Tic (Greek: Τύχη, transl. Tykhe, "luck"), in ancient Greek cults, was the tutelary deity responsible for the fortune and prosperity of a city, its fate and fortune - be it good or bad. Its equivalent in Roman mythology was Fortuna.
The Greek historian Stylianos Spyridakis concisely expressed the attraction of Tic to the Hellenistic world, full of arbitrary violence and meaningless setbacks: "In the turbulent years of Alexander's epigones, a perception of the instability of human affairs led people to believe that Tic, the blind mistress of Fortune, ruled mankind with an inconstancy that explained the vicissitudes of the time. "
During the Hellenistic period it was common for each city to venerate its own specific iconic version of Tique, wearing a mural crown (a crown shaped like the city walls). In literature these versions were given several different genealogies, sometimes as the daughter of Hermes and Aphrodite, or considered one of the Oceânides, daughters of Oceano and Thetis, or Zeus Pindar.
She was associated with Nemesis and Agatodemon ("good spirit"), and venerated in Ithanos, on the island of Crete, as Tyche Protogeneia, associated with the Athenian Protogenia ("firstborn"), daughter of Erectheus, whose self-sacrifice saved the city.
In Alexandria, the Tikhon (Tykhaeon), the temple of Tikh, was described by Libanius as one of the most magnificent in the entire Hellenistic world.
Tykhaeon appears on several coins in the three centuries before the birth of Christ, especially in cities around the Aegean Sea. Unpredictable changes of fortune are the driving force in the complicated plots of Hellenistic romances, such as Leucipe and Clitophon or Dáfnis and Cloé.
His cult experienced a resurgence during another period of turbulent change, the last days of authority-sanctioned paganism in the late 4th century, between the reigns of the Roman emperors Julian and Theodosius I, who closed the temples for good.
The effectiveness of her capricious power achieved respectability even in philosophical circles of the time, although among poets it was commonplace to insult her as a fickle harlot. There were temples dedicated to her in Caesarea Maritima, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople.
In medieval art she was depicted carrying a cornucopia, an emblematic helm and the Wheel of Fortune; sometimes she is depicted on this wheel, presiding over the whole circle of fate. In Greco-Buddhist Gandara art, Tique became closely associated with the Buddhist goddess Hariti.
The Greek historian Polybius believed that whenever the causes of certain events, such as floods, droughts or frosts, could not be discovered, these causes could be justly attributed to Tique.
The constellation of Virgo is sometimes identified as the celestial figure of Tique, as well as other goddesses such as Demeter and Astreia.
In Sophocles' play about Oedipus, when asked which deity he believes in, Oedipus replies that Tique, at that time synonymous with chance, or divine chance.