A happy discovery - Not Plotina, but lifetime Marciana

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Finn235, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    About a year ago, I won this coin in one of the first Zeus sales, attributed as Trajan with Plotina. Didn't really think too much on it until a couple days ago when I realized that I had bought a misattributed coin - very much in my favor!

    Trajan and Marciana lifetime anazarbus Cilicia.jpg

    Trajan, with Marciana, Augusta
    AE28 Diassarion of Anazarbus, Cilicia
    Dated civic year 126, 107 AD
    ΑVΤO ΚAI ΘЄ NЄP VI NЄP TPAIANOC CЄ ΓЄP ΔAKI, Laureare head of Trajan right
    KAICAPЄΩN ΠP ANAZAPBΩ MAPKIANH CЄBACTH / ЄT - ςKP, Draped bust of Marciana right

    Why this is important -

    Born in about 45, Ulpia Marciana was the elder sister of Trajan, and while not overtly as involved in politics as later empresses such as Julia Domna, she was arguably the matriarch of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty, as the mother of Matidia, grandmother of Sabina, and great-great grandmother of Marcus Aurelius. She was one of Trajan's most trusted confidants and often advised him on political matters. At the behest of Plotina, she was granted the title of Augusta in 105, and the city of Parthenopolis was re-founded as Marcianopolis in her honor. Despite these honors, coinage issued in her name and image during her lifetime is quite rare, even within the scope of her already rare coinage. She appears on only a single(?) Imperial issue, in addition to two extremely rare provincial issues by herself (Lydia, Sardes and Lydia, Thyateira), in addition to two rare appearances on the reverse of provincial coins of Trajan (This one, and one from Mysia, Parium, alongside Plotina). Marciana died of old age in about 112 or no later than 114, and was given slightly more extensive posthumous honors after her deification on orders from her brother.

    An example of a much more affordable posthumous denarius:
    Diva Marciana denarius.jpg

    Let's see those related coins to the tough early Nerva-Antonine ladies, anything you bought and only correctly identified much later, or anything else related!
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  3. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Nice writeup, and congrats on a great coin!

    I have her Granddaughter


    RI Sabina 117-137 Denarius 3.18g Venus standing right holding an apple RSC73
  4. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    My Sabina is just a fourree and rather poor in preservation but I like it because it is the less usual hairstyle for this lady.
    Sabina FO denarius / Venus from behind (Anepigraphic)
    DonnaML, Theodosius, NOS and 6 others like this.
  5. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    I was just reading about Trajan and his family over the weekend! What an amazing find @Finn235 :jawdrop::cigar::troll:
    The ridonkulous Marciana denarius reminds me of one of my favorite empresses on bronze:

    Dupondius, 136 CE
    Mint: Rome
    26.3 mm, 10,2 g.
    Rarity : R1
    Obverse legend : SABINA AVGVSTA - HADRIANI AVG PP, Obverse: Diadémé bust and drape of Sabina on the right, hair raised, artistically capped.
    RIC.- - BMC/RE.1900
    DonnaML, Theodosius, NOS and 6 others like this.
  6. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Excellent detective work, @Finn235, and a difficult empress to procure, too! This issue from Anazarbus is the perhaps the most affordable way to get Marciana or Matidia. Plotina is a bit more frequently encountered in the Provincial series.

    It's worn, but here is the coin of Trajan and Plotina the dealer had mistaken yours for:

    Trajan and Plotina Anazarbus triassarion.jpg

    Here is the Trajan and Matidia from the series:

    Trajan and Matidia Anazarbus.jpg
    DonnaML, NOS, Johndakerftw and 6 others like this.
  7. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Congrats, fantastic pick up.
    Finn235 likes this.
  8. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Cool find. I can feel your feelings when you discovered what it was.

    Finn235 likes this.
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