - hence the famous medieval geographer called both al-Maqdisi and al-Muqaddasi (born 946.) It is used in some Hadith (Sahih Muslim 234, 251).

External links

See also Names of the Levant.