SILVER DENARIUS OF C. MARCIUS CENSORINUS, 88 BC.

SILVER DENARIUS OF C. MARCIUS CENSORINUS, 88 BC.

165.00

Obverse: Conjoined diademed heads of King Numa Pompilius, bearded, and King Ancus Marcius, beardless, facing right.

Reverse: Desultor galloping right, wearing conical hat and holding whip in right hand, a second horse at his side, control numeral XXVIIII, C CENSO in ex.

RRC: 346/1. Sear: 256. CRR: 713-713g. RSC: Marcia 18-18f. [Rome, 88 BC].

Diameter: 20 mm. Weight: 3.9 g.

An unusual Republican denarius struck in 88 BC by the moneyer C. Marcius Censorinus. The obverse depicts the conjoined heads of Numa Pompilius (717-673 BC) the second king of Rome, who succeeded Romulus, alongside Ancus Marcius (642-617 BC) the fourth king of Rome. The gens Marcia claimed descent from these ancient rulers. A type of performer in the Roman Circus, the desultor rode two horses at the same time, sitting on them without a saddle, and vaulting back and forth between them, exhibiting great feats of horsemanship. This reverse type was selected by Censorinus in memory of a celebrated seer of the Marcia family, named Marcius, who suggested to the Senate establishment of the Ludi Apollinares –  Equestrian games in honor of Apollo. A scarce coin in excellent condition, with attractive old cabinet toning.

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