Many ancient coins depict the gods and goddesses of the Greeks, Romans and other ancient cultures. Collecting as many different gods and goddesses as possible is a fun, educational and affordable collecting theme. Every ancient gods and goddesses has their mythical function, biography, lineage and other facts and fictions that make them interesting. Here we will present as many different gods and goddesses as we can and provide some of the stories about them that fascinate us. We hope they fascinate you too.
Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.
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.
RS41793. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 70, RSC IV 221, SRCV III 8967, VF, weight 3.920 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch mint, 244 - 245 A.D.; obverseIMP C M IVL PHILIPPVS P F AVG P M, radiate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseSPES FELICITATIS ORBIS (hope for the happiness of the world), Spes standing left, flower in right, raising skirt with left; scarce; $50.00 (€37.50)
Carinus, First Half 283 - Spring 285 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
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.
RX42517. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4701; Geissen 3177; Curtis 1917; Dattari 5584; SNG Cop 952; BMC Alexandria 2454; Kampmann 115.10; Emmett 4007, VF, weight 7.037 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 283 - 28 Aug 284 A.D.; obverse A K M A KAPINOC CEB, laureate and cuirassedbust right; reverseElpis standing left, holding flower and raising fold of dress, date L - B (year 2) across field; $40.00 (€30.00)
Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
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.
RX40404. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 5086, Geissen 3262, Dattari 5675, BMC Alexandria 2503, SNG Cop -, gVF, weight 6.651 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 292 - 28 Aug 293 A.D.; obverse ∆IOKΛHTIANOC CEB, laureate and cuirassedbust right; reverse ENATOV L (year 9), Elpis standing left, flower in right, with left raising fold of chiton, ∆ in exergue; $32.00 (€24.00)