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Home > Catalog > |Roman Coins| > |The Late Empire| > |Marcian| > RL89178
Marcian, 24 August 450 - 31 January 457 A.D.
Marcian indirectly saved Rome from Attila the Hun. In 452, Attila captured and ransacked Aquileia, Milan, and other cities in Northern Italy. It seemed Attila would soon attack Rome itself, whose walls were weaker than some cities Attila had already captured. Meanwhile, however, Marcian's Eastern Roman forces had taken the offensive across the Danube, attacking the breadbasket of the Hunnic Empire. The loss of food supply from Attila's own land, and a famine and plague in Italy, depleted Attila's forces, allowing the Western Roman Empire to bribe him into returning to his homeland. Back home, Attila threatened to invade the Eastern Empire and enslave the entirety of it. Marcian and Aspar ignored his threats. The Eastern Empire had already paid Attila about six tons of gold, yet he still threatened them. They reasoned that gold would be better spent building up armies. Attila's attack never came, as he died unexpectedly in 453, either from hemorrhaging or alcoholic suffocation, after celebrating a marriage to one of his many wives. Attila's tribal confederation empire fell apart within a year after his death. Marcian settled numerous tribes, formerly under Attila, within Eastern Roman lands as foederati (subject tribes which gave military service in exchange for various benefits). Map 450 A.D.
RL89178. Bronze nummus, RIC X Marcian 548 (S), LRBC II 2463, SRCV V 21396, DOCLR 507, aVF, dark green patina, typical tight flan, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, weight 1.363g, maximum diameter 9.6mm, die axis 180o, obverse D N MARCIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Marcian monogram (RIC monogram 5) in wreath, NIC in exergue (off flan); scarce; $90.00











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