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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Non-Olympian| ▸ |Spes||View 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.

Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D.

|Claudius|, |Claudius,| |25| |January| |41| |-| |13| |October| |54| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
A "Tiber patina," sometimes called a river patina, is technically not a patina at all. Rather, submersion in anaerobic fresh water or mud on a river bottom has prevented a normal patina from forming. The shiny original surfaces of the coin often becomes subdued and grainy or porous. Curvy lines of corrosion, with an appearance similar to worm holes in wood, are seen on this coin and are common on river found coins. We don't know what causes these strange flaws.
SL89519. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 99, SRCV I 1853, BMCRE I 124, Cohen I 85, NGC Ch VF, strike 4/5, surface 1/5 (2490381-001), Tiber patina with porosity and corrosion typical of a fresh water find, weight 23.735 g, maximum diameter 35.4 mm, die axis 180o, Western branch "barbarous" mint, c. 41 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, laureate head right; reverse SPES AVGVSTA, Spes walking left, flower in extended right hand, raising fold of chiton with left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection, our photos taken before certification - now in holder, NGC| Lookup; $270.00 SALE |PRICE| $243.00


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

|Carausius|, |Romano-British| |Empire,| |Carausius,| |Mid| |286| |-| |Spring| |or| |Early| |Summer| |293| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
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. This coin advertises Carausius as the source of hope for the people.
RA73259. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 1010, Webb Carausius 2235, Cohen VII 339, King Unmarked -, SRCV IV -, Hunter IV -, aVF, centered on a broad flan, green patina with red earthen deposits, legends weak, weight 3.311 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, die axis 225o, unmarked (Londinium?) mint, c. mid 286 - 287; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes walking left, flower in right hand, lifting skirt with left hand, no mintmarks; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; $95.00 SALE |PRICE| $85.50


Fausta, Augusta, 8 November 324 - Autumn 326 A.D., Second Wife of Constantine the Great

|Fausta|, |Fausta,| |Augusta,| |8| |November| |324| |-| |Autumn| |326| |A.D.,| |Second| |Wife| |of| |Constantine| |the| |Great|, |centenionalis|
Fausta is depicted as Spes, the Roman personification of hope. She holds her infant children, Constantine II and Constantius II, her hopeful promise for the future of the "Republic.
MA95485. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Ticinum p. 385, 191 (R5); LRBC I 475; SRCV IV 16564; Cohen VII 17, Hunter V -, VF, porous, a little rough, edge cracks, weight 2.786 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, c. 325 A.D.; obverse FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right with hair waved, bun at back, wearing pearl necklace; reverse SPES REIPVBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, looking left, holding infants Constantine II and Constantius II, PT in exergue; rare; $73.03 (67.19)


Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.

|Claudius| |II|, |Claudius| |II| |Gothicus,| |September| |268| |-| |August| |or| |September| |270| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. 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" - the last resort of men.
RA93331. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-1 168, Cohen VI 284, SRCV III 11374 var. (1st officina), MER-RIC T26 var. (same), Venra 9073 var. (same), Hunter IV 62 var. (same), EF, excellent portrait and reverse style, centered on a tight flan, brown town with traces of silvering, small edge crack, weight 4.100 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, issue 1, c. September 268 - mid 269; obverse IMP CLAVDIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes standing left, flower in right, raising fold of drapery with left, S in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


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

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Maximian,| |286| |-| |305,| |306| |-| |308,| |and| |310| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt|, |tetradrachm|
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.

RX91839. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 3286; Dattari 5875; Milne 4828; Curtis 2071; BMC Alexandria p. 329, 2556; SNG Cop 1024; Hunter 1139; Kampmann 120.17; Emmett 4114.;, gVF, well centered, strong flow lines, brown tone, die wear, weight 8.090 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 286 - 28 Aug 287; obverse A K M A OYA MAXIMIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Elpis standing left, flower raised in right hand, raising drapery with left hand, star upper right, L - B (year 2) flanking across field; $65.00 SALE |PRICE| $58.50


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

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Maximian,| |286| |-| |305,| |306| |-| |308,| |and| |310| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt|, |tetradrachm|
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.
RB91840. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 3285; Milne 4814; Curtis 2067; BMC Alexandria p. 329, 2555; SNG Cop 1023; Savio 10709; Kampmann 120.16; Emmett 4114; Dattari 5873 (star), gVF, green patina, centered on a tight flan, ragged edge, weight 6.814 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 286 - 28 Aug 287; obverse A K M A OYA MAΞIMIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Elpis standing left, flower in right hand, raising drapery with left hand, L - B (year 2) flanking across fields, no star; $65.00 SALE |PRICE| $58.50


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Probus,| |Summer| |276| |-| |September| |282| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt|, |tetradrachm|
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.
RP89878. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5533; Milne 4531; Curtis 1881; Geissen 3128; BMC Alexandria p. 313, 2417, F, nice portrait, slight off center, weight 6.283 g, maximum diameter 21.60 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 276 - 28 Aug 277 A.D.; obverse AK M AVP ΠPOBOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse Elpis standing left, flower in extended right hand, raising skirt with left hand, date B / L (year 2) left; $34.00 SALE |PRICE| $30.60







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