There's next to nothing to be said for Marius because his reign was
so short. The historian Eutropius writing about a hundred years after his death
records his reign as lasting all of three days. Aurelius Victor, another
historian contemporary to Eutropius, has him murdered the following day.
This is of course hyperbole as evidenced in the fact that relatively many coins
of him survive. The man was a blacksmith and how he made the jump from that
lowly career to becoming an emperor, however short his tenure, should be worth
its own "Movie of the Week" award. He succeeded Laelianus, another short-lived
emperor, when the undisciplined troops under his command were told to hold their
positions following an initially successful attack on barbarian-controlled
Mainz. The soldiers wanted to recover war loot and wouldn't be held back by
Laelianus so they murdered him and named the head rabble-rouser, Marius, as
their next emperor.
AE Antoninianus ca. 269 A.D.
2.19 g., 20 mm.
Obv. IMP C MARIVS PF AVG: Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right