The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Fortuna

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2015099The American Cyclopædia — Fortuna

FORTUNA, in Roman mythology, the goddess of chance, both happy and unhappy, called by the Etruscans Nursia. Among the Greeks she was known under the name of Tyche, as the daughter of Oceanus, according to Hesiod, and as the sister of the Mœræ or Parcæ, according to Pindar, and had her temples at Smyrna and other cities. She was worshipped in Italy in the earliest times by the Etruscans at Volsinii, by the Latins at Præneste, and by the Volsci at Antium, where she had a temple, two statues, and an oracle, whose responses were highly valued. She was diversely represented as blind, with wings on her feet, which she was believed to lay aside when entering Rome, with a crescent on her head, a helmet, cornucopia, or globe in her hand, and resting on a wheel. The town of Palestrina is built chiefly on the site of the temple of Fortuna.