Although the terminology employed by Plutarch to express divine influence in human affaires
varies a lot, the words tyche, daimon and theos are those that he uses most frequently. In this paper,
special attention is given to the action of tyche and other related concepts, precisely because they
are attached mainly to fluid and unpredictable factors.
The analysis focuses on the Life of Phocion, which is especially suitable for studying the way
the power of divinity is exerted. Phocion had a good character as well as enjoying the benefits
of a fine paideia, but despite these important qualities, he was neither capable of preventing
Athens from being occupied by the Macedonian forces nor was he able to avoid his own capital
punishment. Plutarch does not fail to point out that all this happens because Phocion did not
live in a favourable time, and could therefore not exploit completely his own virtues. This notion
of a ‘favourable time’ is explored in order to combine the concepts of kairos and chronos with that
of tyche, as a means of justifying Phocion’s failures.