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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.


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 SALE PRICE $135.00

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 SALE PRICE $135.00

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."
RL90387. Silvered AE 3, RIC VII Thessalonica 161 (R3), LRBC 827, SRCV IV 16571, aVF, some silvering, weight 3.105 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Thessalonica mint, 326 - 328 A.D.; obverse FLAV MAX - FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right, hair waived, bun at back, wearing pearl necklace; reverse SPES REI-PVBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, looking left, holding infants Constantine II and Constantius II, SMTSB in exergue; scarce; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00 ON RESERVE

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; $75.00 SALE PRICE $67.50

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 SALE PRICE $63.00

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), RSC 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 SALE PRICE $58.50

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 SALE PRICE $58.50

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 SALE PRICE $49.50

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 p. 317, 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, flower in right hand, raising fold of chiton with left, L - B (year 2) flanking across field; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00

Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 265, Gallienus twice tried to crush the usurper Postumus. The first time, Aureolus, commander of the elite cavalry, carelessly let him escape. The second time, Gallienus sustained an arrow wound and broke off his siege. Gallienus gave the order to fortify Milan and Verona and made no further serious attempts to overcome his rival. He then devoted his attention to the political and military problems in the eastern part of the Empire.
RA68752. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1197c (22 ex.), RIC V S485, RSC IV 322a, Cunetio Hoard 1651, SRCV III -, VF, weight 3.202 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 264 - 265 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; reverse INDVLG AVG, Spes walking left, flower in extended right, with left raising fold of drapery, P left; rare; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00



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Catalog current as of Thursday, January 29, 2015.
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Hope and Fate