Roman Republic, C. Marcius Censorinus, AR Denarius, Rome 88 BCE. Obv. Jugate diademed heads, right, of kings Numa Pompilius, bearded [legendary second king of Rome], and Ancus Marcius, beardless [his grandson, the legendary fourth king of Rome], no control-mark / Rev. Desultor on horseback galloping right, wearing pileus [conical cap], with second horse at his side, holding whip with right hand and holding reins for both horses with left hand; in exergue, C•CENSO; no control-mark. Crawford 346/1i [no control-marks], RSC I Marcia 18a [no control marks], BMCR 2367 [no control-marks], see also id. 2368-2393 [various control-marks], Sydenham 713, Sear RCV I 256 [illustration has control-mark]. 17 mm., 3.72 g. [Purchased from Munthandel G. Henzen, Netherlands, Feb. 2021; ex. Dutch private collection.]* *The moneyer, as was traditional for the gens Marcia, belonged to the populares faction, and was “one of the leading men of the Marian party; he was the accuser of Sulla for malversation upon his return from Asia in BC 91. He entered Rome with Marius and Cinna in BC 87, and took a leading part in the massacres which ensued.” BMCRR p. 301 n. 1. In 87, as a military tribune or prefect for Marius, he famously commanded the cavalry that attacked and killed the consul Gnaeius Octavius, and then brought his head to Marius’s ally Cinna (who then controlled Rome) before nailing it to the Rostra -- according to the historian Appian, the first time the head of a consul was displayed on the Rostra, but unfortunately not the last. Censorinus died in 82 BCE in the course of the final struggle against Sulla, when he was taken prisoner in the defeat at the Battle of the Colline Gate and was put to death. See id.; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcius_Censorinus; Crawford p. 361. The obverse design “records the descent of the gens Marcia from Ancus Marcius [citing Plutarch, Suetonius, and Ovid] and hence also from [Ancus Marcius's] grandfather Numa Pompilius, a piece of genealogical fiction.” Crawford p. 361; accord BMCRR p. 301 n. 2. The reverse types on all of the denarii issued by this moneyer “commemorate the foundation of the Ludi Apollinares, which were instituted in BC 212 in virtue of a prophecy of the soothsayer Marcius.” Id; accord Crawford p. 361. This particular type “represents the race in which a rider (desultor) was provided with two horses, from one to the other of which he sprang during the race.” BMCRR p. 301 n. 2. See also Jones, John Melville, A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins (Seaby, London, 1990), entry for “Desultor,” at p. 94, defining the term as follows: “One who leaps down or dismounts, the name given to a competitor in games at Rome who, in a manner not now clearly understood, took part in a horse race using more than one horse. It may be assumed that he had to change horses at least once during the race. In a collection of myths by the Roman writer Hyginus the statement occurs that a desultor wore a pileus because his actions symbolized the alternate immortality of Castor and Pollux [i.e., as he switched from one horse to the other]. This may be true but when a rider with two horses appears on Republican coins, the type should be regarded as agonistic rather than religious.” At p. 361, Crawford describes 9 different subtypes of this issue, differing in whether and where control-letters, numerals, symbols, and “fractional signs” appear, i.e., on the obverse and/or the reverse. This type, with no control-mark of any kind on either side of the coin -- and it seems unlikely that any such mark would have worn off completely but left all the other major features of the design, including the whip in the rider’s hand, still clearly visible -- is the ninth subtype, denominated Crawford 345/1i. Taking all subtypes together, there are a total of 102 obverse dies and 113 reverse dies. Id. Thus, the number of dies with no control-marks is quite scarce when compared to the total number of dies with one or more control-marks of any kind, but is no more scarce, when compared on a one-to-one basis, than the number of dies with any given individual control mark or marks. *** In my Top 10 list for 2020 (all Roman Republican), I recall that four or five were issued by supporters of Sulla, celebrating or anticipating his victories. This, I believe, is my first coin issued by a supporter of Marius. So I'm pleased to have it for that reason -- a little ancient political balance can't hurt my collection! -- as well as because I love the portrayal of the desultor. Please post your coins issued by Marius supporters, your coins issued by other members of the gens Marcia (especially those bearing the cognomen Censorinus), your coins depicting one or more Kings of Rome, and/or your coins showing desultors -- I know there are others. To start, here's my one coin from another Marcius Censorinus: Roman Republic, Lucius Marcius Censorinus, AR Denarius, 82 BCE. Obv. Laureate head of Apollo right, traces of control mark (unidentifiable) behind / Rev. The satyr Marsyas standing left, gazing upwards, raising right hand and holding wineskin over left shoulder; tall column behind him, surmounted by statue of draped figure (Minerva [RSC] or Victory [Crawford]); L. CENSOR downwards before him. Crawford 363/1d, RSC I Marcia 24d, Sear RCV I 281 (ill.), BMCRR 2657. 18 mm, 3.80 g, 5 h. [The coin refers to the legend of the satyr Marsyas challenging bonu to a flute-playing contest. As the winner, Apollo got to choose the punishment for the loser -- namely, skinning Marsyas alive. Traditionally, the gens Marcia was descended from Marsyas; hence the reference.] Here's a coin with another depiction of Ancus Marcius, the 4th king of Rome, by still another member of the gens Marcia: Roman Republic, L. Marcius Philippus, AR Denarius, 56 BCE, Rome Mint. Obv. Diademed head of Ancus Marcius [fourth King of Rome] right, lituus behind, ANCVS below / Rev. The Aqua Marcia aqueduct, represented as an arcade of five arches surmounted by an equestrian statue right [portraying Quintus Marcius Rex, builder of that aqueduct], with horse rearing; flower below horse; PHILIPPVS on left, AQVAMAR [MAR in monogram] within the arches. Crawford 425/1, RSC I Marcia 28, Sydenham 919, Sear RCV I 382 (ill.), Harlan, Michael, Roman Republican Moneyers and their Coins 63 BCE - 49 BCE (2d ed. 2015) (“RRM II”), Ch. 15 at pp. 122-128. 18 mm., 3.92 mm., 7 h.* * The moneyer, Lucius Marcius Philippus (triumvir in 56 BCE, praetor in 44, suffect consul in 38 BCE) was the stepbrother of Gaius Octavius [later Augustus] (age seven at the time of this issue). The moneyer’s father, also named Lucius Marcius Philippus (consul in 56 BCE), was Octavius's stepfather by virtue of marrying the widow Atia, who was the mother of Octavius and Julius Caesar's niece (the daughter of Caesar’s sister Julia and her husband M. Atius Balbus). See Sear RCV I at p.145, Harlan, RRM II at pp. 122, 127-128. The gens Marcia, to which the moneyer belonged, was named after Ancus Marcius, depicted on the obverse -- the legendary fourth king of Rome, who was the founder of that gens, and, therefore, the moneyer’s ancestor. (The lituus probably represents the king's augurship.) Quintus Marcius Rex, the horseman depicted by the equestrian statue atop the Aqua Marcia aqueduct on the reverse, and the builder of that aqueduct in 144 BCE when he was praetor, was a distant cousin of the moneyer. However, he was not actually the moneyer’s ancestor, because Quintus belonged to the Reges branch of the gens Marcia, rather than the moneyer's Philippi branch of that gens. The two branches had separated by the end of the third century. Harlan, RRM II at pp.122-126. See id. for details on the size of the aqueduct and its reputation (according to Pliny) of having the coolest and most healthful waters of all Roman aqueducts. See Pliny, Naturalis Historia, 31.41. [Remainder of footnote omitted.] Finally, another depiction of the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius: Roman Republic, L. Pomponius Molo, AR Denarius, 97 BCE. Obv. Laureate head of Apollo right, L•POMPON• MOLO / Rev. Numa Pompilius [legendary second king of Rome after Romulus], holding lituus in left hand, standing right before a lighted altar, at which he is about to sacrifice a goat, which is led by a victimarius standing left, NVMA•POMPIL in exergue (MA and MP in monogram). Crawford 334/1, RSC I Pomponia 6 (ill.), BMCRR Italy 733, Sydenham 607, Sear RCV I 214 (ill.). 19.7 mm., 3.86 g.[Double die match to CNG E-Auction 157, Jan. 2007, Lot 149?]* *See RSC I at p. 77: “This type is an allusion to the supposed descent of the gens [Pomponia] from Pompo, one of the sons of Numa Pompilius, who is here represented as sacrificing to Apollo.” Crawford’s interpretation is the same; see Crawford Vol. I at p. 333. Note that on the last two coins, as on the first, Ancus Marcius is beardless and Numa Pompilius is (or at least appears to be) bearded. Presumably, that was the tradition. To repeat myself -- if anyone's gotten this far! -- please post your coins issued by Marius supporters or members of the gens Marcia (especially with the cognomen Censorinus), and coins showing Roman Kings or desultors.