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Marciana, Sestertius, Consecratio Eagle reverse, Very Rare

Orichalcum; 34mm/25.3gm   Rome Mint, struck c. 112-114 AD

Con/ Dark brown patina; surface porosity on both sides, weak strike on the reverse, otherwise, Good Fine

Obv/ DIVA AVGVSTA MARCIANA; draped bust right, hair elaborately dressed over brow, above which is a diadem, braided and bound up at the back

Rev/ CONSECRATIO; eagle standing left on scepter, head turned right, with wings displayed; S-C in exergue

Ref/ RIC II 748 (Trajan); Strack 443; Banti 1; BMCRE 1083 (Trajan); Cohen 6.

Seller's Note/ Marciana was the beloved sister of the emperor Trajan and was the great-great-great grandmother of future emperor Marcus Aurelius. After 105, her brother awarded her with the title of Augusta and she became the first sister of a Roman Emperor to receive this title. Marciana did not accept this at first, but her sister-in-law, the Empress Plotina, insisted that she take the title and thus became part of the official imperial iconography. Marciana would often travel with her brother and assist him in decision making. Throughout the Roman Empire, Marciana was honored with monuments and inscriptions in her name. There are two towns that Trajan founded in her honor in the Roman Empire. The first town was called Colonia Marciana Ulpia Traiana Thamugadi (modern Timgad, Algeria) and was founded around 100. This town was also named after the late parents of Marciana and Trajan. The other town was founded in 106 and was called Marcianopolis (now a part of modern Devnya, Bulgaria). Marciana died between 112 and 114 and was deified by the Senate at Trajan's behest.

RIC notes this coins as R3 and better examples have sold for over $20,000; yes, it's that rare! Our listed price of only $1,200 is just about right considering condition and rarity.

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