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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Personifications| ▸ |Hope||View Options:  |  |  | 

Hope and Fate (Elpis or Spes)

Elpis to the Greeks, or Spes to the Romans, was the 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, Hope 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.

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; $65.00 (€53.30)
 


Diadumenian, Mid May - 8 June 218 A.D.

|Diadumenian|, |Diadumenian,| |Mid| |May| |-| |8| |June| |218| |A.D.||denarius|
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. On this coin, the Caesar, Diadumenian, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people.
SH82699. Silver denarius, RSC III 21b; RIC IV 117; SRCV II 7450; BMCRE V, p. 510, 93 var. (from front) and 94 var. (no cuirass); Hunter III 4 var. (no cuirass), Choice EF, excellent portrait, translucent look drapery, light rose tone on luster, excellent centering and strike, tiny edge cracks, but for slight obv. double strike it would be FDC, weight 3.000 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, as caesar, Jan - May 218 A.D.; obverse M OPEL ANT DIADVMENIAN CAES, bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes advancing left, flower in right hand, raising skirt with left hand; SOLD


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

|Claudius|, |Claudius,| |25| |January| |41| |-| |13| |October| |54| |A.D.||sestertius|
Spes is the personification of hope and the reverse legend translates, “Hope of the Augusta.” In 42 A.D., when this coin was struck, Antonia, Claudius' mother, and Livia were the only women who had ever held the title Augusta.

The face of Spes, visible on high grade examples of this type, might be that of Antonia.
RB26384. Orichalcum sestertius, SRCV I 1854, RIC I 115, BMCRE I 192, VF, weight 29.638 g, maximum diameter 34.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 42 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP P P, laureate head right; reverse SPES AVGVSTA, Spes standing, head left, holding flower and lifting skirt, SC below; green patina, good style dies; SOLD







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