ROMAN EMPIRE, Marcian, 450-457 AD, gold, solidus, Constantinople mint


ROMAN EMPIRE, Marcian, 450-457 AD, solidus, no date (450-457 AD), Constantinople mint, officina 7, Obverse: helmeted bust 1/4 R, D N MARCIANVS P F AVG, Reverse: Victory standing L holding long cross, VICTORIA AVGGG Z, CON OB, star in right field, gold, 21mm, 4.47g, SR21379, in envelope is an NGC label “choice Unc” but no slab, AU-Unc

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Marcian was an old soldier when he was picked by Pulcheria to be Emperor in the East. He governed well, given the generally dire circumstances. When he died there was a contested succession.

The Roman Republic was founded in response to tyrannical kings. It functioned for several centuries in a kind of balance of rich and poor people (slaves didn’t count). The general idea was that laws would constrain personal power. During the days of Julius Caesar, et al, powerful people became too powerful, and a new system of slightly constrained autocracy, the Empire, developed. The main catalog we use on this web site for Roman coins is Roman Coins and their Values, by David Sear.

“Ancient Coins” includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.