Tyche was the goddess of fortune, answering to the Roman Fortuna. She was the daughter of Oceanus (or Zeus) and Tethys. The name comes from the verb tynchano, 'to hit', and reflects its various shades of meaning, such as 'to hit on by chance', 'obtain', 'gain one's end', 'happen to be', 'befall', 'chance to be' and the like.

In other words the 'hit' or fortune could be good or bad. Tyche played an important role in situations where chance really mattered, as in athletics, drawing lots, love, seafaring, and so on. In all these, as in life itself, a good 'hit' can result in supreme success and happiness, while a bad 'hit' can end in disaster. Tyche also had an important influence on whole cities, as well as on individuals.