"Fate." The personification of chance or luck, the Fortuna of the Romans, is called by Pindar1 a daughter of Zeus the Liberator. She was represented with different attributes. With a rudder, she was conceived as the divinity guiding and conducting the affairs of the world, and in this respect she is called one of the Moirae;2 with a ball she represents the varying unsteadiness of fortune; with Plutos or the horn of Amalthea, she was the symbol of the plentiful gifts of fortune.3
Tyche was worshiped at Pharae in Messenia;4 at Smyrna, where her statue, the work of Bupalus, held with one hand a globe on her head, and in the other carried the horn of Amalthea;5 in the arx of Sicyon;6 at Aegeira in Achaea, where she was represented with the horn of Amalthea and a winged Eros by her side;7 in Elis;8 at Thebes;9 at Lebadeia, together with ἀγαθὸς δαίμων (agathos daimōn);10 at Olympia,11 and Athens.12
Tyche is portrayed crowned with towers. In her hand she holds a horn of plenty or a rudder. A well-known depiction of Tyche is the statue by Eutychides (early third century BCE; Vatican Museum) which represents the city-goddess of Antiochea (the embodiment of the idea of the city): she is seated on a rock, crowned with towers and wearing a lose robe, while her right foot rests on the shoulder of the river-god Orontes, who emerges from beneath her. The statue was a popular one and was copied many times. The theme was also used on coins.
- Olympian Odes xii, init.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece vii, 26.3; Pindar. Fragments Odes, 75 (ed. Heyne).
- Artemid. ii, 37; comp. Müller. Ancient Art and its Remains, 398.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece iv, 30.2.
- ibid. iv, 30.4.
- ibid. ii, 7.5.
- ibid. vii, 26.3; comp. Plutarch. On the Fortune of the Romans, 4; Arnobius. Adversus Nationes vi, 25.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece vi, 25.4.
- ibid. ix, 16.1.
- ibid. ix, 39.4.
- ibid. v, 15.4.
- Aelian. Varia Historia ix, 39.
- Aken, Dr. A.R.A. van. (1961). Elseviers Mythologische Encyclopedie. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
- Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.
This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.