Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-Greece/mythology2.asp?pg=26

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
 

E. M. Berens
Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome - Part II

From, A Handbook of Mythology, New York 1886
{ } = Page Numbers in the print edition,   [ ] = Footnote Numbers

Table of Contents \ Greek Fonts \ More Greek Resources

ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT

HOMER

PLATO

ARISTOTLE

THE GREEK OLD TESTAMENT (SEPTUAGINT)

THE NEW TESTAMENT

PLOTINUS

DIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE

MAXIMUS CONFESSOR

SYMEON THE NEW THEOLOGIAN

CAVAFY

More...


Page 26

TYCHE (FORTUNA) AND ANANKE (NECESSITAS).

TYCHE (FORTUNA).

Tyche personified that peculiar combination of circumstances which we call luck or fortune, and was considered to be the source of all unexpected events in human life, whether good or evil. If a person succeeded in all he undertook without possessing any special merit of his own, Tyche was supposed to have smiled on his birth. If, on the other hand, undeserved ill-luck followed him through life, and all his efforts resulted in failure, it was ascribed to her adverse influence.

This goddess of Fortune is variously represented. Sometimes she is depicted bearing in her hand two rudders, with one of which she steers the bark of the fortunate, and with the other that of the unfortunate among mortals. In later times she appears blindfolded, and stands on a ball or wheel, indicative of the fickleness and ever-revolving {148} changes of fortune.  She frequently bears the sceptre and cornucopia[49] or horn of plenty, and is usually winged. In her temple at Thebes, she is represented holding the infant Plutus in her arms, to symbolize her power over riches and prosperity.

[49] One of the horns of the goat Amalthea, broken off by Zeus, and supposed to possess the power of filling itself with whatsoever its owner desired.

Tyche was worshipped in various parts of Greece, but more particularly by the Athenians, who believed in her special predilection for their city.

FORTUNA.

Tyche was worshipped in Rome under the name of Fortuna, and held a position of much greater importance among the Romans than the Greeks.

In later times Fortuna is never represented either winged or standing on a ball; she merely bears the cornucopia. It is evident, therefore, that she had come to be regarded as the goddess of good luck only, who brings blessings to man, and not, as with the Greeks, as the personification of the fluctuations of fortune.

In addition to Fortuna, the Romans worshipped Felicitas as the giver of positive good fortune.

ANANKE (NECESSITAS).

As Ananke, Tyche assumes quite another character, and becomes the embodiment of those immutable laws of nature, by which certain causes produce certain inevitable results.

In a statue of this divinity at Athens she was represented with hands of bronze, and surrounded with nails and hammers. The hands of bronze probably indicated the irresistible power of the inevitable, and the hammer and chains the fetters which she forged for man.

Ananke was worshipped in Rome under the name of Necessitas.

Previous Page / First / Next

Cf. A Day in Old Athens * A Short History of Greek Philosophy
Toynbee, Ancient Greek History and the West * Livingstone, On the Ancient Greek Literature

The Greek Word Library

Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Greek Literature - Ancient, Medieval, Modern

Learned Freeware

 

Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-Greece/mythology2.asp?pg=26