Human settlements, villages, towns and cities named after a particular person are common: Jonestown. Grahamstown. So are places, even countries named after tribes or ethnic groups: Scotland. Poland.

Often a country or place will have a mythological founder, such as Romulus for Rome and Europa for Europe. These might be based on some historical kernel of truth, or they might not. We can't even be sure which came first: was the story made up to explain the name, or was the name taken from the story?

Rare are countries verifiably named after an actual historical person. Here is a short and possibly incomplete list1 of people2 with countries named after them:

I have given the islands their own section below, as there are lots of them, and most are tiny, even if they are self-governing. With these islands, the polical boundary coincides with the geographic area and thus keeps the name given by the explorer who claimed it.

US states are not exactly countries, but anyhow:

Provinces of other countries:

It seems that in order to have a country, state, continent, island or region named after you, you must either be an explorer, a monarch or other royalty, or a long-dead saint (or other religious figure).

The only exceptions are the businessmen, William Penn and Cecil Rhodes and the statesmen, Simón Bolívar and George Washington.


1) please /msg me if I missed some, etc.
2) There are debatable points, and gray areas between myth and ancient history. You will have to make your own decisions.
Thanks to haze, catchpole, heyoka, arieh, Monkfish, Harpsichord_fanatic, Txikwa, sekicho for the flood of information.

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