Hope for a Better Future

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    In 80 AD Titus was 40 years old and likely looking forward to a long reign and a prosperous future. My latest coin was struck in those heady days when all seemed right with the world and the 'delight and darling of the human race' ruled the Roman Empire.

    Æ As, 10.71g
    Rome mint, 80-81 AD
    Obv: IMP T CAES VESP AVG P M TR P COS VIII; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, l.
    Rev: S C in field; Spes stg. l., with flower
    RIC 238 (C). BMC 214. BNC 221.
    Acquired from Praefectus Coins, March 2020.

    Spes was a fairly common reverse type under Vespasian, connected to future dynastic hope and harmony. It continued to be struck by Titus and can be viewed as his hope for the future with his chosen heir Domitian. As Mattingly put it: '...the recurring types of Spes suggests that Titus gave Domitian full due as heir to the throne.'

    I can't help but think of this song whenever I acquire a Spes reverse.

    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Ha! I never associated that song with Spes before, @David Atherton ! But it fits!

    Here's my favorite Spes.

    Julia Domna, AD 193-217.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.40 g, 17 mm, 12 h.
    Eastern mint (traditionally attributed to Emesa), AD 194-195.
    Obv: IVLIA DO MNA AVG, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: BONA SPES, Spes standing left, holding flower and lifting fold of skirt.
    Refs: RIC 614; BMCRE 412-13; Cohen/RSC 8; RCV 6575; CRE 387.
  4. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Mine was one of the first sestertii I bought after my poverty induced break from the hobby. It came from a young dealer named Ed Waddell who went on to sell coins way, way over my price range but always was friendly when I saw him a shows. The obverse is exactly what I wanted in a sestertius showing the yellow metal but the reverse shows signs of being over 30 years free of bronze disease.
  5. Gary R. Wilson


    Here's a Hadrian sestertius with Spes. After following Trajan, I guess Hadrian was saying less to future wars?

    Hadrian_Æ_Sestertius-removebg-preview 2.png

    Hadrian (Augustus)
    Coin: Brass Sestertius
    HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P - Laureate and draped bust right.
    SPES P R - Spes standing left, holding flower and raising hem of skirt; S-C across fields.

    Mint: Rome (134-138)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 27.50g / 31mm / 6h
    RIC 790
    BMCRE 1564
    Sear 3648
    Cohen 1432 var.
    Roma Numismatics
    Acquisition/Sale: Roma Numismatics Internet E-Sale 55 #788 $0.00 04/19
    Notes: Apr 30, 19 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection
  6. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Nice post, @David Atherton ... LOL on the song choice!

    I wonder what THESE guys really felt...


    RI Fausta 325-326 CE AE3 Spes stdg 2 infants SMHA 20mm 3.48g scratch over eye damnatio memoriae by Constantine

    RI Eugenius 392-394 CE AE 12mm 1.0g Aquileia SPES wreath palm Victory RIC59

    RI Aelius Caesar 138 CE AE As 26mm Rome mint Fortuna-Spes cornucopia and rudder
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
    ominus1, Sulla80, robinjojo and 8 others like this.
  7. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing

    Here's a Trajan sestertius, who must've had high hopes of winning wars and the empire being on the rise afterwards.

    And even after Hadrian, AP continued hope... I think he finally reached it.
  8. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Caracalla - Den. SPES PERPET July 2017 (0).jpg
    Caracalla Denarius
    (196 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    M AVR ANTONINVS CAES, draped & cuirassed bust right / SPEI PERPETVAE, Spes
    advancing left lifting skirt and holding flower.
    RIC 5; RSC 594; BMC 190
    (3.39 grams / 17 mm)

    Philip II - Ant. Spes Oct 2013 (0).jpg

    Philip II (son of Philip I)
    (244-247 A.D.)
    Rome Mint - Antoninianus

    M IVL PHILIPPVS CAES, radiate draped bust right / SPES PVBLICA, Spes advancing left, holding flower & hem of skirt.
    RIC 221, RSC 84, Sear5 9245
    (4.03 grams / 23 mm)
  9. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    This creaky Beatles knock-off comes to mind as well.

  10. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    Robert Schumann composed his second symphony as he struggled with depression. It is a work that expresses the struggle with despair and the affirmation of a better future.

  11. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    "Hope is a lover's staff; walk hence with that
    And manage it against despairing thoughts."

    William Shakespeare
    David Atherton likes this.
  12. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Nice left facing Titus & song selection. While I don't have a Titus Spes, perhaps a left-facing, Vespasian promoting the Happiness of the Public is appropriate.
    Vespasian Felicitas Pub.jpg
    Vespasian, 69-79 AD, Æ Dupondius, Rome mint. Struck 74 AD (~April-Decempber)
    Obv: IMP CAES VESP AVG P M T P COS IIII CENS, Radiate head left
    Rev: FELICITAS PVBLICA, Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus and cornucopiae
    Ref: RIC II 581
  13. ancientone

    ancientone Well-Known Member

    Nice coin David and here's to better Days ahead!
    Cilicia, Tarsos. AE35. Philip I or II / Spes
    AVT KAI IOV ΦIΛIΠΠON ЄVT ЄVC CЄ around, Π - Π in field, radiate, draped, cuirassed bust right.
    TAPCOV THC MHTPOΠOΛEΩC AMK, Elpis (Spes) standing left, holding flower and pulling on skirt, Γ B across fields.
    35mm, 23.4gm.
  14. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I'm afraid that the hopes for this young man's future didn't last for very long after this coin was issued.

    Herennius Etruscus Caesar AR Antoninianus, 250 AD. Obv. Q HER ETR MES DECIVS NOB C, radiate draped bust right/ Rev. SPES PVBLICA, Spes advancing left, raising skirt & holding flower, RIC IV-3 149, RSC IV 38. 22 mm., 4.37 g.

    Herennius Etruscus - Spes (1024x489).jpg
    Johndakerftw, Sulla80, Bing and 2 others like this.
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