Definitions

Parcae

Parcae

[pahr-see, -kahy]
Parcae: see Fates.

In Greek and Roman mythology, the three goddesses who determined human destiny. The Fates were usually depicted as old women: Clotho, the Spinner; Lachesis, the Allotter; and Atropos, the Inflexible. Clotho spun the thread of human life, Lachesis dispensed it, and Atropos cut the thread. They determined the length of each person's life as well as its share of suffering. Their Roman names were Nona, Decuma, and Morta.

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The Parcae, in Roman mythology, were the personifications of destiny (often called The Fates in English). Their Greek equivalent were the Moirae. They controlled the metaphorical thread of life of every mortal and immortal from birth to death. Even the gods feared the Parcae. Jupiter also was subject to their power.

The names of the three Parcae were:

  • Nona - spun the thread of life from her distaff onto her spindle. Her Greek equivalent was Clotho;
  • Decima - measured the thread of life with her rod. Her Greek equivalent was Lachesis;
  • Morta - was the cutter of the thread of life. She chose the manner of a person's death. Her Greek equivalent was Atropos.

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