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Home>Catalog>CollectingThemes>Personifications>Hope PAGE 1/212

Hope and Fate (Elpis or Spes)

Elpis to the Greeks, or Spes to the Romans, was the 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, Hope 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.


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, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men.
RB72113. Copper as, RIC II 894, BMCRE II 725, BnF III 757, Cohen I 457, VF, nice glossy green patina, weight 10.266 g, maximum diameter 27.9 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, raising skirt with left, S - C flanking at sides; ex Classical Numismatic Group; $155.00 (134.85)

Fausta, Augusta 324 - 326 A.D., Second Wife of Constantine the Great
Click for a larger photo Fausta is depicted as Spes, the Roman personification of hope. She holds her infant children, Constantine II and Constantius II, her hopeful promise for the future of the "Republic."
RL70607. Bronze AE 3, RIC Heraclea VII 80, aEF, green patina, well centered, slight porosity, weight 3.379 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 315o, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 325 - 326 A.D.; obverse FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right, hair waived, bun at back, wearing pearl necklace; reverse SPES REIP-VBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, looking left, holding infants Constantine II and Constantius II, SMH∆ in ex; rare; $150.00 (130.50)

Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 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, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men.
RS90699. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 73, RSC IV 220, SRCV III 8967 var (obv legend), aEF, superb portrait, nice reverse style, well centered and struck, light corrosion, weight 3.785 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 225o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 244 - 249 A.D.; obverse IMP IVL PHILIPPVS PIVS FEL AVG, P M under the bust, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SPES FELICITATIS ORBIS (hope for the happiness of the world), Spes standing left, flower in right, raising skirt with left; rare; $150.00 (130.50)

Eugenius, 22 August 392 - 6 September 394 A.D.
Click for a larger photo
In 394, after he defeated Eugenius and Arbogast in the Battle of the Frigidus, Theodosius I extinguished the sacred fire tended by the Vestal Virgins in Rome. The Temple of Vesta remained reasonably intact until the Renaissance. However, in 1549 the building was completely demolished and its marble reused in churches and papal palaces. The section standing today was reconstructed in the 1930s during the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini. The Temple of Vesta

RL90703. Copper AE 4, RIC IX Aquileia 59.1, Cohen 5, F, legible beginning of name and mintmark, typical undersize flan cutting of part of legends, weight 0.951 g, maximum diameter 12.5 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Aquileia mint, Spring 393 - 6 Sep 394 A.D.; obverse D N EVGENIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES ROMANORVM, Victory walking left holding wreath in right and palm frond over shoulder in left, AQP in ex; rare; $150.00 (130.50) ON RESERVE

Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 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, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men.
RS71291. Silver denarius, RIC IV 364, RSC III 58, SRCV II 6266, gVF, weight 3.469 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 225o, Emesa (Homs, Syria) mint, 194 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II, laureate head right; reverse BONA SPES (good hope), Spes walking left, flower in right hand, raising fold of chiton with left; $150.00 (130.50)

Julian II "the Apostate," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. 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, Julian II, the designated successor of the emperor, holds the world in his hand and is identified as the future hope of the Roman "Republic."
RL70747. Bronze AE 3, RIC VIII Nicomedia 114, Choice gVF, green patina, highlighting earthen encrustations, weight 1.537 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 6 Nov 355 - 3 Nov 361 A.D.; obverse D N IVLIA-NVS NOB C, bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES REI-PVBLICE, Julian standing slightly left, head left, globe extended in right, inverted spear behind in left, SMNΓ in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $70.00 (60.90)

Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In November 268, at the Battle of Lake Benacus a Roman army of 35,000 men under emperor Claudius II defeated the Germanic tribes of the Alamanni along the banks of Lake Garda.
RA72404. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 26, Venra Hoard 9073, RIC V 168, Cohen 284, aEF, tight flan, weight 4.053 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 1st emission, c. Sep 268 - mid 269; obverse IMP CLAVDIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SPES PVBLICA, Spes standing left, raising flower in right, raising fold of drapery with left, P in exergue; ex Robert T. Golan; $70.00 (60.90)

Aelius, Caesar, July or August 136 - 1 January 138 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, 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, Aelius, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people. Aelius was never to become emperor, dying shortly before Hadrian.
RB70479. Copper as, SRCV II 3993, RIC II 1067, F, rough, porous, weight 11.844 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 137 A.D.; obverse L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right; reverse TR POT COS II S C, Spes advancing right, holding flower and raising drapery; scarce; $65.00 (56.55)

Aelius, Caesar, July or August 136 - 1 January 138 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, 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, Aelius, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people. Aelius was never to become emperor, dying shortly before Hadrian.
RB72529. Copper as, RIC II Hadrian 1067 (S), BMCRE III 1931, Cohen 57 (8f.), SRCV II 3993, F, weight 9.609 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, 137 A.D.; obverse L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right; reverse TR POT COS II, Spes walking left, raising flower in right, lifting skirt drapery with left, S - C flanking across field; scarce; $65.00 (56.55)

Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.
Click for a larger photo
RB33969. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V 61, VF, nicely centered, porous, weight 3.564 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, early - Jun 276 A.D.; obverse IMP CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES PVBLICA, Spes advancing left, holding flower and lifting fold of dress; $55.00 (47.85)



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Catalog current as of Wednesday, March 04, 2015.
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Hope and Fate