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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.

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

|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.||sestertius|NEW
In 232, Severus Alexander launched a counterattack against the Persian forces of King Ardashir I, who had invaded Mesopotamia. Alexander gave the order to march to the capital at Ctesiphon, but was defeated and withdrew to Syria. After heavy losses on both sides, a truce was signed.
RB112558. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 648d, BMCRE VI 906, Hunter III 180, Cohen IV 549, SRCV II 8019 var. (sl. dr.), aVF, excellent portrait, nice green patina, well centered, scratches, scattered light corrosion, flan cracks, weight 20.231 g, maximum diameter 30.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 232 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes advancing left, flower in right hand, raising skirt with left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $190.00 SALE PRICE $171.00


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

|Pella|, |Maximinus| |I| |Thrax,| |20| |March| |235| |-| |Late| |May| |238| |A.D.,| |Pella,| |Macedonia||AE| |26|
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."
RP112103. Bronze AE 26, Varbanov III 3742 (R4); AMNG III-2 p. 99, 34; SNG Hunterian 658; Moushmov 6484; SNG ANS 636 var. (cuirass, no drapery); BMC Macedonia -, gF, mottled patina, earthen deposits, marks, off center, weight 11.287 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 180o, Pella mint, 20 Mar 235 - late May 238 A.D.; obverse IMP C C IVL VER MAXIMINVS, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse COL IVL AVG PELLA, Spes (or City Goddess) seated left, putting her right hand to her mouth; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


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

|Trajan|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.||medallic| |sestertius|
The obverse bust is in sculptural relief, quite different than a regular Trajan sestertius. Bernard Woytek's recent study of the coinage of Hadrian cites only five specimens. He includes a note reiterating Toynbee's classification of them as "medallic coins" that seem to employ medallion dies (although this obverse die is apparently unknown for a medallion), or at the very least were intended as to give the coins a medallic look.
SH63645. Orichalcum medallic sestertius, Toynbee pl. 20, 10; Woytek 338u; BMCRE III 811A; RIC II 519; Cohen II 459; SRCV II 3200; Cayon -, VF, obverse die of particularly fine style, weight 21.846 g, maximum diameter 33.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 109 - 110 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate and draped half-bust right, wearing aegis; 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; very rare; 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.
SH63635. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 115, BMCRE I 192, SRCV I 1854, gVF, weight 28.372 g, maximum diameter 37.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 42 - 43 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP P P, laureate head right; reverse SPES AVGVSTA, Spes standing, head left, flower in right, lifting skirt drapery with left, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; good style dies, ex Jencek Historical Enterprise; SOLD


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

|Claudius|, |Claudius,| |25| |January| |41| |-| |13| |October| |54| |A.D.||sestertius|
"Nobody is familiar with his own profile, and it comes as a shock, when one sees it in a portrait, that one really looks like that to people standing beside one. For one's full face, because of the familiarity that mirrors give it, a certain toleration and even affection is felt; but I must say that when I first saw the model of the gold piece that the mint-masters were striking for me I grew angry and asked whether it was intended to be a caricature. My little head with its worried face perched on my long neck, and the Adam's apple standing out almost like a second chin, shocked me. But Messalina said: "No, my dear, that's really what you look like. In fact, it is rather flattering than otherwise." -- From the novel "Claudius the God: And His Wife Messalina" by Robert Graves
SL110658. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 99, SRCV I 1853, BMCRE I 124, Cohen I 85, ANACS EF40, corroded (7347946), maximum diameter 34 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 41 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, laureate head right; reverse SPES AVGVSTA, Spes walking left, flower in right hand, raising fold of chiton with left, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; good style first issue portrait; ANACS| Verify; SOLD


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, seen from behind; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes advancing left, flower in right hand, raising skirt with left hand; SOLD


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.
SH68147. Silver denarius, RIC IV 116; RSC III 21; BMCRE V, p. 510, 94; Hunter III 4; SRCV II 7450, NGC XF, strike 5/5, surface 4/5 (3598759-038), weight 3.11 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, as caesar, Jan - May 218 A.D.; obverse M OPEL ANT DIADVMENIAN CAES, bare-headed and draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes advancing left, flower in right hand, raising skirt with left hand; NGC| Lookup; SOLD


Quietus, Fall or Winter 260 - Late 261 A.D.

|Quietus|, |Quietus,| |Fall| |or| |Winter| |260| |-| |Late| |261| |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. On this coin Quietus is identified as the hope of the Roman people.
SH26598. Silvered antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1743n, RSC IV 14a, RIC V-2 11, Hunter IV 5, SRCV III 10831, Choice VF, full circle centering, weight 4.034 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Syrian mint, obverse IMP C FVL QVIETVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes walking left, flower in right, with left raising fold of dress, star in left field; rare; SOLD


Lucilla, Augusta c. 164 - 182 A.D., Wife of Lucius Verus

|Lucilla|, |Lucilla,| |Augusta| |c.| |164| |-| |182| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Lucius| |Verus||denarius|
Concordia, the goddess of marital harmony, was not particularly generous to Lucilla. It was not considered adultery for a Roman husband to have sex with slaves or unmarried women. The historian Spartianus wrote that after Lucilla complained, Lucius Verus reproached her: "Uxor enim dignitatis nomen est, non voluptatis" (Wife is the name of dignity, not bliss).
SH21697. Silver denarius, RSC II 6b; BMCRE IV p. 427, 305 note; RIC III 758 var. (left arm on statuette of Spes); Hunter II 1 var. (same); SRCV II 5479 var. (same), aEF, weight 3.158 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 164 - 169 A.D.; obverse LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right, hair waived and knotted in chignon low at back; reverse CONCORDIA (harmony), Concordia seated left, patera in extended right hand, resting left arm on back of chair; SOLD


Aemilian, July or August - October 253 A.D.

|Aemilian|, |Aemilian,| |July| |or| |August| |-| |October| |253| |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, 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.
SH06957. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 20 (R), RSC IV 48, SRCV III 9844, Hunter III - (p. cxi), gVF+, master engraver portrait, struck with damaged reverse die,, weight 3.34 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 253 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES AEMILIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes advancing left holding flower and raising drapery; from the Scott Collection; SOLD







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