in American Senator

Chapter 63 – Changes at Bragton

wheel of fortune

Trollope is invoking the Latin phrase rota fortunae, “wheel of fortune,” which indicates a Classical mode of thought about the way in which fortune operates.  Reginald is made squire “by a turn in the wheel of fortune.”  The Roman playwright Pacuvius wrote of the goddess Fortuna as standing on a ball blindly falling in any direction.  In this way, Fortuna is unconcerned about the well-being of humans and is inconsistent in her allotment of good or bad.  [CD 2012]

Sources:  OCD.
Fragment of Pacuvius quoted in the Rhetorica ad Herennium 2.23.36.