Seneca: Luck - Preparation - Opportunity

A

Anonymous

Guest
Hi,

there is a quote from Seneca that I first found in an English version:
"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

However, I've also seen an Italian version, that says:
"La fortuna non esiste: esiste il momento in cui il talento incontra l'occasione."
(Luck doesn't exist. There is only the moment when talent meets opportunity.)

Those two versions are clearly different.
Does anyone know the genuine (Latin) version and where it can be found?

Thanks in advance.
 

QMF

Civis Illustris
Well that doesn't even pinpoint the author, as there were two Senecas. :brickwall: Let me try and google the quote to get a citation.
 

QMF

Civis Illustris
Google doesn't want to help either. I'm mostly just getting that it was a quote from Seneca, or occasionally that it was on a wrestling room wall. :brickwall: I also don't think anyone here has read a great deal of either Seneca's work (although I could be wrong) so I wouldn't greatly expect to find the quote.

Here's a translation of the quote from me, in case we can't find the original:

fortuna est momentum quo occasionem convenit talentum.

As you can see I followed the Italian version with word choice while taking out some bits that were absent in the English.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I found the Italian version on the Italian Wikipedia page for Seneca Minor, although it states "Lucio Anneo Seneca" as the author, which might as well be his father.

Although the Italian version might be "closer to the source", I have seen the English version quite often and wonder if that might be the genuine formula.

Oh, and I've done a fair bit of googling as well before I came here. No luck (obviously neither preparation nor opportunity...). Now I also tried it with your phrase, nothing there, either. Probably only some very "old school" person who has read a lot of books could help here.
 

QMF

Civis Illustris
Well that narrows it down somewhat...heh. I'll look some more later.
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
No, and it probably won't be solved unless there's some significant motivating factor involved. It's simply too dull and time-consuming to go through all the works of both Senecas just to search for what may not even exist. These unsourced English "quotations" of classical authors are often paraphrases of what might be a whole paragraph in the original Latin. They also tend to become divorced from the original sentiment as they're passed down and modified, sometimes even to the point of being misrepresentations of what was originally said. And of course there's always the possibility that it's been misattributed in the first place...
 
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