Marcian (usurper)

Marcian (Usurper)

Marcian (usurper)

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Marcian (Latin: Flavius Marcianus; floruit 469-484) was a member of the House of Leo and an usurper against Emperor Zeno in 479.


Marcian was a member of several Roman imperial families. His father was Procopius Anthemius, Western Roman Emperor between 467 and 472, who descended from Procopius, usurper in 365-366 against emperor Valens and relative of Emperor Julian's (360-363). Marcian's mother was Marcia Euphemia, daughter of Marcian (Eastern Roman Emperor in 450-457) and Pulcheria, daughter of Emperor Arcadius and nephew of Emperor Theodosius I. Marcian had three brothers - Anthemiolus, who died in Gaul in 471, Procopius Anthemius and Romulus - and a sister, Alypia, wife of the Western magister militum Ricimer.

To strengthen the bonds between the Western and Eastern Roman empires, Marcian married Leontia, daughter of the Eastern Roman Emperor Leo I and his wife Verina (the elder sister of Leontia's, Ariadne, had married the powerful general Zeno), and was chosen as consul without colleague twice, in 469 and 472.

At the death of Leo I, his nephew Leo II, son of Zeno and Ariadne, succeeded him, but the young Emperor died that same year at the age of 7. Zeno, who had been proclaimed joint emperor with his son, became the only Eastern Roman Emperor, but his succession was not welcomed by many. The people of Constantinople, in fact, considered him a barbarian because of his Isaurian origin (he had even changed his original name,...
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