|Region of origin||Vascon|
|Related names||Jimeno, Jiménez|
Semen /ʂemen/ or Xemen /ʃemen/ is a medieval Basque given name of the Vasconic area. It is based on the Basque root seme < senbe 'son' as found in the ancient Aquitanian name Sembetten, attested form "sehi" as 'child', hypothetical ancient root *seni (cf. Koldo Mitxelena and modern form "senide" = 'brother or sister', 'relative'). The explanation by the Biblical name Šim’ōn (Simon) is less convincing.
Someone named "Seguin" was attested in Frankish chronicles when referring to the Count of Bordeaux and Duke of Vasconia (778, 814 and 816). The name is also recorded as Sihiminus, perhaps a misspelling of Ximinus, may have been a local Basque whose family later fled south over the Pyrenees and helped Enneco Arista take over in Pamplona.
Another character is identified in 778 as "Jimeno, the strong", from Arab sources in Al-Andalus, where it calls him "Mothmin al-Akra", a Basque or Hispanic magnate in the upper Ebro territories within the later independent principality of Navarre. This person was possibly related to others near Pamplona in local opposition to both the invading Franks under Charlemagne and the new ruler of the Islamic Iberian realm, Abd al-Rahman I.
Some think the name may be a corruption of the later part of the Latin name Ma-ximinus, as there is late Classic records that various individuals with this name were becoming very active as officials and residents in upper Hispania near the Pyrenees and Tarraconensis during the last century of the Western Roman Empire, and perhaps into the transition from imperial province to independent Kingdom during the Visigothic rule.
Other than these early medieval examples, it is widely known on both sides of the Pyrenees in the following forms:
- Semen or Semeno fem. Semena
- Semero fem. Semera
- Scemeno (in Villabáscones)
- Xemen or Xemeno fem. Xemena
- Ximeno or Jimeno fem. Ximena or Jimena (French Chimène)
Semen is also a transliteration of the Ukrainian given name Семен, a variant of Си́мон (Simon). Notable persons with that name include:
- Semen Altman (born 1946), Ukrainian football coach
- Semen Bogdanov (1894–1960), Soviet Marshal of the Army
- Semen Hulak-Artemovsky (1813–1873), Ukrainian opera composer, singer, actor, and dramatist
- Semen Kirsanov (1906–1972), Ukrainian poet in Russia
- Semen Korsakov (1787–1853 OS), inventor who was involved with an early version of information technology
- Semen L. Frank (1877–1950), religious philosopher
- Semen Paliy (circa 1645–1710), Ukrainian Cossack polkovnyk (colonel)
- Semen Pavlichenko (born 1991), Russian luger
- Semen Tymoshenko (1895–1970), Soviet military commander
- Semen Zhavoronkov (1899–1967), Soviet Marshal of the Air Force
- Semen Zhivago (1807–1863), Russian painter
- Semen Petliura (1879–1926), Ukrainian writer and politician, head of Ukrainian state in 1919–1926
Notes and references
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