Letter | Published:

The Planet Fortuna

Nature volume 71, page 511 (30 March 1905) | Download Citation



ONE point of interest to Airy's brother men of science has not been noticed—that he either misunderstood or wilfully misapplied the lines of Juvenal. The “Purists” urged that planets had always been named after deities, and that Fortuna was not a deity. Airy said that she was, and quoted “nos te, nos facimus, Fortuna, deam.” What did Juvenal really say? He said, “the wise see no divinity in Fortune; it is only human folly that calls her goddess, and assumes for her a place in heaven.” As Gifford renders it:—

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