In ancient Rome, the goddess of the fortune Romans worshipped was Goddess Fortuna. Fortuna is the Roman counterpart of the Greek Goddess Tyche. Romans personified luck as the goddess as they believed Fortuna brings both good luck and bad luck. She is also the goddess of fate. According to Roman mythology, Jupiter is her father. The Roman mythology states that Fortuna represents the four stages of life, the wheel of fortune.
The cult of Fortuna:
There are two different theories how the name Fortuna was derived. The first theory is that the name was derived from the Latin word Fero which means to bring, receive, win or get. Fortuna was originally said to be the goddess of fertility who also showered prosperity and fortune in the name of harvest and offspring. The second theory states that the name was derived from the Etruscan Goddess of fate, Voltumna. According to the historians, in Rome, worship of the goddess Fortuna was started around the time of Roman king Ancus Marcius around 640 BCE. The mythology states that being a goddess of fate she can foretell the future of the children. It is said that Fortuna had an oracle, in which tablets inscribed with prophecies was taken from a jar.
The first two temples of Fortuna belonged to Servius Tullius and Ancus Marcius. Both the temples were made around 290BC. It was made as a promise during the Etruscan war. The people used to seek her blessings on June 24, midsummer’s day. The cult of Fortuna was also twinned with Mater Matuta, the Spanish Goddess, whom the Romans adapted later to their culture. Both the goddesses shared a festival on 11th June and there is a temple of both the goddesses at Sant’Omobono in Rome. Apart from sharing the same dedication day, both the temples have a horseshoe shaped alter. In these temples, the statue of Fortuna is made of gilded wood. This states that these temples are the earliest temples of the Goddess. Emperor Trajan also dedicated a temple for Fortuna around 97-117 BCE. The dedication day was the first year of the year, probably to bring prosperity and good luck for the coming year. Fortuna governs the wheels of fortune, which symbolizes all of the changes in life between prosperity and disaster.
How Fortuna is depicted:
If we observe any statue of Fortuna, you can see that the Statue of the ancient goddess holds a cornucopia (a horn of plenty). The cornucopia showers all the good things to people. It depicts that Fortuna is the Goddess of Prosperity. By her other hand, she holds a ship’s rudder. It depicts that she controls and steers the life and fate. In some statues we see her sitting in a wheel along with the cornucopia in one hand and the rudder in another hand. The whole statue depicts the cycle of life, fate, and fortune. In many statues, we see the statue of Fortuna veiled and blind, which further represents that good luck is not always for those who deserve it. We can also see some of the Etruscan-inspired statues of the Goddess Fortuna have wings like the Etruscan Goddess of fate Nortia.
Benefits of putting the statue of Fortuna in the house:
• It will enhance the aesthetic side of your personality as your love for the antique statue would show the world that you are an antique connoisseur.
• The holy statue would bring out sheer luck for your home.
• The statues you will find on the market are made of bronze and resin which can be used as a garden statue.
• If you are a collector of antique, a Fortuna Statue in your collection would be an attraction for people as it is very rare.