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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 (24900381-001), 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, photos taken before certification, now in a NGC holder; $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00


Aelius, Caesar, July or August 136 - 1 January 138 A.D.

|Aelius|, |Aelius,| |Caesar,| |July| |or| |August| |136| |-| |1| |January| |138| |A.D.|, |as|
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, Aelius, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people. Aelius was never to become emperor, dying shortly before Hadrian.
RB92433. Copper as, RIC II-3 2700, BMCRE III 1931, Hunter II 20, Strack II 895, SRCV II 3993, Cohen II 57, VF, excellent portrait, attractive reverse style, porosity, light corrosion, light deposits, weight 13.051 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, group 2, 137 A.D.; obverse L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right; reverse TR POT COS II, Spes walking left, flower in extended right hand, lifting skirt drapery with left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field just below center; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00


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 VenŤra 4043, VenŤra 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; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


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.
RA73289. Billon antoninianus, RIC V 1010, Webb Carausius 2235, Cohen VII 339, King Unmarked -, SRCV IV -, Hunter IV -, VF, nice green patina, reverse a little off center on a broad flan, bumps and marks, light earthen deposits, weight 3.363 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, unmarked mint, c. mid 286 - 287; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, early reign moustache portrait type; 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; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


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; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00


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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Elpis or Spes