1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Marcian

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MARCIAN (c. 390–457), emperor of the East (450–457), was born in Thrace or Illyria, and spent his early life as an obscure soldier. He subsequently served for nineteen years under Ardaburius and Aspar, and took part in the wars against the Persians and Vandals. Through the influence of these generals he became a captain of the guards, and was later raised to the rank of tribune and senator. On the death of Theodosius II. he was chosen as consort by the latter’s sister and successor, Pulcheria, and called upon to govern an empire greatly humbled and impoverished by the ravages of the Huns. Marcian repudiated the payment of tribune to Atilla; he reformed the finances, checked extravagance, and repeopled the devastated districts. He repelled attacks upon Syria and Egypt (452), and quelled disturbances on the Armenian frontier (456). The other notable event of his reign is the Council of Chalcedon (451), in which Marcian endeavoured to mediate between the rival schools of theology.

See Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (ed. Bury. London, 1896), iii. 384, iv. 444–445; J. Bury, The Later Roman Empire (London, 1889), i. 135–136.