Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Siena

Siena is a place name located in central northern Italy in the region of Tuscany.  According to medieval legend, this ancient, isolated hill town was founded by Senio, the son of Remus (of Romulus and Remus fame; i.e., the legendary founders of Rome in the 8th century BC). This myth is celebrated with statues and other artistic renderings of a she-wolf and the twins repeated throughout the city. More likely, however, Siena was founded by ancient Etruscans many centuries BCE (the Etruscans are now extinct, long ago absorbed by the Latins); they were known for establishing settlements in well-protected hill areas and, given their advanced irrigation systems, they were successful at it. In this case, the specific Etruscan tribe, the Saina, would later give way to the Roman family name (Saenii) from the Latin “senex” meaning “old” (from seneo “to be old”).  In the first century AD, the Romans gain control of Siena and in the second century, the Via Cassia road was built from Rome to Florence with passage through Siena (positioning her on a vital trading route). The Lombards came in the 6th century and by the 7th century, the Via Francigena was built (the road to France) which became an important link between Rome and France and a pilgrimage route for medieval Christians, once again elevating Siena’s location on the Western European map. Although the Tuscan town of Siena is quite “old,” as a female personal name, Siena is rather new. Not-so-ironically it’s used more by English-speakers than Italians. In fact, it’s most popular in Australia.

All About the Baby Name – Siena

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME SIENA

The Three energy is powerful and enthusiastic. These personalities are cheerful, full of self-expression, and often quite emotional. They have an artistic flair and "gift-of-gab" that makes them natural entertainers. Their joyfulness bubbles over, and their infectious exuberance draws a crowd. The Three personality is like a child - forever young and full of delight. They are charming, witty, and generally happy people. The Three personality lives in the "now" and has a spontaneous nature. Threes seem to live with a bright and seemingly unbreakable aura that attracts others to them. In turn, they are deeply loyal and loving to their friends and family. Luck also has a tendency to favor number Threes.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME SIENA

Siena first appeared on the American female naming charts in 2005 which is right when Sienna was gaining prominence and more widespread usage (thanks to Sienna Miller). Basically, Siena has been riding the wave of Sienna’s popularity although to a much lesser extent. In fact, Siena may be leveling out at mild to low usage at this point. For parents who are attracted to this name it really just comes down to a matter of spelling preference. Sienna with two “N”s is more fanciful while Siena with one “N” is more Italian.

Quick Facts

ON SIENA

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

Italian

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

3

RANKING POPULARITY:

688

PRONUNCIATION:

see-EN-ah

SIMPLE MEANING:

Old, to be old

Characteristics

OF SIENA

Communicative

Creative

Optimistic

Popular

Social

Dramatic

Happy

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Siena

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME SIENA

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Siena

Popular Songs

ON SIENA

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Siena


Famous People

NAMED SIENA

Catherine of Siena (Italian Saint)

Children of Famous People

NAMED SIENA

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Siena

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME SIENA

St. Catherine of Siena, along with St. Francis of Assisi, holds the distinction of being one of the two patron saints of Italy. Caterina (as she was called in Italian) was born in Siena, Italy in the 14th century and was (gasp!) the 24th child of her mother (obviously, in those days, not all of them lived). Apparently, Catherine had her first apparition of Christ when she was a mere six years old and swore chastity by seven. She was devout to say the least: fasting, cutting off her hair, taking vows of solitude and silence, tending to the sick and poor, and giving away her earthly possessions (regardless of the cost to her family). Later, moved by Christ again, she was called into public life where she championed Church reform and encouraged peace among the various provinces of Italy. Although Catherine had little education, she became one of the leading theological minds of her day and wrote prolifically (contributing to the establishment of the Tuscan dialect as the Italian standard). Her other purpose: playing mediator in the “Great Western Schism” (a split within the Catholic Church when two different men claimed Pope). She was proclaimed Doctor of the Church in 1970 (one of the first women to be named so) and, aside from Italy, she is the patron saint of fire prevention, as well. Her feast day is April 29 or 30.