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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Non-Olympian ▸ SpesView Options:  |  |  | 

Elpis or Spes

Elpis was the Greek, and Spes the Roman, personification of Hope. According the Hesiod's famous story, Elpis was the last to escape the Pandora's box. It can be debated whether she was really about "hope" as we understand it, or rather mere "expectation." In art, Elpis is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - the last resort of men.


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art, Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. This coin advertises Carausius as the source of hope for the people.
RA73259. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 1010, Webb Carausius 2235, Cohen VII 339, King Unmarked -, SRCV IV -, Hunter IV -, aVF, centered on a broad flan, green patina with red earthen deposits, legends weak, weight 3.311 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, die axis 225o, unmarked (Londinium?) mint, c. mid 286 - 287; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes walking left, flower in right hand, lifting skirt with left hand, no mintmarks; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; $140.00 (119.00)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art, Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. This coin advertises Carausius as the source of hope for the people.
RA73289. Billon antoninianus, RIC V 1010, Webb Carausius 2235, Cohen VII 339, King Unmarked -, SRCV IV -, Hunter IV -, VF, nice green patina, reverse a little off center on a broad flan, bumps and marks, light earthen deposits, weight 3.363 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, unmarked mint, c. mid 286 - 287; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, early reign moustache portrait type; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes walking left, flower in right hand, lifting skirt with left hand, no mintmarks; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; $140.00 (119.00)


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, and raising a fold of her dress with her left hand. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men.
RB84861. Copper as, RIC II-1 894; BMCRE II 725, BnF III 757, Cohen I 457, Hunter I C3852, SRCV I -, VF, reverse rough and smoothed, weight 11.521 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 76 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESP AVG COS VII, laureate head right; reverse Spes standing left, flower in right hand, raising skirt with left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking at sides; $120.00 (102.00)


Maximinus I Thrax, 20 March 235 - Late May 238 A.D., Pella, Macedonia

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Pella was founded in 399 B.C. by King Archelaus (413 - 399 B.C.) as his capital. It was the seat of Philip II and of his son, Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C., it was sacked by the Romans, and its treasury transported to Rome. Later the city was destroyed by an earthquake. By 180 A.D., Lucian could describe it in passing as "now insignificant, with very few inhabitants."
RP83513. Bronze AE 26, SNG ANS 636, Varbanov III 3742 (R4) var. (bust also draped), AMNG III / 2 p. 99, 34 var. (same); SNG Hunterian 658 var. (same); BMC Macedonia -, aVF, excellent portrait, areas not fully struck, holed, slightly off center on a tight flan, centration dimple on reverse, weight 8.921 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 90o, Pella mint, 20 Mar 235 - late May 238 A.D.; obverse IMP C C IVL VER MAXIMINVS, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse COL IVL AVG PELLA, Spes seated left, putting her right hand to her mouth; $105.00 (89.25)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. On this coin, the Caesar, Caracalla, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of Rome.
RS87525. Silver denarius, RIC IV 5, RSC III 594, BMCRE V 190, SRCV III 6680, Hunter III - (p. lxv), VF, light toning, radiating flow lines, tight slightly ragged flan cutting off much of the legends, weight 3.519 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, as caesar, 196 A.D.; obverse M AVR ANTONINVS CAES, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES PERPETVAE (hope forever), Spes advancing left, flower in right hand, raising drapery with left hand; from an American collection; $70.00 (59.50)


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, and raising a fold of her dress with her left hand. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men.
RB73623. Copper as, RIC II-1 894; BMCRE II 725, BnF III 757, Cohen I 457, Hunter I C3852, SRCV I -, F, centered, dark green patina, cleaning scratches, light corrosion and encrustations, weight 9.599 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 76 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESP AVG COS VII, laureate head right; reverse Spes standing left, flower in right hand, raising skirt with left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking at sides; $45.00 (38.25)


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

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In 359, King Shapur II the Great of the Persian Empire invaded southern Armenia. The Romans implemented a scorched earth policy and placed strong guards at the Euphrates crossings. He besieged the Roman fortress of Amida (modern Diyarbakir). After seventy-three days the city was conquered and the population was massacred. That winter Shapur halted his campaign due to heavy casualties. In 360, Shapur II continued his campaign against the Roman fortresses; capturing Singara, Bezabde and Nisibis.
RL77935. Bronze reduced maiorina, RIC VIII Antioch 193 (S), LRBC II 2638, Voetter 33, SRCV V 18321, Cohen VII 188, VF, nice green patina, tight slightly ragged flan, weight 2.628 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 358 - 3 Nov 361 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES REIPVBLICE (the hope of the Republic), emperor standing left, wearing helmet and military dress, globe in right hand, spear in left hand, ANS in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex-Lindgren; scarce; $24.00 (20.40)







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Catalog current as of Friday, September 21, 2018.
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Elpis or Spes