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Marcia (about 33 - before 100) was the mother of the Roman emperor Trajan.



Marcia came from a noble and politically influential family, the Plebeian gens Marcia,[1] which claimed to be descended from the Roman King Ancus Marcius. Marcia was perhaps the daughter of Quintus Marcius Barea Sura. Her father was a friend to future Roman Emperor Vespasian. Marcia’s sister perhaps was Marcia Furnilla, who was the second wife of future Roman Emperor Titus (Vespasian’s first son). She would thus be the maternal aunt to her sister and Titus’ daughter Julia Flavia or Flavia Julia Titi.

Marcia’s paternal uncle probably was the Roman Senator Quintus Marcius Barea Soranus, while her paternal cousin would have been the noble woman Marcia Servilia Sorana. Her family was connected to the opponents of Roman Emperor Nero. In 65 after the failure of the Pisonian conspiracy, her family was disfavored by Nero.

Marcia’s paternal grandfather probably was Quintus Marcius Barea, who was Suffect Consul in 26 and was twice Proconsul of the Africa Province. Barea was an influential person in the African Province and had dedicated a temple in Leptis Magna to the ‘Dei Augusti’ or ‘The August Gods’.


Presumably, Marcia was born and raised in Rome. During the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius (41-54), Marcia married a Spanish Roman general and senator called Marcus Ulpius Traianus. Traianus originally came from Italica (near modern Seville, Spain) in the Roman Province of Hispania Baetica.

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 and only child Salonina Matidia, who was born on July 4, 68. Matidia was the only grandchild born to Marcia and Traianus.
  • A son - Marcus Ulpius Traianus, or known as Trajan (53-117). Trajan became and served as a Roman Emperor from 98 until his death in 117. He married a woman called Pompeia Plotina.

Marcia owned clay-bearing estates called the Figlinae Marcianae, which were 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.

Nerva–Antonine family tree

  • (1) = 1st spouse
  • (2) = 2nd spouse (not shown)
  • (3) = 3rd spouse
  • SMALL CAPS = posthumously deified (Augusti, Augustae, or other)
  • dotted lines indicate adoption or (in the case of Hadrian and Antinous) lovers
NERVA (r. 96-98)
TRAJAN, adoptive son (r. 98-117)
Aelius Afer
Paulina Major
Libo Rupilius Frugi (3)
L. Vibius Sabinus (1)
Rupilia Annia
M. Annius Verus
Rupilia Faustina
HADRIAN, adoptive son (r. 117-138)
Paulina Minor
Domitia Lucilla
M. Annius Verus
M. Annius Libo
ANTONINUS PIUS, adoptive son (r. 138-161)
Aelius, adoptive son
Julia Paulina
MARCUS AURELIUS, adoptive son (r. 161-180)
Aurelia Fadilla
two infant sons
VERUS, adoptive son (r. 161-169)
COMMODUS (r. 177-192)
nine other children



  1. ^ Pauly-Wissowa, RE 14.2, 1535-1600.


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