Fortune favours the bold
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2009)|
Fortune favours the bold, Fortune favours the brave, Fortune helps the brave, and Fortune favours the strong are common translations of the Latin proverb "Audentes fortuna iuvat", "Fortes fortuna adiuvat", "Fortuna audaces iuvat" and "Fortes fortuna juvat".
The phrase means that Fortuna, the Goddess of luck, is more likely to help those who take risks or action. Its earliest recorded use is by the second century BC playwright Terence, in his play Phormio (Fortes Fortuna adiuvat) and by Ennius in Ann. 257: (Fortibus est Fortuna viris data) A similar phrase, (Audentis Fortuna iuvat) is shouted by Turnus in Virgil's Aeneid in book X as he begins the charge against Aeneas' Trojans. This phrase is often quoted as Audentes Fortuna iuvat or Audaces Fortuna iuvat.
The Roman dictator and consul Lucius Cornelius Sulla was said to believe in the influence of the goddess Fortune in his life. He was a consummate risk-taker, achieving martial distinction by taking risks on the battlefield such as wearing disguises and living among the enemy. He was also the first of the great Republican Romans to march upon Rome — a great taboo, but one which cemented his power and influence. Sulla so believed in his favor with Fortuna that he took the agnomen Felix which means "lucky" and gave his twin son and daughter the antiquated praenomens Faustus and Fausta because those names were also associated with luck.
Julius Caesar also transformed his fortunes when he marched on Rome, with the famous words alea jacta est (the die is cast) as he crossed the Rubicon river. The utterance was a commitment of his fate to Fortune. While Caesar was a thorough and professional soldier, many of his greatest victories were achieved by taking bold risks which often exposed him and his troops to great danger, but often resulted in memorable victories. His last gamble, attending the Senate on the Ides of March without his lictors (bodyguards), exposed him to an assassination attempt, which was successful.
Pliny the Younger quotes his uncle Pliny the Elder as saying 'fortune favors the bold!' ('fortes' inquit 'fortuna iuvat') when commanding his ship to sail closer to Vesuvius in AD 79, an action that was to lead to his death in the eruption.
3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment
This is used as the motto of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment in the British Army.
This is used as the motto of the USS Florida, SSGN-728