Tykhe, also known as Tyche, was the Greek goddess of chance, fate and fortune. She represented not only the positive aspects of these characteristics but also the negative ones. The ancient Greeks thought she was the reason for unexpected events in their lives, good and evil. For example, if someone had much success in life without having to try hard, people said that Tyche blessed him at birth. When someone worked hard but still had bad luck, they thought this goddess was responsible.
According to Hesiod, a Greek poet, she was the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys while others thought that Zeus was her father. People from various Greek regions worshiped Tyche, but she was especially popular in Athens. Athenians believed that this goddess favored their city. Some of her other famous sites of worship included temples at Argos and Thebes.
When the ancient Greeks honored her beneficial traits, they usually referred to her as Eutychia or Eutiykhia, goddess of prosperity, success and good fortune. Tyche was usually pictured with wings, a regal staff and a crown. However, many images also showed her with other items. These objects related to various traits. For example, when she was pictured holding rudders or a wheel, it meant that she was directing world events.
If she had a horn of plenty, she was a giver of abundant prosperity and wealth. When Tyche was balancing on a ball, it symbolized unstable fortune that could come and go, just like a ball might roll in any direction. In later times, she appeared wearing a blindfold and was shown with other assorted items that suggested risk and uncertainty.
In Rome, this goddess was known as Fortuna. To the Romans, Fortuna was much more important than Tyche to the Greeks. Additionally, Fortuna was not pictured with wings or a ball, especially in later times. This suggests that the Romans only saw her as a goddess of good luck who blessed mankind with beneficial fortune.
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