AskDefine | Define Tyche

Dictionary Definition

Tyche n : (Greek mythology) the goddess of fortune; identified with Roman Fortuna

Extensive Definition

In ancient Greek city cults, Tyche (Τύχη, meaning "luck" in Greek, Roman equivalent: Fortuna) was the presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny. Increasingly during the Hellenistic period, cities had their own specific iconic version of Tyche, wearing a mural crown (a crown like the walls of the city). In literature, she might be given various genealogies, as a daughter of Hermes and Aphrodite, or considered as one of the Oceanids, daughters of Oceanus and Tethys or Zeus Pindar. She was connected with Nemesis and Agathos Daimon ("good spirit").
Tyche appears on many coins of the Hellenistic period in the three centuries before the Christian era, especially from cities in the Aegean. Unpredictable turns of fortune drive the complicated plotlines of Hellenistic Romances, such as Leucippe and Clitophon or Daphnis and Chloe. She experienced a resurgence in another era of uneasy change, the final days of publicly-sanctioned Paganism, between the late-fourth-century emperors Julian and Theodosius I who definitively closed the temples. The effectiveness of her capricious power even achieved respectability in philosophical circles during that generation, though among poets it was a commonplace to revile her for a fickle harlot. She had temples at Caesarea Maritima, Antioch, Alexandria and Constantinople.
In medieval art, 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.


Tyche in Bulgarian: Тюхе
Tyche in Czech: Tyché
Tyche in German: Tyche
Tyche in Spanish: Tique
Tyche in French: Tyché
Tyche in Italian: Tiche
Tyche in Japanese: テュケー
Tyche in Lithuanian: Tichė
Tyche in Dutch: Tyche
Tyche in Polish: Tyche
Tyche in Romanian: Tyche
Tyche in Russian: Тиха
Tyche in Simple English: Tyche
Tyche in Slovenian: Tihe
Tyche in Finnish: Tykhe
Tyche in Swedish: Tyche
Tyche in Turkish: Tike
Tyche in Ukrainian: Тіхе
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1