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Tyche of Antioch, a work of Eutychides , in the Vatican
Tyche with Plutos, 2nd century, Istanbul Archaeological Museum

Tyche ( ancient Greek Τύχη ) in Greek mythology is the goddess of fate, lucky (or bad) coincidence and chance. The Roman equivalent is the goddess Fortuna , the Germanic equivalent is the more abstract salvation .

Tyche exalts and humiliates, and capriciously changes history. Their attributes are cornucopia , rudder , wings and a rudder on a ball or a wheel . Occasionally she also holds Plutos , the god of wealth, portrayed as a boy , in her arms.


The earliest mentions are found in Hesiod around 700 BC. And in the Homeric hymns from the second half of the 6th century BC. BC, who they describe as the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys . At Pindar around 470 BC Then she is called the daughter of Zeus Eleutherios .

From the second half of the 5th century BC. A cult of the (Agathe) Tyche can be proven. Since that time there have also been various representations of the Tyche with their attributes. Well-known is the sculpture made in Antioch by the sculptor Eutychides , which depicts the Tyche with the river deity of the Orontes , who appears at her feet. For Argos , Mégara , Thebes and, outside Greece, Bupalos and Smyrna and maybe Elis , Corinth , Megalopolis , Sikyon , temples are expected.

In Hellenism their worship, grew Antioch , Alexandria and Skythopolis revered it as a city goddess. The Hellenistic development of Tyche into a city goddess is then continued in the Roman Fortuna. The cities of Asia Minor in the Roman Empire, such as Kibyra in Phrygia , Aspendos and Side in Pamphylia and Karallia in Cilicia , continued to venerate their respective Tyche as the goddess of fate of their city and occasionally formed stylized temples with the cult image of Tyche (Tycheion) on the The back of their bronze coins, which are commonly used in local payment transactions.

In the ancient everyday usage of the word, however, the personal conception increasingly disappears, so that týche can also meanfate ” and “ coincidence ”, “chance encounter” and is ultimately even used as a kind of exclamation in the event of a mistake or mistake.


In the 1770s, Goethe had the stone of good luck built in Weimar, alluding to Tyche .

The main belt asteroid, discovered in 1886, is named (258) Tyche .

Astronomy has been calculating with a hypothetical planet in the solar system called Tyche since 1999 .

Web links

Commons : Tyche  - collection of images, videos and audio files
  • Tyche. Entry in the Theoi project, with extensive references (English)
  • Agathe Tyche. Entry in Dēmos, Classical Athenian Democracy (English)


  • Ferdinand Friedrich Baur: De Tyche in pragmatica Polybii historia disputatio. Tubingen 1861.
  • Gerda Natalie Busch: Investigations into the nature of the Tyche in the tragedies of Euripides. Winter, Heidelberg 1937 (Heidelberg University, phil. Dissertation, July 12, 1937).
  • Tobias Dohrn : The Tyche of Antioch. Mann, Berlin 1960.
  • Thomas Hägg: Eros and Tyche. The novel in the ancient world (= cultural history of the ancient world . Vol. 36). Von Zabern, Mainz am Rhein 1987, ISBN 3-8053-0934-1 .
  • Robert Heidenreich : The "Tyche des Eutychides ". Comments on the occasion of a book. In: Helikon. Vol. 8, Issue 1/4, 1968, ISSN  0017-9981 , pp. 550-551.
  • Gertrud Herzog-Hauser : Tyche and Fortuna. In: Vienna Studies. Vol. 63, 1948, ISSN  0084-005X , pp. 156-163.
  • Burkhard Fehr : Lectio graeca, lectio orientalis. Reflections on the Tyche of Antioch. In: Visible Religion. Vol. 7, 1990, pp. 83-92.
  • Paul Joos: Tyche, physis, techne . Studies on the topic of early Greek observation of life. Keller, Winterthur 1955 (University of Zurich, Ph.D. thesis, December 11, 1953).
  • Marion Meyer : The personification of the city of Antioch. A new picture for a new deity (= yearbook of the German Archaeological Institute. Supplementary booklet 33). De Gruyter, Berlin et al. 2006, ISBN 3-11-019110-5 (At the same time: University of Hamburg, habilitation paper, 1996: Function and meaning of figures with wall crowns in Hellenistic times. ).
  • Andrea Peine: Agathe Tyche in the mirror of Greek and Roman sculpture. Investigations of classical types of statues and their reception during the imperial period. Münster 1998 (University of Münster, dissertation, 1998).
  • Hans Strohm: Tyche. On the conception of fate with Pindar and the early Greek poets. Cotta, Stuttgart 1944 (at the same time: University of Munich, habilitation paper, 1940).
  • Eduard Voss: De tyche Thucydidea . In: Annual report on the Royal High School in Düsseldorf for the school year from Easter 1878 to Easter 1879. ZDB -ID 14592-0 .
  • Silke Vry: Zeus and Tyche in the Decapolis. Kiel 1996 (University of Kiel, dissertation, 1996).
  • Otto Waser : Tyche . In: Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (Hrsg.): Detailed lexicon of Greek and Roman mythology . Volume 5, Leipzig 1924, Sp. 1309-1380 ( digitized version ).
  • Arnd Zimmermann: Tyche with Plato . Bonn 1964 (University of Bonn, dissertation from February 26, 1964).

Individual evidence

  1. Hesiod, Theogony 360
  2. Homeric Hymn to Demeter 420
  3. Pindar, Olympic Odes 12: 1-2
  4. Agathe Tyche , from ἀγαθή agathe , German , “good” , the good Tyche, goddess of fortune; see. Amy C. Smith : Athenian Political Art from the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BCE: Images of Political Personifications. In: CW Blackwell (ed.): Dēmos: Classical Athenian Democracy. Edition of January 18, 2003, p. 25.
  5. ^ Margret Karola Nollé and Johannes Nollé : Gods cities festivals. Asia Minor coins from the Roman Empire. State Coin Collection , Munich 1994, p. 77.