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Home>Catalog>Themes&Provenance>Gods,Non-Olympian>Spes
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.


Maximianus, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Elpis was the Greek equivalent of the Roman Spes, the goddess of hope. She was traditionally defined as "the last goddess" (Spes, ultima dea), meaning that hope is the last resource available to men. Elpis personified hope for good harvests, and for children, and was invoked at births, marriages, and other important times.
RX71246. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5887; Milne 5162; BMC Alexandria p. 329, 2559; Kampmann 120.95; Emmett 4114/10; Geissen -; SNG Cop -; SNG Milan -; Curtis -, aVF, weight 6.922 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 294 - 28 Aug 295; obverse MAΞIMIANOC CEB, laureate head right; reverse Elpis standing left, flower in right, raising drapery with left, star behind, L - I (year 10) across fields; $30.00 (Ä26.10)


Maximianus, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

Click for a larger photo
Elpis was the Greek equivalent of the Roman Spes, the goddess of hope. She was traditionally defined as "the last goddess" (Spes, ultima dea), meaning that hope is the last resource available to men. Elpis personified hope for good harvests, and for children, and was invoked at births, marriages, and other important times.
RX73857. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4829; Dattari 5875; Curtis 2071; Geissen 3286; BMC Alexandria p. 329, 2556; SNG Cop 1024; Emmett 4114 (BMC 2555), VF, bold strike, encrustations, crowded flan, weight 7.286 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 286 - 28 Aug 287; obverse A K M OYA MAΞIMIANOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse Elpis standing left, flower in right, raising drapery with left, star behind, L - B (year 2) flanking across field; ex Michael Marx Collection, ex M & R Coins (Chicago, 21 April 2003); $25.00 (Ä21.75)



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Catalog current as of Saturday, May 23, 2015.
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Elpis or Spes