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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.

Aelius, Caesar, July or August 136 - 1 January 138 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. 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 future hope of the people.
RB77884. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II Hadrian 1055 (S), SRCV II 3986, BMCRE III Hadrian 1914, Cohen II 56, Fair, weight 24.384 g, maximum diameter 31.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 137 A.D.; obverse L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right; reverse TR PO - T - COS II, Spes walking left, flower in raised right hand, lifting drapery of skirt with left hand, S - C flanking across field below center; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; scarce; $32.00 (Ä28.48)

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, Spes walking left, flower in right hand, raising fold of chiton with left; ex Rusty Romans; $26.00 (Ä23.14)


Catalog current as of Friday, January 20, 2017.
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Elpis or Spes