Fortuna Belli Wednesday, Jul 9 2008 

Fortuna Belli, goddess of fortune in war is blindfolded, representing the capriciousness of the battlefield. She carries a spear in her right hand and wears a Centurions helmet, indicating her martial aspect. Her Cornucopia, traditionally full of food, bulges with musket balls to feed the soldiers hungry weapons.

She is also a goddess of fate. Her smile in battle brings continuing life and luck to those who see it; her frown brings nox est perpetua una dormienda.

Fortuna Belli semper ancipiti in loco est:
the fortune of war stands ever on the verge (Seneca).

te, Fortuna, sequor; procul hinc jam fœdera sunto; credidimus fatis, utendum est judice bello; 
you, Fortune, I follow; hence far all treaties past; to fate I commit myself, and the arbitration of war (Lucan, on Cæsar crossing the Rubicon)

Fortuna Belli is one of the aspects of Fortuna, Imperatrix Mundi.

O Fortuna#


Victoria Tuesday, Jul 8 2008 

Victoria, the winged goddess of victory, descends to the battlefield, offering her blessings to the vanquishers in the form of a captured enemy standard. She rests her foot upon a spent cannon ball, evidence of the struggle needed to summon her.

She follows the favours of Fortuna Belli at a distance, until her judgment becomes clear. The standard she bears shows no particular colours, indicating she will bless either side in combat.

Mars Monday, Jul 7 2008 

Mars, blood-stained slayer of men and breaker of armies revels in the chaos of the battlefield. Ferocious, implacable, his blood lust knows no bounds. As the god of war, he cares little for who wins a battle, only that it is fought.

Minerva Sunday, Jul 6 2008 


Minerva, the bright eyed virgin goddess of wisdom and strategy, dislikes fighting without thought. She has natural enmity towards Mars, and is no friend to soldiers given to impetuosity.  As the shield of the wise, generals should listen to her whispered advice, which may lead to the blessings of Victoria.

Somnus and Mors Sunday, Jul 6 2008 

Somnus and Mors, the sons of Nox carry the shade of a Cuirassier fallen in battle to the underworld. They know better than most that casualties are the inseparable concomitant of glory.

Pax Sunday, Jul 6 2008 

Pax et Plutus 600 dpi

Pax, the Goddess of peace sweeps over the battlefield with an olive branch in her right hand and rose petals in her left. On her shoulder is Plutus, the God of wealth, one of the many joys of peace. He carries the rod of Aesculapius, a symbol of healing.

All soldiers long to see Pax, and her multitude of blessings.  Generals and their sovereign rulers also long for Pax, but on their terms; illa victoria viam ad pacem patefecit.

The Paradoxical Trinity of von Clausewitz Sunday, Jul 6 2008 

“War is thus more than a mere chameleon, because it changes its nature to some extent in each concrete case. It is also, however, when it is regarded as a whole and in relation to the tendencies that dominate within it, a paradoxical trinity—composed of:

1) primordial violence, hatred, and enmity, which are to be regarded as a blind natural force;
2) the play of chance and probability, within which the creative spirit is free to roam; and
3) its element of subordination, as an instrument of policy, which makes it subject to pure reason.

The first of these three aspects concerns more the people; the second, more the commander and his army; the third, more the government. The passions that are to blaze up in war must already be inherent in the people; the scope that the play of courage and talent will enjoy in the realm of probability and chance depends on the particular character of the commander and the army; but the political aims are the business of government alone.”

Book 1, 28. The consequences for theory
On War, Carl von Clausewitz
(Howard and Paret translation, OUP, 2007)

The Roman Gods and Goddesses are surely at work here.

Mars is the God of primordial violence.

Fortuna Belli is the Goddess of fortune in war, encompassing chance and probability.

Minerva is the Goddess of strategy in war, of reason.

We can represent the paradoxical trinity by this trio of Gods, circling the meadow of Atë, upon which their deadly interplay takes place.