Fortune favours the bold

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"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 or Audentes fortuna adiuvat.


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, Phormio, 203 (Fortis Fortuna adiuvat) and by Ennius, Ann. 257 (Fortibus est Fortuna uiris data). A similar phrase (Audentis Fortuna iuuat) is shouted by Turnus in Virgil's Aeneid, 10.284, as he begins the charge against Aeneas' Trojans. This phrase is often quoted as Audentes Fortuna iuuat or Audaces Fortuna iuuat.

Historical examples[edit]

Ancient history[edit]

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 praenomina Faustus and Fausta because those names were also associated with luck.

Julius Caesar also transformed his fortunes when he marched on Rome, declaring alea iacta 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 professional soldier, many of his victories were achieved by taking bold risks which exposed him and his troops to significant danger, but resulted in memorable victories.

Pliny the Younger quotes his uncle Pliny the Elder as saying Fortune favors the bold! (fortes, inquit, fortuna iuuat) when commanding his ship to sail closer to Vesuvius in AD 79, an action that led to his death in the eruption.

Her Majesty's Armed Forces, The Yorkshire Regiment (British Army)[edit]

This is used as the motto of The Yorkshire Regiment in the British Army.

USS Florida[edit]

This is used as the motto of the USS Florida (SSGN-728)

Clan Mackinnon[edit]

This is used as the Motto of the ancient clan.

Clan Turnbull[edit]

This is also the motto for Clan Turnbull.[1]

Jednostka Wojskowa Komandosów[edit]

This is used by the Polish Special Forces unit JW Komandosów as part of the Task Force 50 in Afghanistan.

Jutish Dragoon Regiment[edit]

This is used by the Jutish Dragoon Regiment in the Royal Danish Army[2]

Her Majesty's Armed Forces, 25 Flight Army Air Corps (British Army)[edit]

This is used as the motto of 25 Flight Army Air Corps in the British Army.

Turing Family[edit]

A Latin equivalent (fortunas audentas juvat) is used as the motto for the Turing family, dating back to 1316 AD.[3]

O'Flaherty Family (Ireland)[edit]

This is used as the motto for the O'Flaherty family in Ireland and is also used on their coat of arms.[4]

Dixon Family[edit]

This is used as the motto for the Dixon family and is presented on their family crest.[5]

Cornielje Family[edit]

This motto is used by the Cornielje family of The Netherlands. It is used alongside their coat of arms.[6]

Similar proverbs[edit]


  1. ^ "Turnbull Clan Association". Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  2. ^ Jydske Dragonregiment
  3. ^ Turing, Sara (2012). Alan M. Turing: Centenary Edition. 
  4. ^ "Name History - The Chieftain Clan O'Flaithbheartaigh Kings and Queens of Connemara {english variants:O'Flaherty, Lafferty}". Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  5. ^ "Dixon Family Crest and History". 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  6. ^ "". 

External links[edit]