Marciana




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MARCIANA, sister of the emperor Trajan, and mother of Matidia, an accomplished woman.  She lost her husband previous to the accession of her brother to the empire, and lived as a widow with the Emperor’s wife, Plotina, to whom she was united by the tenderest and most uninterrupted friendship.  She died about AD 114 and received the honours of Consecretation.  She is styled MARCINA AVG. SOROR. IMP.TRAINI – DIVA AVGVSTA MARCIANA.  The coins of this princess are in every metal exceedingly rare.  The brass which form a monument of her consecration are all of the first size.  The annexed cut is from a specimen in the British Museum.  In commenting on the medals of Plotina, Marciana and Matidia the intelligent ad accurate author of Lecons de Numismatique Romaine observes in reference to the types of Consecretation, which appear on the coins of these three princesses that “although the Roman mintage retraces from the earliest reigns and in diverse manners the apotheosis of Emperors and Empresses, yet the word CONSECRATIO appears only for the first time on the medals for Marciana and with that legend a funeral pile, an altar, chariots of various forms etc.  serve to represent the apotheosis, without its being possible to determine the rules by which one type was employed in preference to another.  Nevertheless the eagle taking its flight, a type at first common to both sexes (as shown by a large brass medal of Marciana) was afterwards reserved for the Augusti alone; Whilst the peacock (a bird consecrated to Juno) and the covered car drawn by two mules, known by antiquaries under the name carpentum, became types exclusively appropriated to the Empresses and other Augustae.


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