Man has always wished to be able to explain incomprehensible phenomena and has turned to supernatural entities to elucidate the workings of the world. Many natural phenomena were so powerful that certain gods were attributed to these powers, and emotions that often misguided people’s activities were also given divine entities which not only ruled these emotions but also explained the vagaries caused by them. However, there were often situations that were outside the realms of certain gods that could not be explained by natural phenomena or by the wills or power of men. These most inexplicable of occurrences, these moments that seemingly arbitrarily decided the fortunes of man, were given to the goddess Tyche (Τύχη). Her ability to change the course of history and the fate of man was often cited, and these changes were seemingly on a whim. She lives on today when a person speaks of a change in “fortune” (from the Latin Fortuna), for better or worse, as well as in the sociological theory of indeterminism of Charles Pierce (which he called tychism). The word “τύχη” as “fortune” rather than a cognomen for a pure deity also found its way into common usage in Ancient Greece History Τύχη: Fortune, Fate and Chance in Herodotus and Thucydides and is used extensively in the works of Herodotus and Thucydides.
"Τύχη: Fortune, Fate and Chance in Herodotus and Thucydides,"
Saber and Scroll: Vol. 3
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.apus.edu/saberandscroll/vol3/iss2/4
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