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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.


Maximinus I Thrax, 20 March 235 - Late May 238 A.D., Pella, Macedonia

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Pella was founded in 399 B.C. by King Archelaus (413 - 399 B.C.) as his capital. It was the seat of Philip II and of his son, Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C., it was sacked by the Romans, and its treasury transported to Rome. Later the city was destroyed by an earthquake. By 180 A.D., Lucian could describe it in passing as "now insignificant, with very few inhabitants."
RP83513. Bronze AE 26, SNG ANS 636, Varbanov III 3742 (R4) var. (bust also draped), AMNG III / 2 p. 99, 34 var. (same); SNG Hunterian 658 var. (same); BMC Macedonia -, aVF, excellent portrait, areas not fully struck, holed, slightly off center on a tight flan, centration dimple on reverse, weight 8.921 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 90o, Pella mint, 20 Mar 235 - Late May 238 A.D.; obverse IMP C C IVL VER MAXIMINVS, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse COL IVL AVG PELLA, Spes seated left, putting her right hand to her mouth; $150.00 (133.50)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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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.
RS76110. Silver denarius, RIC IV 254d, RSC III 546, BMCRE VI 897, Hunter III 75, SRCV II 7927, gVF, interesting sharp portrait, toned, well centered and struck, weight 2.891 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 231 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes advancing left, flower in right hand, raising skirt with left hand; $135.00 (120.15)


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

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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."
RL76975. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier p. 209, 484; LRBC I 36; SRCV IV 16560; Cohen VII 17, EF, excellent centering, green patina, cleaning scratches, spot of corrosion, weight 2.804 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 326 A.D.; obverse FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right, hair waved, bun at back, wearing pearl necklace; reverse SPES REIP-VBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, looking left, holding infants Constantine II and Constantius II, PTR followed by dot over crescent with horns up in exergue; $135.00 (120.15)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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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.
RS75200. Silver denarius, RIC IV 254d, RSC III 546, BMCRE VI 897, Hunter III 75, SRCV II 7927, Choice VF, perfect centering, nice portrait, toned, some reverse die wear, weight 3.165 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 231 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from front; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes advancing left, flower in right, with left raising skirt; $120.00 (106.80)


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

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In 110 A.D., the Forum of Trajan was constructed in Rome by the Syrian architect Apollodorus of Damascus.
RB73736. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 338a, RIC II 519, Cohen II 459, Strack I 403, BnF IV 543 var. (slight drapery), BMCRE III 810 var. (same), SRCV II 3200 var. (same), F, nice portrait, green patina, corrosion, encrustation, weight 27.445 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 109 - 110 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate head right; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Spes advancing left, raising flower in right hand, raising drapery with left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $115.00 (102.35)


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

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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."
RL84214. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Ticinum p. 387, 203; LRBC I 488; SRCV VII 16565; Cohen VII 17, Choice VF, attractive chocolate surfaces, very light marks and porosity, weight 2.918 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, c. 326 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, S crescent T in exergue; rare; $95.00 (84.55)


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.

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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, and raising a fold of her dress with her left hand. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men.
RB73623. Copper as, RIC II, part 1, 894; BMCRE II 725, BnF III 757, Cohen I 457, Hunter I C3852, SRCV I -, F, centered, dark green patina, cleaning scratches, light corrosion and encrustations, weight 9.599 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 76 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESP AVG COS VII, laureate head right; reverse Spes standing left, flower in right hand, raising skirt with left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking at sides; $70.00 (62.30)


Carinus, First Half 283 - Spring 285 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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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.

RX77915. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4721, Curtis 1919, Geissen 3180, SNG Cop 954, SGICV 4779, VF, flan crack, reverse little off-center and struck with a broken die, corrosion, weight 7.725 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 15o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 283 - 28 Aug 284 A.D.; obverse A K M A KAPINOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse Elpis standing left, flower in right hand, raising drapery with left hand, star upper right, L - B (year 2) flanking across field; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren, ex Pegasi Numismatics; rare; $40.00 (35.60)


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

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In 359, King Shapur II the Great of the Persian Empire invaded southern Armenia. The Romans implemented a scorched earth policy and placed strong guards at the Euphrates crossings. He besieged the Roman fortress of Amida (modern Diyarbakir). After seventy-three days the city was conquered and the population was massacred. That winter Shapur halted his campaign due to heavy casualties. In 360, Shapur II continued his campaign against the Roman fortresses; capturing Singara, Bezabde and Nisibis.
RL77935. Bronze reduced maiorina, RIC VIII Antioch 193 (S), LRBC II 2638, Voetter 33, SRCV V 18321, Cohen VIII 188, VF, nice green patina, tight slightly ragged flan, weight 2.628 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 358 - 3 Nov 361 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES REIPVBLICE (the hope of the Republic), emperor standing left, wearing helmet and military dress, globe in right hand, spear in left hand, ANS in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex-Lindgren; scarce; $35.00 (31.15)


Gallic Empire, Tetricus II, Spring 274 A.D.

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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, and raising a fold of her dress with her left hand. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men.
RA77490. Billon antoninianus, RIC V 270, Schulzki AGK 9a, Cunetio 2647, Elmer 791, Cohen VI 88, Hunter IV 11, SRCV III 11292, VF, green patina, tight ragged flan, weight 2.122 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Mainz or Treveri (Trier) mint, as caesar, 273 - spring 274 A.D.; obverse C PIV ESV TETRICVS CAES, radiate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse SPES AVGG (hope of the two emperors), Spes advancing left, extending flower in right hand, raising skirt drapery with left hand; $32.00 (28.48)




  



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Elpis or Spes