Trying to trace an Ovid quote... : LUSENET : Publius Ovidius Naso : One Thread

I'm a psychologist working on the psychology of luck. I recently came across the following quote attributed to Ovid:

"Luck affects everything. Let your hook always be cast in the stream. When you least expect it, there will be fish."

Can anybody help me with tracing exactly where this quote is from?

Any help appreciated!

Matthew Smith Liverpool John Moores University

-- Matthew Smith (, June 02, 1998


Ovid quote traced


It's Ars Amatoria (Art of Love) 3.425-426.

Casus ubique valet, semper tibi pendeat hamus. Quo minime credas gurgite, piscis erit

-- Sean Redmond (, June 02, 1998.


A more literal translation would be "Chance is always in effect." Casus is perhaps more "chance" than "luck" if you mean it in the sense of "someone having luck." (i.e. you can have fortuna, but you are the victim/benificiary of casus). But Romans also used it as the French do: "Bonne chance", "Good luck."

-- Sean Redmond (, June 04, 1998.

Re: Ovid quote traced


Thank you! I'm particularly interested in the 'luck affects everything' part... I assume that's a direct translation of the 'Casus ubique valet' part?

Also, is it a clear translation to English that Ovid is referring to 'luck', and not 'chance', 'fortune', or some similar concept?


-- Matthew Smith (, June 04, 1998.


Thanks again... The reason I ask these perhaps petty questions is that I want to use the phrase at the beginning of my thesis, and wanted to make sure it was an accurate quote/translation.

It would appear that "Luck affects everything" is a fair translation of "Casus ubique valet"...


-- Matthew Smith (, June 04, 1998.

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