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Home>Catalog>CollectingThemes>Personifications>Hope PAGE 1/3123

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.


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 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.
RS68502. Silver denarius, BMCRE V 313, RIC IV 199, RSC III 273, SRCV II 7547, VF/aVF, interesting eastern style, weight 3.198 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 45o, Antiochia (Antakiyah, Syria) mint, 219 - 220 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SPEI PERPETVAE, Spes walking left, flower in right, raising fold of skirt with left; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $100.00 (75.00)

Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 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. On this coin, the Caesar, Geta, the designated successor of the emperors, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people.
RS48393. Silver denarius, RIC IV 96, RSC III 192a, VF, weight 3.192 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 150o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 198 - 200 A.D.; obverse L SEPTIMIVS GETA CAES, bare head, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPEI PERPETVAE, Spes walking left, raising flower in right, raising fold of skirt with left; $90.00 (67.50)

Saloninus, Summer 260 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, Saloninus, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people.
RS65673. Silver antoninianus, Gbl MIR 915e, SRCV III 10774, RSC IV 93, RIC V 13 corr., VF, weight 3.719 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, as caesar, 258 - 260 A.D.; obverse SALON VALERIANVS CAES, radiate and draped bust right from behind; reverse SPES PVBLICA, Spes walking left, flower in right, raising robe with left; $90.00 (67.50)

Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 232, Severus Alexander launched a counterattack against the Persian forces of King Ardashir I, who had invaded Mesopotamia. Alexander gave the order to march to the capital at Ctesiphon, but was defeated and withdrew to Syria. After heavy losses on both sides, a truce was signed.
RB60647. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 648, Cohen 549, VF, chipped, weight 22.254 g, maximum diameter 31.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 232 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate bust right with slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse SPES PVBLICA S C, Spes advancing left, flower in right, raising skirt with left; $80.00 (60.00)

Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 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.
RS50629. Silver denarius, RIC IV 254, RSC III 543, gVF, weight 3.491 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 231 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES PVBLICA, Spes advancing left, flower in right, with left raising skirt; $75.02 (56.26)


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; $75.00 (56.25)

Saloninus, Summer 260 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, Saloninus, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people.
RS65679. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1707u, RIC V 36 (Antioch), RSV IV 95a, SRCV III -, VF, weight 3.752 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, Samosata (Adiyman Province. Turkey) mint, as caesar, 3rd emission, Jan - summer 260 A.D.; obverse SALON VALERIANVS NOB CAES, radiate draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES PVBLICA, Spes on left, raising skirt, presenting flower to prince, star above; $65.00 (48.75)

Tacitus, 25 September 275 - 12 April 276 A.D.
Click for a larger photo
RB33969. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V 61, VF, weight 3.564 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 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; nicely centered, some pin prick pitting; $55.00 (41.25)

Carinus, First Half 283 - Spring 285 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
Click for a larger photo Elpis was the Greek 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. Elpis's Roman equivalent was Spes. She was also named "ultima dea" - the last resort of men.

RX58108. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4701; Geissen 3177; Curtis 1917; Dattari 5584; SNG Cop 952; BMC Alexandria 2454; Kampmann 115.10; Emmett 4007, VF, weight 7.244 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 283 - 28 Aug 284 A.D.; obverse A K M A KAPINOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse Elpis standing left, holding flower and raising fold of dress, date L - B (year 2) across field; $45.00 (33.75)

Carinus, First Half 283 - Spring 285 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
Click for a larger photo Elpis was the Greek 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. Elpis's Roman equivalent was Spes. She was also named "ultima dea" - the last resort of men.

RX42517. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4701; Geissen 3177; Curtis 1917; Dattari 5584; SNG Cop 952; BMC Alexandria 2454; Kampmann 115.10; Emmett 4007, VF, weight 7.037 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 283 - 28 Aug 284 A.D.; obverse A K M A KAPINOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse Elpis standing left, holding flower and raising fold of dress, date L - B (year 2) across field; $36.00 (27.00)



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Catalog current as of Sunday, April 20, 2014.
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Hope and Fate