Home > Catalog > Roman Coins > The Late Empire > Marcian > RL87995
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). |
RL87995. Bronze half centenionalis
, RIC X Marcian
555 (S), LRBC
II 2469, DOCLR
497, SRCV V
21395, Hunter V
12 var. (monogram
), Choice gF, very nice for the type!
, well centered
bold strike, light marks, encrustations, Nicomedia
(Izmit, Turkey) mint, weight
1.128g, maximum diameter
11.6mm, die axis
D N MARCIANVS P F AVG
, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust
right; reverse Marcian monogram
above, NICO in exergue
broken by cross
; ex Beast Coins; scarce
Catalog current as of Monday, May 20, 2019.
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