Hesse is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.
The cultural region of Hesse includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse (Rheinhessen) in the neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state. The oldest city of the cultural region of Hesse, Mainz, is in Rhineland-Palatinate.
The State of Hesse (German: Land Hessen) is part of the larger cultural region. It has an area of 21,110 km2 (8,150 sq mi) and just over six million inhabitants. The capital is Wiesbaden. Hesse's largest city is Frankfurt am Main.
The English name "Hesse" comes from the Hessian dialects. The variant "Hessia" comes from the medieval Latin Hassia. The German term Hessen is used by the European Commission because their policy is to leave regional names untranslated (paragraphs 1.31 & 1.35). The term "Hesse" ultimately derives from a Germanic tribe called the Chatti, who settled in the region in the first century B.C.
An inhabitant of Hesse is called a Hessian (German: Hesse (masculine) or Hessin (feminine)). Hessian mercenaries played a prominent role in the American War of Independence.