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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.

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."
RL89946. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Thessalonica p. 519, 161 (R3); LRBC I 827; SRCV IV 16571; Cohen VII 17, aEF, slightly rough green patina, small encrustations, weight 2.687 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 326 - 328 A.D.; obverse FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right, no diadem or stephane, hair waved, bun at back, wearing pearl necklace; reverse SPES REIPVBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, looking left, veiled and draped, holding infants Constantine II and Constantius II, SMTSA in exergue; scarce; $135.00 SALE |PRICE| $122.00


Carus, Early September 282 - c. July or August 283 A.D.

|Carus|, |Carus,| |Early| |September| |282| |-| |c.| |July| |or| |August| |283| |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.
RA92961. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 81 (S), Cohen VI 78, La Venra 4043, Venra IV 252 (4 specimens), Hunter IV -, SRCV III -, VF, well centered, flow lines, corrosion, scratches, flan crack, weight 3.418 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, c. Mar - Jun 283; obverse IMP C M AVR KARVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes walking left, raising flower in right hand, raising fold of chiton behind with left hand, SXXI in exergue; rare; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00


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


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


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

|Constantius| |II|, |Constantius| |II,| |22| |May| |337| |-| |3| |November| |361| |A.D.|, |reduced| |maiorina|
In 359, 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. Shapur II besieged the Roman fortress of Amida (modern Diyarbakir). After seventy-three days the city was conquered and the population massacred. In the winter of 359, Shapur II halted his campaign, due to heavy casualties. In 360, Shapur II continued his campaign against the Roman fortresses; capturing Singara, Bezabde and Nisibis.
RL88062. Bronze reduced maiorina, RIC VIII Cyzicus 117, LRBC II 2504, Voetter 47, SRCV V 18320, Cohen VII 188, Choice VF, nice green patina, well centered, light earthen deposits, edge a little ragged, weight 1.298 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 358 - 3 Nov 361; 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, SMKA exergue; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00


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


Carus, Early September 282 - c. July or August 283 A.D.

|Carus|, |Carus,| |Early| |September| |282| |-| |c.| |July| |or| |August| |283| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
Carus defeated the Quadi and Sarmatians on the Danube, invaded Syria and Mesopotamia, conquered the Persian capital Ctesiphon, and pressed on with the Roman army beyond the Tigris. In his short reign, Carus was recognized as both Germanicus Maximus and Persicus Maximus.
MA95471. Billon antoninianus, Venra IV 300 (14 specimens), cf. RIC V-2 82, Cohen VI 79, Pink VI-2, Hunter 15, SRCV III 12180 (different busts), aVF, well centered, earthen deposits, weight 2.811 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 282 - 283 A.D.; obverse IMP CARVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, from front; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes standing left, flower in right hand, raising skirt with left hand, SXXI in exergue; $23.50 (21.62) ON RESERVE







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