brilliant crimson aniline dye, also the color it produces, 1860, named in honor of the Battle of Magenta in Italy, where the French and Sardinians defeated the Austrians in 1859, which advanced the cause of Italian independence and fired the imagination of European liberals. The town's name traces back to Roman general and emperor Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius (d. 312), who supposedly had a headquarters here. Other mid-19c. dyes named for battles include magdala and solferino.
from 330 C.E. to 1930 the name of what is now Istanbul and formerly was Byzantium, the city on the European side of the Bosphorus that served as the former capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, from Greek Konstantinou polis "Constantine's city," named for Roman emperor Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus (see Constantine), who transferred the Roman capital there.
fem. proper name, from Latin Marcia, fem. of Marcius, a Roman gens name, related to Marcus (q.v.).