Marcia (mother of Trajan)

Marcia (c. 29 – before 100) was a Roman noblewoman and the mother of the Roman emperor Trajan.



Marcia came from a noble and politically influential gens, the plebeian gens Marcia,[1] which claimed to be descended from the Roman king Ancus Marcius. Trajan owned some lands called Figlinae Marcianae in Ameria, believed to be the place where Marcia's family was from. Marcia was a daughter of the Roman senator Quintus Marcius Barea Sura and his wife Antonia Furnilla.[2] Quintus Marcius Barea Sura was a friend to emperor Vespasian. Her younger sister Marcia Furnilla was the second wife of emperor Titus.[3] Marcia was a maternal aunt to Furnilla's and Titus' daughter Flavia.

Marcia's paternal uncle was the senator Quintus Marcius Barea Soranus, while her paternal cousin was the noblewoman Marcia Servilia Sorana. Marcia's paternal grandfather was Quintus Marcius Barea, who was suffect consul in 34 and Proconsul of the Africa Province in 41–43, while her maternal grandfather could have been Aulus Antonius Rufus, a suffect consul in 45.[4] The gens of Marcia was connected to the opponents of emperor Nero. In 65 after the failure of the Pisonian conspiracy, her family was disfavored by Nero.



During the reign of emperor Claudius (r. 41–54), Marcia married the Roman general and senator Marcus Ulpius Traianus. Traianus originally came from Italica (near modern Seville, Spain) in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica. After Marcia married Traianus, for a time they lived in Italica.

Marcia bore Traianus two children:

  • A daughter - Ulpia Marciana (48–112/114), who inherited her second name from her mother's paternal ancestry. Marciana married Gaius Salonius Matidius Patruinus, who was a wealthy senator and became praetor. Marciana bore Patruinus a daughter named Salonia Matidia, who was born in 68.
  • A son - Marcus Ulpius Traianus, better known as Trajan (53–117). Trajan became and served as emperor from 98 until his death in 117. He married a woman named Pompeia Plotina.

Marcia owned clay-bearing estates called the Figlinae Marcianae, which was located in North Italy. When Marcia died, Trajan inherited these estates from his mother. It is unknown if Marcia lived long enough to see Trajan become emperor.



Around 100, her son Trajan founded a colony in North Africa which was called Colonia Marciana Ulpia Traiana Thamugadi (modern Timgad, Algeria). Her son named this town in honor of her, her late husband and her daughter. The colony's name is also a tribute in honoring her family.

Nerva–Antonine family tree


See also



  1. ^ Pauly-Wissowa, RE 14.2, 1535-1600.
  2. ^ J. K. Evans (1979). "The Trial of P. Egnatius Celer". The Classical Quarterly. 29 (1): 198–202. doi:10.1017/S0009838800035308. JSTOR 638620. S2CID 170081135.
  3. ^ Strobel, Karl (2010). Kaiser Traian (in German). Regensburg: Friedrich Pustet. p. 41. ISBN 9783791721729.
  4. ^ "Workspace not found".