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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.

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 SALE PRICE $58.50
 


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

|Claudius|, |Claudius,| |25| |January| |41| |-| |13| |October| |54| |A.D.||sestertius|
R. F. Kenyon in "The countermark PROB on coins of Claudius from Britain" (NC 148, 1988) writes that the PROB countermark, which was applied only to sestertii of Claudius, can be expanded to PROBatum, meaning "approved." The Claudian sestertii bearing this countermark are found almost exclusively in Britain and Italy. His study did not find shared punches between any coins with known provenances from Britain and Italy, suggesting that the Claudian sestertii circulating in Britain were countermarked there. The countermarks were carefully applied, always in the right obverse field and never overlapping the imperial portrait. Coins were countermarked before they had seen much, if any, circulation.
SH85461. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 99; BMCRE I 124; SRCV I 1853; Cohen I 85; c/m: Kenyon 1 - 7 (same coin type, same placement), Pangerl 23 (Gallia), Martini 40, Choice VF, c/m: EF; Tiber toning, bumps and scratches, light corrosion, reverse double struck, weight 25.951 g, maximum diameter 36.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 42 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, laureate head right, countermark: PROB in a rectangular punch; reverse SPES AVGVSTA, Spes walking left, flower in right hand, raising skirt with left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; rare countermark; 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, 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


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.||denarius|
In 127 Hadrian divided Italy into four regions under imperial legates with consular rank, acting as governors. They were given jurisdiction over all of Italy, excluding Rome itself, therefore shifting Italian cases from the courts of Rome. Having Italy effectively reduced to the status of a group of mere provinces did not go down well with the Roman Senate, and the innovation did not long outlive Hadrian's reign.
SH01417. Silver denarius, RIC II 172, BMCRE III 394, uncirculated, fantastic portrait, mint luster, weight 3.37 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 125 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse COS III, Concordia seated left, holding patera and resting elbow on small figure of Spes; SOLD


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

|Trajan|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.||dupondius|
SH14669. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC II 520, Cohen II 461, SRCV II 3222, VF, weight 12.356 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 107 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, radiate bust right, drapery in left shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI S C, Spes standing left, flower in right hand, raising skirt with left hand; SOLD


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.
RA71640. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 80, Cohen VI 77, Venèra IV 250 (1 specimen), La Venèra -, Hunter IV -, SRCV III -, Choice EF, full circles strike, much silvering, very light porosity/corrosion, weight 4.469 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, c. Mar - Jun 283; obverse IMP C M AVR CARVS 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; very rare; SOLD


Saloninus, Summer 260 A.D.

|Saloninus|, |Saloninus,| |Summer| |260| |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, the Caesar, Saloninus, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people.
RS39711. Billon antoninianus, AHG 318 (this coin), Göbl MIR 1696d (Samosata), RIC V-1 36 (Antioch), RSC IV 95 (Antioch), SRCV III 10775 (uncertain Syrian), Hunter IV - (p. liii), VF, weight 4.085 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Syrian mint, as caesar, 258 - 259 A.D.; obverse SALON VALERIANVS NOB CAES, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Saloninus (on left) standing right, wearing military garb and holding spear, confronting Spes, Spes standing left, raising skirt with left hand and presenting flower to prince with right hand; from the Antioch Hoard of Gallienus.; SOLD







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