Ancient Languages/Virgil quote


I have seen the phrase "Fortune favors the bold" written as audentes fortuna iuvat, and audaces fortuna iuvat. I've also seen translations for "Fortune favors the brave" written the same ways, but also as fortes fortuna iuvat. Can you please explain the difference in translations, as well as if there is an exact translation for "fortune favors the brave"? I also understand there was no j in ancient text, but is juvat also an acceptable translation? Is the j used in more recent Latin translations?

Thanks in advance for your time.


Both the phrases “Audaces fortuna iuvat” and "Fortes fortuna iuvat” are nothing but an adaptation of a quotation from Virgil’s Aeneid, book X, line 284, where we read:“Audentes  Fortuna iuvat” literally  meaning: "Fortune favours the bold" or “Fortune favours the brave”.

The only one difference between Virgil’s line "Audentes  Fortuna iuvat” and “Audaces fortuna iuvat” is the use of another adjective ("audaces") instead of “audentes”, but the meaning is the same.

In short, both “Audentes Fortuna iuvat” and  “Audaces fortuna iuvat” mean  “Fortune favours the bold" as well as “Fortune favours the brave”, since the English adjectives “bold”/ “brave” indicate somebody who is  not frightened of danger.

As for “Fortes fortuna iuvat”, its literal meaning is “Fortune favours the strong” as  the Latin adjective “fortes” (accusative plural of “fortis”) means “the strong”, not "the brave/bold".

In short, the exact translation for "Fortune favours the brave” is just “Audentes Fortuna iuvat”, if you want to use the original Virgil’s quote, or “Audaces fortuna iuvat”, if you want to use its adaptation where “audaces” stands for “audentes”, both meaning “the brave/the bold”.

As for the J, which did not exist in classical Latin, I think that it is not acceptable to use it in a Latin text, though in modern books it is often used.
I think in fact that every language should be written in its original form and then it is correct to write “iuvat”, not “juvat”.

Have a nice day,

Note that:

-AUDENTES /AUDACES (direct object, accusative plural of the adjective/present participle AUDENS  whose synonym is  AUDAX)=the bold/ the brave

-FORTUNA (subject in the nominative singular, 1st declension noun)= Fortune

-IUVAT (3rd person singular, present indicative of the verb IUVO) = favours/favors

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