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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.


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.
RB73623. Copper as, RIC II, part 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; $60.00 (53.40)


Carinus, First Half 283 - Spring 285 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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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 hand, and raising a fold of her dress with her left hand. Elpis' Roman equivalent was Spes. She was also named "ultima dea" - the last resort of men.

RX77915. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4721, Curtis 1919, Geissen 3180, SNG Cop 954, SGICV 4779, VF, flan crack, reverse little off-center and struck with a broken die, corrosion, weight 7.725 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 15o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 283 - 28 Aug 284 A.D.; obverse A K M A KAPINOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse Elpis standing left, flower in right hand, raising drapery with left hand, star upper right, L - B (year 2) flanking across field; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren, ex Pegasi Numismatics; rare; $40.00 (35.60)


Gallic Empire, Tetricus II, Spring 274 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.
RA77490. Billon antoninianus, RIC V 270, Schulzki AGK 9a, Cunetio 2647, Elmer 791, Cohen VI 88, Hunter IV 11, SRCV III 11292, VF, green patina, tight ragged flan, weight 2.122 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Mainz or Treveri (Trier) mint, as caesar, 273 - spring 274 A.D.; obverse C PIV ESV TETRICVS CAES, radiate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse SPES AVGG (hope of the two emperors), Spes advancing left, extending flower in right hand, raising skirt drapery with left hand; $32.00 (28.48)


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 VIII 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; $30.00 (26.70)


Gallic Empire, Tetricus I, mid 271 - Spring 274 A.D.

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During the Crisis of the Third Century (235 - 284 A.D.), the Roman Empire nearly collapsed under the combined pressures of invasion, civil war, plague, and economic depression. In the western provinces, official mints did not meet the needs for low-value coinage and unofficial private mints struck imitations of Roman coins (usually antoniniani). These unofficial imitations, called barbarous radiates today, were not counterfeits. They were smaller than standard issues, were not intended to deceive, and probably only functioned as small change. The most frequently imitated prototypes are of the Gallic emperors Tetricus I and his son, Tetricus II.
RA79592. Billon antoninianus, RIC V 136, Cohen VI 170, SRCV III 11250, Hunter IV - (p. ci), VF, nice portrait, nice green patina, tight ragged flan with edge cracks, light scratches, earthen deposits, weight 2.640 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 272 - 273 A.D.; obverse IMP C TETRICVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes walking left, flower in right hand, raising fold of chiton with left; ex Rusty Romans; $24.00 (21.36)


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.
BB83805. Bronze reduced maiorina, RIC VIII Thessalonica 213, LRBC II 1689, Voetter 41, SRCV V 18316, Cohen VIII 188, aVF, green patina, tight ragged flan, weight 1.524 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 225o, 3rd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 6 Nov 355 - 3 Nov 361; 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, SMTSΓ in exergue; $9.00 (8.01)







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Elpis or Spes