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     CASTOR, the son of Tyndarus, king of Laconia, or, according to fable, of Jupiter by Leda, and twin brother of Pollux. -- See Dioscuri.
     CASTOR -- a male figure, half naked, stands holding a horse by a bridle, or halter, with his right hand, and in his left a spear.
     This legend and type appear on silver, and first and second brass, coins of Geta, struck in commemoration of the Circensian games, celebrated under Severus. -- Castor is a novel device in the imerial mint, though of very ancient date on Consular coins. On those in question the type alludes to the Princeps Juventutis, who, like Castor, presided over the equestrian sports called Troja, to which reference is elsewhere made. That the exercise of horsemanship was peculiar to Castor, as pugilism was to Pollux, is accredited by no less early an authority than that of Homer, who in the hymn to the Dioscuri, v. 3, says, "Castor, the horse tamer," and more clearly in the Odyssey, book xi, v. 298 -- "Both Castor the tamer of steeds, and Pollux expert with his fists."
     All the other poets have ascribed to Castor the characteristic of skilful equitation. -- Theocritus, Idyl, xxvii, p. 138, thus expresses himself; "Thee, Castor, I will sing, son of Tyndarus, an adroit rider of horses, and most dexterous in handling the lance." -- Horace (ii. SAT i. v. 26) says: Castor gandet equis, &c.
      As Geta 's coin of
CASTOR presents but a
n unclassical and diminutive group of ma
n and horse, it has been deemed preferable to select for illustration of
the subject the reverse of a brass
medallion struck under M. Aurelius.
     Obv. -- AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG. PII. FIL.  Bare head of Marcus A
     Rev. -- TR. POT. VIIII. COS. II. Castor, with the chlamys thrown back from the front, stands resting his right hand on the neck of his horse, and holding a spear transversely in his left.
     The preceding cut is copied from an engraving published by a celebrated continental antiquary and connoisseur, wh
o states the original to have been in the possession of Onorato Cactano, an Italian nobleman, and it is shown to represent Castor in an attitude p
erfectly similar to that exhibited on a remarkably fine bas relief, preserved in the Capitol, at Rome. -- See Monumens du Musee Chiaramonti, par P. A. Visconti, Milan edition, 8vo. 1822, and compare TAB a i. with TAB. ix. a p. 84 et seq.
     Vaillant (in Num. Impp. Rom. Praestant, T. iii. p. 136) was the first to notice this grand and interesting coin; but he has innacurately described it.
     The head of Castor, with a star over it, appears on denarii of the Sanquinia and Valeria families.

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