Flaviy Markian

Flaviy Markian

Emperor in 450-457.
Country: Italy

  1. Biography of Flavius Marcian
  2. Early Military Career
  3. Ascension to the Throne
  4. Reign as Emperor
  5. Foreign Relations

Biography of Flavius Marcian

Flavius Marcian was a Byzantine emperor who reigned from 450 to 457. He was born around 390 and passed away on January 25, 457. Marcian was the son of a soldier and was of Thracian descent. In his youth, he joined the army and spent a significant part of his life in military campaigns.

Early Military Career

During the Persian War from 420 to 422, Marcian served as a common soldier in the army of the Goth Ardabur. Later, in 443, he participated in a campaign led by Aspar to Africa, where he was captured by the Vandals. However, he was released by King Geiseric himself, who, according to legend, predicted that Marcian would become emperor.

Ascension to the Throne

When Emperor Theodosius II died, his sister Pulcheria, who kept his death a secret, sent for Marcian. Upon his arrival, she declared him the emperor, stating that she chose him as the most worthy candidate from the entire Senate. Marcian promised to honor her vow of chastity and was proclaimed the Roman emperor by Pulcheria, who summoned the patriarch and the Senate for the occasion. Marcian married Pulcheria but did not consummate the marriage.

Reign as Emperor

Marcian was an intelligent but poorly educated man. He had a stern character and made efforts to curb the influence of eunuchs, particularly by prohibiting the sale of offices. In matters of faith, he strictly adhered to Orthodoxy and convened the Council of Chalcedon in 451, which condemned the heresy of Monophysitism.

Foreign Relations

Marcian put an end to the humiliating dependence of the empire on the Huns in external affairs. When Attila demanded tribute from him in 450, Marcian responded that he was not obligated to give what had been promised by his predecessor. If Attila threatened him with war, Marcian warned that he would mobilize a force that would match his strength. Attila hesitated for a while on whether to wage war against Rome or Constantinople and eventually decided to attack the Western Empire. However, his death prevented him from seeking revenge against Marcian.