While it is common today to refer to Jesus’s disciple Μαρία[μ] ἡ Μαγδαληνή as Mary “of Magdala,” with Magdala identified as a Galilean city named Tarichaea, what do our earliest Christian sources actually indicate about the meaning of this woman’s name? Examination of the Gospel of Luke, Origen, Eusebius, Macarius Magnes, and Jerome, as well as evidence in hagiography, pilgrimage, and diverse literature, reveals multiple ways that the epithet ἡ Μαγδαληνή can be understood. While Mary sometimes was believed to come from a place called “Magdala” or “Magdalene,” the assumption was that it was a small and obscure village, its location unspecified or unknown. Given the widespread understanding that Mary Magdalene was the sister of Martha, it could even be equated with Bethany. However, Jerome thought that the epithet was a reward for Mary’s faith and actions, not something indicative of provenance: Mary “of the Tower.” No early Christian author identifies a city (Tarichaea) called “Magdala” by the Sea of Galilee, even when they knew the area well. A pilgrim site on ancient ruins, established as “Magdala” by the mid-sixth century, was visited by Christians at least into the fourteenth century, and thus the name is remembered today. In view of the earlier evidence of Origen and Jerome, however, the term ἡ Μαγδαληνή may be based on an underlying Aramaic word meaning “the magnified one” or “tower-ess,” and is therefore best left untranslated.