Fortune favors the bold, Except when it doesn’t

Fortune favors the bold, Except when it doesn’t August 20, 2022

 

 

 

Fortune favors the bold. Great line, that. Comes from the Latin, where it was a sturdy proverb. Possibly distilled from a line from the Pre-Socratic philosopher Democritus. It has a couple of variations, but with the same meaning. The line appears in Virgil’s Aeneid and Terence’s Phormio. Ovid gives it a twist in Ars Amatoria, “Venus, like Fortune, favors the bold.”

One can see why it would appeal.

But, there is a caution. Pliny the Elder in the year 79 rather famously uttered the phrase as he sailed to the seaside town of Stabiae to save a friend and his family from the eruptions at Mount Vesuvius. He did not return.

The favor of the god is no guarantee, as it turns out…

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