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Home>Catalog>CollectingThemes>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.


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 (€30.00)

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, Göbl 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 (€30.00)

Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 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.
BB71192. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4750; Curtis 1980; Geissen 3202; SNG Cop 968; Emmett 4046; BMC Alexandria p. 323, 2499 var (obverse legend, in error?), VF, weight 8.864 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 20 Nov 284 - 28 Aug 285 A.D.; obverse A K Γ OYAΛ ∆IOKΛHTIANOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse Elpis standing left, flower in right hand, raising fold of chiton with left, LA (year 1) left; $35.00 (€26.25)

Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 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.
BB71206. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4750; Curtis 1980; Geissen 3202; SNG Cop 968; Emmett 4046; BMC Alexandria p. 323, 2499 var (obverse legend, in error?), VF, typical tight flan, weight 8.247 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 20 Nov 284 - 28 Aug 285 A.D.; obverse A K Γ OYAΛ ∆IOKΛHTIANOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse Elpis standing left, flower in right hand, raising fold of chiton with left, LA (year 1) left; $35.00 (€26.25)

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.
RX71235. Billon tetradrachm, cf. Milne 4829; Dattari 5875; Curtis 2071; Geissen 3286; BMC Alexandria p. 329, 2556; SNG Cop 1024; Kampmann 120.17 (Milne 4814, Emmett 4114), VF, excellent centering, weak legend, weight 7.235 g, maximum diameter 20.0 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; $35.00 (€26.25)

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.
RX71240. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4829; Dattari 5875; Curtis 2071; Geissen 3286; BMC Alexandria p. 329, 2556; SNG Cop 1024; Kampmann 120.17 (Milne 4814, Emmett 4114), VF, weight 7.091 g, maximum diameter 19.3 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; $35.00 (€26.25)

Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 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.
BB71181. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4750; Curtis 1980; Geissen 3202; SNG Cop 968; Emmett 4046; BMC Alexandria p. 323, 2499 var (obverse legend, in error?), F, weight 8.447 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 20 Nov 284 - 28 Aug 285 A.D.; obverse A K Γ OYAΛ ∆IOKΛHTIANOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse Elpis standing left, flower in right hand, raising fold of chiton with left, LA (year 1) left; $25.00 (€18.75)


Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 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.
BB71183. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4931; BMC Alexandria p. 324, 2501; Dattari 5670; SNG Cop 1014, Emmett 4046, VF, tight flan, weight 4.966 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 289 - 28 Aug 290 A.D.; obverse A K Γ OYAΛ ∆IOKΛHTIANOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse Elpis standing left, flower in right hand, raising fold of chiton with left, L - S (year 6) flanking across field; $25.00 (€18.75)

Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 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.
BB71198. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4750; Curtis 1980; Geissen 3202; SNG Cop 968; Emmett 4046; BMC Alexandria p. 323, 2499 var (obverse legend, in error?), Nice F, well centered, highlighting patina, some earthen encrustation, weight 7.645 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 20 Nov 284 - 28 Aug 285 A.D.; obverse A K Γ OYAΛ ∆IOKΛHTIANOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse Elpis standing left, flower in right hand, raising fold of chiton with left, LA (year 1) left; $25.00 (€18.75)

Carinus, First Half 283 - Spring 285 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.
BB71222. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4701; Geissen 3177; Curtis 1917; Dattari 5584; SNG Cop 952; BMC Alexandria p. 317, 2454; Kampmann 115.10; Emmett 4007, F, weight 8.020 g, maximum diameter 19.5 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; $20.00 (€15.00)

Tacitus, 25 September 275 - 12 April 276 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 275, Aurelian was murdered by the Praetorian Guard near Byzantium. On 25 September, the elderly senator Marcus Claudius Tacitus was proclaimed emperor by the Senate. On 12 Apr 276, Tacitus, aged around 75 years, died after personally leading a successful campaign against a Gothic invasion.
BB62837. Bronze antoninianus, RIC V 207, aF, encrusted, corrosion, weight 3.706 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES PVBLICA, Victory standing right holding palm and presenting wreath to Tacitus, standing left holding scepter, T (third officina) in ex; $19.00 (€14.25)


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Elpis or Spes