Tyche, the Greek deity of fortune

Tyche represented in Greek Mythology something everybody has always been searching or wishing for: fortune.

Tyche was the personification of the hidden dreams and wishes of all mortals or immortals, ancients or moderns. She has been adored, worshiped, celebrated, accused., but always called for.

In Greek, Tyche means “luck” and sometimes refers to the destiny and fate.

Tyche – A Deity in Greek Mythology

Although not a goddess in Greek Mythology, Tyche was often seen as goddess and/or a patron-deity of luck, fortune, success, even prosperity in many cities of ancient Greece. Some gave her even power over chance and fate.

During the Hellenistic period, cities that had her as their patron, presented the specific icons of Tyche, on which she was wearing a mural crown.

During the same period, Tyche appeared in many coins used by inhabitants in various cities and villages in the Aegean Sea.

Additional skills attributed to Tyche came probably from the other personification attached to her name. She also represented the “concept”. That’s how she became both an inspiration and intrigue for poets, writers, philosophers, all kind of artists in ancient Greece.

The two most famous works of art celebrating her power are: the statue of Agathe Tyche by Praxiteles and Tyche of Antioch by Eutychides, which became the prototype for the images of the goddess.

Tyche simply became a symbol of fortune, luck, chance… The turns of fortune, that she carried, were often used in famous romances such as Clitophon and Leucippe or Daphnis and Chloe.

Tyche described by Greek historians

Tyche lived through times and changes, always equally unpredicted and embraced or held responsible for several events and incidents. As the Greek historian Polybius wrote, whenever there was no tangible reason found for some disasters, like floods or frosts, Tyche was considered as a force behind them.

According to Hesiod’s Theogony, Tyche was one of the eldest of many Oceanides, daughters of Oceanus and Tethys. She had various attributes attached to her name. She was given the power of conducting the world’s affairs while holding a rudder.

With Ploutos she symbolized the plentiful gifts of fortune. And with a ball, Tyche was fully herself – nor steady nor capable of rolling in any direction, as the fortune is.


Tyche and Ploutos

The Romans were inspired by the myths related to deity Tyche of the Greeks and created the Goddess Fortuna, who also represented luck, fortune and “concept” in life.


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