The name Abyla has been said to have been a Punic name ("Lofty Mountain" or "Mountain of God") for Jebel Musa, the southern Pillar of Hercules. In fact, it seems that the name of the mountain was actually Habenna (Punic: 𐤀𐤁𐤍, ʾBN, "Stone" or "Stele") or ʾAbin-ḥīq (𐤀𐤁𐤍𐤇𐤒, ʾBNḤQ, "Rock of the Bay"), in reference to the nearby
Bay of Benzú. The name was hellenized variously as Ápini (Greek: Ἄπινι), Abýla (Ἀβύλα), Abýlē (Ἀβύλη), Ablýx (Ἀβλύξ), and Abílē Stḗlē (Ἀβίλη Στήλη, "Pillar of Abyla") and in Latin as Mount Abyla (Abyla Mons) or the Pillar of Abyla (Abyla Columna).
The settlement below Jebel Musa was later renamed for the seven hills around the site, collectively referred to as the "Seven Brothers" (Greek: Ἑπτάδελφοι, translit. Heptádelphoi; Latin: Septem Fratres). In particular, the Roman stronghold at the site took the name "Fort at the Seven Brothers" (Castellum ad Septem Fratres). This was gradually shortened to Septem (Σέπτον Sépton) or, occasionally, Septum or Septa. These clipped forms continued as Berber Sebta and Arabic Sabtan or Sabtah (سبتة), which themselves became Ceuta in Portuguese (pronounced [ˈsewtɐ]) and Spanish (pronounced [ˈθeuta]).