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    Marcian, Eastern Roman Emperor (AD 450-457). AV solidus (21mm, 4.49 gm, 6h).  Constantinople, AD 450-457. D N MARCIA NVS P F AVG, diademed, helmeted and cuirassed bust of Marcian facing three-quarter right, holding spear over shoulder and shield decorated with horseman motif / VICTORI-A AVGGG, Victory standing left, holding long jeweled cross in right hand; star in right field; H // CONOB. RIC X 510. Hahn 5b; Depeyrot 87/1. Well struck and fully lustrous. Choice Mint State.

    A soldier with a distinguished career in the East Roman army, Marcian chosen to succeed the long-reigning Theodosius II, probably through the influence of the empress Aelia Pulcheria and the semi-barbarian general Aspar. Pulcheria legitimized his position by marrying him, joining him to the Theodosian dynastic line, then retired to a nunnery. Marcian proved a a stern and able ruler, particularly in his dealings with the Huns. He refused to pay Attila the annual indemnity of 2,100 pounds of gold that had been promised by his weakling predecessor, remarking "I have iron for Attila, but no gold." Attila responded by attacking and ravaging the West Roman Empire. Marcian took a hands-off attitude toward the West and spent the years 451-453 preparing the East Roman army to meet the inevitable Hun attack. But Attila's Western expedition apparently took its toll on him, and he died on his wedding night in AD 453; his formidable Hunnic empire immediately disintegrated. Marcian spent most of his reign in reform, retrenchment and consolidation, husbanding the East Roman Empire's resources against the coming storms. He also dabbled in Christian theology by calling together the Fourth Oecumenical Council in Ephesus, which confirmed and strengthened the Nicene Creed and recognized the primacy of the Pope, although conferring equal authority on the patriarch of Constantinople. After a productive and mostly peaceful reign of seven years, Marcian died in AD 457. He was so fondly remembered that future East Roman emperors were sworn in with the admonition to "reign like Marcian!"


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Sep-Oct, 2013
    25th-1st Wednesday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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