Fortune favours the bold

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Salvator Rosa's 1658 painting Allegory of Fortune shows Fortuna, the Goddess of luck, as an allegory of Fortune

"Fortune favours the bold", "Fortune favours the brave", "Fortune helps the brave", and "Fortune favours the strong" are common translations of a Latin proverb. The slogan has been used historically in the military in the Anglo-Saxon world, and it is used up to the present in the US Marines and on the coats of arms of individual families and clans.


Fortune favours the bold is the translation of a Latin proverb, which exists in several forms with slightly different wording, where Fortuna is the goddess of luck, such as

  • audentes Fortuna iuvat (literally: "fortune favors the bold")[1]
  • audentes Fortuna adiuvat ("Fortune comes to the aid of those daring")[citation needed]
  • Fortuna audaces iuvat (from the adjective audax, audacis, from the verb audeo), literally: "Fortune helps the bold".[citation needed]

These Proverbs in turn descended from Fortes fortuna adiuvat. (literally: "fortune favours the strong") used in Terence's comedy play Phormio, line 203.[2] It was cited by Cicero in the 1st century BCE as a vetus proverbium ("an old proverb"). [3]

Historical examples[edit]


The quote "Fortes Fortuna Juvat" is used by the Jydske Dragonregiment, or Jutish Dragoon Regiment, in the Royal Danish Army.[4]

United Kingdom & Ireland[edit]

It is used as the motto for the British Army's Yorkshire Regiment having been previously used by one of the Yorkshire's antecedent regiments, the Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding [33rd/76th Foot]).[5]

The Latin version Audentes Fortuna Juvat is the motto of Clan MacKinnon and features on the clan crest.[6]

It is the motto for Clan Turnbull.[7]

It is used as the motto for the O'Flaherty family in Ireland and is also used on their coat of arms.[8]

This is used as the motto for the Dickson family and is presented on their family crest.[9]

The motto Fortuna Audaces Juvat was used by the Clevland family of Tapeley Park, Westleigh, Devon, in the 18th and 19th centuries, as seen with their armorials on several of the family's mural monuments in Westleigh Church.[citation needed]

The phrase was used as the motto of the Royal Air Force station based at East Fortune, in East Lothian. The base was operational in the First World War and between 1940 and 1947.[10]

United States[edit]

It is used by the 3rd Marine Regiment (United States) of the United States Marine Corps and appears on the regiment insignia.[citation needed]

It is the motto of the ship USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE-7), named after US Navy Master Diver Carl Brashear and appears on the ship's insignia.

The motto was adopted by the USS Florida (SSGN-728) after it was converted from an SSBN to a SSGN, to launch a Tomahawk missile.[citation needed]

The motto is used by the crew of the USS Montpelier (SSN-765).[citation needed]

The Latin equivalent fortuna audentes juvat" is used as the motto for the Turing family, dating back to 1316 AD.[11]

The motto is used by the 366th Fighter Wing of the United States Air Force and appears on the wing patch.

The motto "Fortes Fortuna Juvat" appears on the gates of Honor Hill at Ft. Benning, Georgia, where U.S. Army infantrymen ceremoniously receive the iconic cross rifle insignia.


The motto is used by the Cornielje family of The Netherlands alongside their coat of arms.[12]

South Korea[edit]

Motto used by the 80th Fighter Squadron stationed at Kunsan AB, Republic of South Korea.[citation needed]

Examples in Popular Culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "audentes fortuna juvat". Merriam Webster. Retrieved 2017-03-17. 
  2. ^ "Latin Texts & Translations". (in Latin). The ARTFL Project. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  3. ^ Consuls and Res Publica: Holding High Office in the Roman Republic. Hans Beck, Antonio Duplá, Martin Jehne and Francisco Pina Polo. 2011. p. 196. ISBN 978-1107001541. 
  4. ^ "Hæren Jydske Dragonregiment". (in Danish). Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  5. ^ "The British Army - About the Regiment". The British Army. Retrieved 6 February 2017. 
  6. ^ "Clan MacKinnon Society". Retrieved 2016-10-05. 
  7. ^ "Turnbull Clan Association". Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  8. ^ "Name History - The Chieftain Clan O'Flaithbheartaigh Kings and Queens of Connemara {english variants:O'Flaherty, Lafferty}". Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  9. ^ "Dixon Family Crest and History". 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  10. ^ Pine, L.G. (1983). A dictionary of mottoes (1st publish. ed.). London [u.a.]: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 86. ISBN 0-7100-9339-X. 
  11. ^ Turing, Sara (2012). Alan M. Turing: Centenary Edition. 
  12. ^ "". 

External links[edit]