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Tyche Τύχη

(1,141 words)

Author(s): L. H. Martin
I. Name Tyche is the Greek personification of luck or success (from tynchanō, ‘happen to one’), which is expressed also in the anthroponym Tychicus, an especially popular Greek name during the Hellenistic period that occurs five times in the New Testament. II. Identity Tychē means both ‘good fortune’ or ‘success’, or, ‘luck’ or ‘chance’, either good or bad as determined by context (Euripides, Ion 512–515). For the early Greeks, tychē could be considered, along with the moirai (the ‘fates’), as an agent of human good and evil (Archilochus 8 apud Stobaus 1.6.3). As Archilochus conc…

Hermes Ἑρμῆς

(3,839 words)

Author(s): L. H. Martin
I. Name Hermes was one of the most popular and frequently represented, if most complex, of the Greek Olympian deities. Identified by the Romans with Mercury, he was associated from the archaic through the Hellenistic periods with cunning and theft, music and eloquence, travel and commerce, and (especially as the Hellenistic Hermes Trismegistus) magic, alchemy and astrology. In the Bible, Hermes occurs as a divine name in Acts 14.12, and as the name of an otherwise unknown Roman Christian greeted by Paul in Rom. 16.14. II. Identity The name, Hermes, is attested from three palace ar…

Fortuna

(1,142 words)

Author(s): L. H. Martin
I. Name Fortuna is the Roman personification of good luck and success (from fero, ‘to bring’; fors, ‘chance’, ‘luck’), which is also expressed in the anthroponym Fortunatus, a popular Latin name, especially during the Hellenistic period. It occurs but once, however, in the Bible (1 Cor. 16.17). II. Identity Fortuna’s character, despite her Latin name, may have originated with the well-known and well-developed Etruscan notion of fate (Kajanto 1981:506–509). Her oldest cult site may have been Praeneste, where she was known as Fortuna Primigenia ( CIL 14, pp. 295–296), under which …