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Relief known as "the three Tyches"—T...

Relief known as “the three Tyches”—Tyche is the Greek goddess of Fortune; since the Hellenistic period, each city has its own Tyche, represented with a crown of ramparts. This relief, found at the Via Appia, is known since the 18th century and belonged to the Borghese collections. It may come from the Triopius, the funeral complex built by Herodes Atticus for his wife Annia Regilla. Marble, ca. 160 CE. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tyche (Greek: luck) is the Greek goddess of chance or fortune. Her Roman equivalent is the goddess Fortuna. Personifications of Tyche are unclear in the preSocratic period, but the abstract idea of Tyche is found throughout ancient literature.

Her imprint appears on ancient Hellenistic coins about three centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ.

Tyche is often described as one of the Fates or as a daughter of Zeus. Temples for Tyche were, for the most part, built around cities. They offered protection or good luck. Alternately, Tyche was often blamed for natural disasters like floods, frost and drought. Even political misfortunes could be attributed to Tyche.¹

One source says she’s an Oceanid, one of a group of 3,000 nymphs who are daughters of Oceanus, the oldest of the Titans. In art she’s sometimes depicted as blind but her influence goes further than that.

Istanbul Archaeological Museum - Goddess Tyche...

Istanbul Archaeological Museum – Goddess Tyche holding in her arms Plutus (god of wealth) as a child (detail). Hellenistic art, Roman period, 2nd century AD. The coloring of the hair is remarkably well preserved. — Picture by : Giovanni Dall’Orto, May 28 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In medieval times

she was depicted as carrying a cornucopia, an emblematic ship’s rudder, and the wheel of fortune, or she may stand on the wheel, presiding over the entire circle of fate. In the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara, Tyche became closely associated with the Buddhist ogress Hariti.²

As evident in the related articles, below, the name Tyche also appears in various marketing and media projects.

Related Posts » Taboo

¹ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyche

² Ibid.

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