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MOIRAI

25/01/2020

Mitología griega >> Dioses griegos >> Dioses del Olimpo >> Moirae (Moirai)
 
 
  Nombre griego

  Μοιρα Μοιραι
 
 
  Transliteración

  Moira, Moirai
 
 
  Nombre romano

  Fatum, Fatae, Parcae
 

 

 
  Spinner, oinochoe ateniense de figura roja C5th B.C., Museo Británico THE MOIRAI (Moirae) fueron las tres diosas del destino que personificaron el destino ineludible del hombre. Asignaron a cada persona su destino o participación en el esquema de las cosas. Su nombre significa “Partes”. “Acciones” o “Porciones Alottted”. Los individuos eran Klotho (Clotho), el “Spinner”, que hilaba el hilo de la vida,
Lakhesis (Lachesis), “el repartidor de lotes”, que lo midió, y
Atropos (o Aisa), “La que no puede ser convertida”, que lo interrumpió. Zeus Moiragetes, el dios del destino, era su líder.
  Al nacer un hombre, el Moirai hizo girar el hilo de su vida futura, siguió sus pasos y dirigió las consecuencias de sus acciones de acuerdo con el consejo de los dioses. No fue un destino inflexible; Zeus, si lo deseaba, tenía el poder de salvar incluso a aquellos que ya estaban a punto de ser atrapados por su destino. El Destino no interfirió abruptamente en los asuntos humanos, sino que se valió de causas intermedias y determinó que la suerte de los mortales no era absoluta, sino solo condicional, incluso el hombre mismo, en su libertad, podía ejercer cierta influencia sobre ellos. Cuando el destino del hombre terminó con su muerte, las diosas del destino se convirtieron en las diosas de la muerte, Moirai Thanatoio .
  Los Moirai eran independientes, al timón de la necesidad, dirigían el destino y observaban que el destino asignado a cada ser por las leyes eternas podía seguir su curso sin obstrucción; y Zeus, así como los otros dioses y el hombre, tuvieron que someterse a ellos. Asignaron a los Erinyes , quienes infligieron el castigo por las malas acciones, sus funciones apropiadas; y con ellos dirigieron el destino de acuerdo con las leyes de la necesidad.
  Como diosas del nacimiento, que hilaron el hilo de la vida e incluso profetizaron el destino del recién nacido, Eileithyia fue su compañera. Como diosas del destino, necesariamente deben haber conocido el futuro, que a veces revelaron, y por lo tanto eran deidades proféticas. Sus ministros eran todos los adivinos y oráculos.
  Como diosas de la muerte, aparecieron junto con el Keres y el infernal Erinyes .
  Los Moirai fueron descritos como mujeres feas, viejas y algunas veces cojas. Eran severos, inflexibles y severos. Klotho lleva un huso o un rollo (el libro de ate), Lakhesis, un bastón con el que señala el horóscopo en un globo terráqueo, y Atropos un pergamino, una tableta de cera, un reloj de sol, un par de escamas o un instrumento de corte. En otras ocasiones, los tres se mostraban con bastones o cetros, los símbolos de dominio y, a veces, incluso con coronas. Al nacer cada hombre, aparecían girando, midiendo y cortando el hilo de la vida.
  El nombre de los romanos para las diosas era Parcae y los nombres de los individuos eran Nona, Decuma y Morta.
  FAMILIA DE LAS MOIRAE
  PADRES
  [1.1] ZEUS y THEMIS (Hesiod Theogony, Apollodorus 1.13) [2.1] NYX (sin padre ) (Hesiod Theogony 217, Aeschylus Eumenides 961, Greek Lyric V Anon 1018, Orphic Hymn 59) [3.1] EREBOS & NYX [19459384] (Hyginus Pref, Cicero De Natura Deum 3.17) [4.1] KRONOS y NYX (Tzetzes ad Lycophron) [5.145 ] ANANKE (República de Platón 617C) [6.1] KHAOS (Quintus Smyrnaeus 3.755) [7.1] 19459043] OKEANOS y GAIA (Lycophron 144, Athenaeus 15)
  NOMBRES
  [1.1] KLOTHO, LAKHESIS, ATROPOS (Hesiod Theogony, et al.) [2.1] AISA (Homer Iliad, et. Al.) [19459014 ]
  ENCICLOPEDIA
  MOIRA (Moira) significa apropiadamente “una parte”, y como una personificación “la deidad que asigna a cada hombre su destino o su parte”, o los Destinos. Homero generalmente habla de una sola Moira, y solo una vez menciona la Moirai en plural. ( Il. xxiv. 29.) En sus poemas, Moira es el destino personificado, que, al nacer el hombre, hila el hilo de su vida futura ( Il. xxiv. 209 ), sigue sus pasos y dirige las consecuencias de sus acciones según el consejo de los dioses. ( 11. v. 613, xx. 5.) Homero así, cuando personifica al Destino, la concibe como hiladora, un acto por el cual también se expresa el poder de otros dioses sobre la vida del hombre. ( Il. xxiv. 525, Od. i. 17, iii. 208, iv. 208.) Pero la personificación de su Moira no está completa, porque no menciona ninguna apariencia particular de la diosa, sin atributos y sin parentesco; y su Moira es por lo tanto sinónimo de Aisa. ( II. xx. 127, xxiv. 209.) Si en Od. vii. 197, los Kataklôthes son las Moirae, y no las Eileithyiae, como algunos suponen, Aisa y Moira serían en verdad dos seres distintos, pero aun así seres que realizan completamente las mismas funciones.
  Las Moirae, como las divinidades de la duración de la vida humana, que está determinada por los dos puntos de nacimiento y de muerte, se conciben como diosas del nacimiento o como diosas de la muerte, y por lo tanto su número era dos, como en Delphi (Paus. X. 24. § 4; Plut. de Tranq. An. 15, de Ei ap. Delph. 2.) De esta circunstancia podemos deducir que originalmente el Los griegos concibieron una sola Moira, y que posteriormente una consideración de su naturaleza y atributos llevó a la creencia en dos, y finalmente en tres Moirae; aunque no se observó estrictamente una distribución de las funciones entre los tres, ya que en Ovidio, por ejemplo ( ad Liv. 239), y Tibulo (i. 8. 1.), los tres se describen como spinning , aunque esta debería ser la función de Clotho solo, quien, de hecho, a menudo se menciona solo como el representante de todos. (Pind. 01. i. 40; Ov. ad Liv. 164, Fast. vi. 757, Ex Pont. iv 15. 36.) Como diosas del nacimiento, que derraman el hilo de la vida inicial, e incluso profetizan el destino de los recién nacidos, son mencionados junto con Eileithyia, a quien se llama su compañera y paredros. (Paus. Viii. 21. § 2; Plat. Simposios. p. 206, d .; Pind. Ol. vi. 70, Nem. vii .1; Anton. Lib. 29; comp. Eurip. Iphig. Taur. 207.) En una capacidad similar también se unen con Prometeo, el primero o creador de la raza humana en general. (Hygin. Poeta. Astr. ii. 15.) El símbolo con el que ellos, o más bien Clotho solo, están representados para indicar esta función, es un huso, y la idea implícita en él se llevó a cabo lejos, que a veces leemos de su ruptura o corte del hilo cuando la vida va a terminar. (Ov. Am. ii. 6. 46; Plat. de Re Publ. p. 616.) Siendo diosas del destino, necesariamente deben conocer el futuro, que a veces revelar, y así convertirse en divinidades proféticas. (Ov. Met. viii. 454, Trist. v. 3. 25; Tibull. I. 8. 1, iv. 5. 3; Catull. 64. 307.) Como diosas de la muerte, aparecen junto con los Keres (Hes. Scut. Herc. 258) y los infernales Erinnyes, con quienes incluso están confundidos, y en el vecindario de Sicyon los sacrificios anuales que se les ofrecen. eran los mismos que los ofrecidos a los Erinnyes. (Paus. Ii. 11. § 4; comp. Schol. ad Aesch. Agam. 70; Aelian, HA x. 33; Serv. ad Aen. [19459025 ] I. 86.) Pertenece al mismo personaje que, junto con los Charites, llevan a Perséfone del mundo inferior a las regiones de luz, y se mencionan junto con Plutón y Charon. (Orph. Himno. 428; Ov. Fast. vi. 157; comp. Aristoph. Ran. 453.) Los diversos epítetos que los poetas aplican al Moirae generalmente se refiere a la severidad, inflexibilidad y severidad del destino.
  La Moira homérica no es, como algunos han pensado, un destino inflexible al que los dioses mismos deben inclinarse; pero, por el contrario, Zeus, como padre de dioses y hombres, les pesa su destino ( Il. viii. 69, xxii. 209; comp. xix. 108); y si lo desea, tiene el poder de salvar incluso a aquellos que ya están a punto de ser capturados por su destino (II. xvi. 434, 441, 443); no, ya que el Destino no interfiere abruptamente en los asuntos humanos, sino que se vale de causas intermedias y determina la suerte de los mortales no absolutamente, sino solo condicionalmente, incluso el hombre mismo, en su libertad, puede ejercer cierta influencia sobre ella. ( Od. i. 34, Il. ix. 411, xvi. 685.) Cuando el destino del hombre termina con su muerte, la diosa del destino al final de la vida se convierte en la diosa de la muerte, moira Danatoio ( Od. xxiv. 29, ii. 100, iii. 238), y se menciona junto con la muerte misma, y ​​con Apolo, el portador de la muerte. ( Il. iii. 101, v. 83, xvi. 434, 853, xx. 477, xxi. 101, xxiv. 132.)
  Hesíodo ( Theog. 217, & c., 904; comp. Apollod. I 3. § 1) tiene la personificación de la Moirae completa; porque los llama, junto con los Keres, hijas de la noche; y distingue tres, a saber. Clotho, o el destino giratorio; Lachesis, o el que asigna al hombre su destino; y Atropos, o el destino que no se puede evitar. Según esta genealogía, los Moirae deben considerarse como dependientes de su padre y de acuerdo con sus consejos. Por eso se llama Moiragetês, i. mi. el guía o líder de las Moirae (Paus. v. 15. § 4), y por lo tanto también fueron representados junto con su padre en templos y obras de arte, como en Megara (Paus. i. 40. § 3), en el templo de Despoena en Arcadia (viii. 37. § 1), y en Delphi (x. 24. § 4; comp. viii. 42. § 2). Se describen además como grabado en tablas indestructibles de los decretos de su padre Zeus. (Claudian, xv. 202; comp. Ov. Met. xv. 808, & c.) Los escritores posteriores difieren en su genealogía de las Moirae de la de Hesíodo; así se les llama hijos de Erebus y Night (Cic. De Aat. Deor. iii. 17), de Cronos y Night (Tzetz. ad Lyc. 406), de Ge y Oceanus (Athenag. 15; Lycoph. 144), o por último de Ananke o Necessity. (Plat. De Re Publ. pág. 617, d.)
  No puede ser sorprendente encontrar que el carácter y la naturaleza de las Moirae fueron concebidas de manera diferente en diferentes momentos y por diferentes autores. A veces aparecen como divinidades del destino en el sentido estricto del término, y a veces solo como divinidades alegóricas de la duración de la vida humana. En el primer personaje son independientes, al timón de la necesidad, dirigen el destino y observan que el destino asignado a cada ser por las leyes eternas puede seguir su curso sin obstrucción (Aeschyl. Prom. 511, 515) ; y Zeus, así como los otros dioses y hombres, deben someterse a ellos. (Herodes. I. 91; Lactant. Institute. i. 11, 13; Stob. Eclog. i. Pp. 152, 170.) Asignan a los Erinnyes, quienes infligen el castigo por las malas acciones, sus funciones propias; y con ellos dirigen el destino de acuerdo con las leyes de la necesidad, de donde a veces se les llama las hermanas de los Erinnyes. (Aeschyl. Eum. 335, 962, Prom. 516, 696, 895; Tzetz. ad Lyc. 406.) Los poetas posteriores también conciben las Moirae en El mismo personaje. (Virg. Aen. v. 798, xii. 147; Tibull. I. 8. 2; Ov. Trist. v. 3. 17, Met. [19459025 ] xv. 781; Horat. Carm. Saec. 25, & c.) Estas graves y poderosas diosas fueron representadas por los primeros artistas con bastones o cetros, el símbolo del dominio; y Platón ( De Re Pub. p. 617) incluso menciona sus coronas. ( Mus. Pio-Clem. tom. Vi. Tab. B.)
  Tenían santuarios en muchas partes de Grecia, como Corinto (Paus. Ii. 4. § 7), Esparta (iii. 11. § 8), Olimpia (v. 15. § 4), Tebas (ix. 2.5. § 4), y en otros lugares. Los poetas a veces las describen como mujeres ancianas y horribles, e incluso como cojas, para indicar la lenta marcha del destino (Catull. 64, 306; Ov. Met. xv. 781; Tzetz. ad Lyc. 584); pero en las obras de arte se representan como doncellas graves, con diferentes atributos, a saber, Clotho con un huso o un rollo (el libro del destino); Lachesis apuntando con un bastón al horóscopo en el globo; y Atropos con un par de escalas, o un reloj solar, o un instrumento de corte. Es digno de mención que la Muse Urania a veces fue representada con los mismos atributos que Lachesis, y que Afrodita Urania en Atenas, según una inscripción en un pilar de Hermes, fue llamada la más antigua de las Moirae. (Paus. I. 19. § 2.)
  PEPRO′MENE (Peprômenê), es decir, etopa , es decir, la parte destinada por el destino, aparece también como un nombre propio en el mismo sentido que Moira o Fate. (Paus. Viii. 21. § 2; Hom. Il. iii. 309.)
  Fuente: Diccionario de biografía y mitología griega y romana.
 
  Artemisa, Atenea y las Moirae, dinos atenienses de figura negra C6th B.C., Museo Británico NOMBRES DE LA MOIRAE
 
 
  Nombre griego
  Κλωθω
  [αχεσις
  Ατροπος
 
 
  Transliteración
  Klôthô
  Lakhesis
  Atropos
 
 
  Ortografía latina
  Clotho
  Lachesis
  Atropus
 
 
  Traducción
  Spinner
  Eliminador de lotes
  No se puede convertir
 
 
 
 
  Nombre griego
  [ισα
  Πεπρωμενη
  Ἑιμαρμενη
 
 
  Transliteración
  Aisa
  Peprômenê
  Heimarmenê
 
 
  Ortografía latina
  Aesa
  Pepromene
  Heimarmene
 
 
  Traducción
  Destino
  Compartir
  Destino
 
 
  CITA DE LITERATURA CLÁSICA
  PARENTAGE DE LAS MOIRAE
  I. HIJAS DE ZEUS Y THEMIS
  Hesíodo, Teogonía 901 y sigs. (Traducción Evelyn-White) (épica griega C8th o 7th BC): “Siguiente [después de la diosa Metis] él [Zeus] se casó con Themis brillante que descubrió Horai (Horae, Hours), y Eunomia (Orden), Dike (Justicia), y la floreciente Eirene (Irene, Peace), que se ocupa de las obras de los hombres mortales, y Moirai (Moirae, Fates) a quien el sabio Zeus le dio el mayor honor, Klotho (Clotho), y Lakhesis (Lachesis), y Atropos (Atropus) que dan a los hombres mortales el mal y el bien de tener “.
  Hesiod, Escudo de Heracles 258 y sigs (traducido Evelyn-White) (griego épico C8th o 7th BC): “Klotho (Clotho) y Lakhesis (Lachesis) se pararon sobre ellos, y más pequeños de lo que eran Atropos, no una diosa alta, sin embargo, es ella quien es la mayor de ellos, y ocupa un lugar más alto que los otros dos “.
  Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 13 (trad. Aldrich) (mitógrafo griego C2nd AD): “Con Themis, la hija de Ouranos (Urano, Cielo), él [Zeus] engendró a Horai (Horae, Seasons), por nombre Eirene (Irene, Peace), Eunomia (Good Order) y Dike (Justice); también Moirai (Moirae, Fates), llamado Klotho (Clotho), Lakhesis (Lachesis), y Atropos “.
  II. HIJAS DE NYX
  Hesiod, Theogony 211 y sigs. (Trans. Evelyn-White) (épica griega C8th o 7th BC): “Y Nyx (Night) desnudo y odioso Moros (Doom) y Ker negro (violento) Muerte) y Thanatos (Muerte), y ella dio a luz a Hypnos (Sueño) y la tribu de Oneiroi (Sueños). Y de nuevo la diosa turbia Nyx, aunque yacía sin ninguno, Momos desnudo (Culpa) y dolorosos Oizys (Miseria), y las Hespérides (tardes) … También descubrió el Moirai (Morae, Fates) y los despiadados vengadores Keres (Death-Fates), Klotho (Clotho) y Lakhesis (Lachesis) y Atropos, que dan a los hombres en su nacimiento mal y malvados. bueno tener. También Nyx mortal desnuda Nemesis (envidia) para afligir a los hombres mortales, y después de ella, Apate (engaño) y Philotes (amistad) y odiosas Geras (vejez) y Eris de corazón duro (Strife) “.
  Letra griega V anónima, Fragmentos 1018 (de Stobaeus, Antología) (trad. Campbell): “Moirai (Morae, Fates)… Aisa (Aesa, Dispensación), Klotho ( Clotho) y Lakhesis (Lachesis), hijas bien armadas de Nyx (Noche) “.
  Esquilo, Eumenides 961 y sigs (trad. Weir Smyth) (tragedia griega C5th BC): “Tú, divino ( theai ) Moirai (Moirae, Fates), nuestras [las Erinyes] por una madre [Nyx], divinidades que distribuyen justamente “.
  Himno órfico 59 a los destinos (trans. Taylor) (himnos griegos C3rd BC a 2nd AD): “The Moirai (Moirae, Fates) … hijas de Darkx Nyx (Noche “… Atropos, Lakhesis (Lachesis) y Klotho (Clotho) nombrados”.
  Pseudo-Hyginus, Prefacio (trans. Grant) (mitógrafo romano C2nd AD): “De Nox (Noche) y Erebus [nacieron]: Fatum (Fate), Senectus (Antiguo Edad), Mors (Muerte), Letum (Disolución), Continentia (Moderación), Somnus (Sueño), Somnia (Sueños), Amor (Amor) – eso es Lisimeles–, Epiphron (Prudencia), Porfirio, Epaphus, Discordia (Discordia), Miseria (Miseria), Petulantia (Desprecio), Némesis (Retribución), Euphrosyne (Buen ánimo), Amicitia (Amistad), Misericordia (Compasión), Styx (Odio); los tres Parcae (Destinos) [es decir, el Moirai ], a saber, Clotho, Lachesis y Atropos; Hesperides Aegle, Hesperie y Aerica “.
  Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3. 17 (trad. Rackham) (retórico romano C1st BC): “Sus [Aether y Hemera] hermanos y hermanas, a quienes los antiguos genealogistas llaman Amor ( Amor), Dolus (Guile), Metus (Miedo), Labor (Trabajo), Invidentia (Envidia), Fatum (Destino), Senectus (Vejez), Mors (Muerte), Tenebrae (Oscuridad), Miseria (Miseria), Querella (Queja), Gratia (Favor), Fraus (Fraude), Pertinacia (Obstinación), Parcae (Fates) [es decir, Moirai], Hespérides, Somnia (Sueños): todos estos son legendarios para ser los hijos de Erebus (Oscuridad) y Nox (Noche) “.
  III. HIJAS DE ANANKE
  Platón, República 617c (trad. Shorey) (filósofo griego C4 aC): “La Moirai (Moirae, Fates), hijas de Ananke (Compulsión), vestidas con vestimentas blancas con filetes cabezas, Lakhesis (Lachesis), y Klotho (Clotho), y Atropos, que cantaron al unísono con la música de las Seirenes (Sirenas), Lakhesis cantando las cosas que eran, Klotho las cosas que son, y Atropos las cosas que son para ser.”
  IV. HIJAS DEL CAOS (KHAOS)
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 3. 755 ff (trad. Trans.) (Griego épico C4th A.D.): “El Moirai (Fates), hijas del santo Khaeos (Caos)”.
  V. HIJAS DE PONTUS (PONTOS)
  Lycophron, Alexandra 143 ff (trad. Mair) (poeta griego C3rd BC): “Las hijas cojas [las Moirai (Moirae)] del antiguo Mar (Halos) con triple hilo “. [N.B. Quizás los Moirai se identifiquen aquí con los Graiai o los Grises.]
  MOIRAE Y LA GOBERNANZA DE ZEUS
  Zeus fue descrito como el líder de los destinos (Moiragetes) o como un dios sujeto a su gobierno.
  I. ZEUS MOIRAGETES LÍDER DE LOS DESTINOS
  Zeus se tituló Moiregetes (Líder del Destino), y las tres diosas se sentaron en presencia de su trono.
  Hesíodo, Teogonía 901 y sigs. (Trad. Evelyn-White) (épica griega C8th o 7th BC): “El Moirai (Moirae, Fates) a quien Zeus le dio el mayor honor, Klotho (Clotho), y Lakhesis (Lachesis), y Atropos que dan a los hombres mortales el mal y el bien “.
  Letra griega V anónima, Fragmentos 1018 (de Stobaeus, Antología) (trad. Campbell): “Moirai (Moirae, Fates), que se sienta más cerca de los dioses al trono de Zeus y tejer en transbordadores adamantinos innumerables e ineludibles dispositivos de consejos de todo tipo. Aisa (Desiny), Klotho (Clotho) y Lakhesis (Lachesis), hijas de Nyx (Noche) con brazos justos “.
  Pausanias, Descripción de Grecia 1. 40. 4 (trans. Jones) (cuaderno de viaje griego C2nd AD): “[En el templo de Zeus en Megara:] Sobre la cabeza de Zeus son los Horai (Horae, Seasons) y Moirai (Moirae, Fates), y todos pueden ver que él es el único dios obedecido por Moira (Destiny) “.
  Pausanias, Descripción de Grecia 5. 15. 5: “Hay un altar [en Olimpia] con una inscripción” a Moiragetes “al Portador del Destino.” Esto es claramente un apellido de Zeus, que conoce los asuntos de los hombres, todo lo que los Moirai (Moirae) les dan, y todo lo que está destinado a ellos “.
  Pausanias, Descripción de Grecia 8. 37. 1: “[En el santuario de Despoine (Despoena) en Akakesion (Acacesium) en Arkadia:] En el primer alivio son forjados Moirai ( Moirae) y Zeus de apellido Moiragetes (Guía del Destino) “.
  Pausanias, Descripción de Grecia 10. 24. 4: “[En el templo de Apollon en Delphoi (Delphi):] También hay imágenes de dos Moirai (Moirae); pero en lugar de la tercera Moira allí están a su lado Zeus, Moiragetes (Guía del Destino), y Apollon, Moiragetes (Guía del Destino) “.
  Himno órfico 59 a los destinos (trans. Taylor) (himnos griegos C3rd BC a 2nd AD): “Moira (Fate) es el ojo eterno perfecto de Zeus, para Zeus y Moira nuestro cada escritura de acta “.
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca 7. 7 ss (trans. Rouse) (griego épico C5th AD): “El Padre [Zeus] habló, el Moirai (Moirae, Fates) aplaudió; a su las palabras del pie ligero Horai (Horae, Seasons) estornudaron, como un presagio de lo que vendrá ”
  II. Zeus obligado por el destino
  Esquilo, Prometheus Bound 515 ff (trad. Weir Smyth) (tragedia griega C5th BC): “Coro: ¿Quién es entonces el timonel de Ananke (Necesidad)? Prometheus: Las tres formas ( trimorphoi ) Moirai (Fates) y consciente ( mnêmones ) Erinyes (Furias). Coro: ¿Puede ser que Zeus tenga menos poder que ellos? Prometeo: Sí, ya que ni siquiera él puede escapar de lo que se predice “.
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 13. 545 y sigs. (Camino trans.) (Griego épico C4th AD): “Al Moirai (Moirae, Fates) el poder de Zeus debe inclinarse; y por el propósito de los Inmortales todas estas cosas habían sucedido, o por la ordenanza de Moirai “.
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 14. 96 ff (camino trans.) (Griego épico C4th AD): “Impotente por su ayuda [fueron los aliados de Troya entre los dioses] a anular el destino ( aisa ); porque no el Hijo de Kronos (Cronus) [Zeus] puede quedarse con la mano de Aisa (Aesa, Destiny), cuyo poder trasciende a todos los inmortales, y Zeus sanciona todas sus acciones. ” [N.B. Aisa es la diosa del destino o la primera de las tres hermanas.]
  Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 8. 7 (trad. Conybeare) (biografía griega C1st a 2nd AD): “[Zeus] presentó a Minos, el hermano de Sarpedón, con un cetro de oro y lo nombró juez en la corte de Aidoneus [Haides], pero no pudo eximirlo del decreto de Moirai (Moirae, Fates) “.
  Ovidio, Metamorfosis 15. 781 y sigs. (Trans. Melville) (epopeya romana C1st BC a C1st AD): “Los dioses fueron conmovidos; pero ninguno puede romper las antiguas Hermanas” Los decretos de hierro de Moirai “.
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca 8. 351 y sigs. (Trans. Rouse) (griego épico C5th AD): “[Zeus juró que le concedería un deseo a Semele, pero ella solicitó que apareciera ante ella en su gloria completa que traería su destrucción:] El padre Zeus escuchó, y culpó a la celosa Moirai (Moirae, Fates), y compadeció a Semele tan pronto de morir … [Zeus trató de disuadirla] pero no pensó en luchar contra los hilos del destino “.
  III. LOS MATRIMONIOS DE ZEUS
  Los Moirai fueron descritos como la realización de los matrimonios primarios de Zeus con Hera y Themis. Ambos fueron significativos en términos cósmicos, Hera era la reina del cielo y Themis, la madre de las estaciones.
  Pindar, Fragmento 30 (trad. Sandys) (letra griega C5th BC): “Primero los Moirai (Moirae, Fates) en su carro de oro trajeron Themis celestial, sabios en consejo, por un camino reluciente desde los manantiales de Okeanos (Oceanus) hasta la escalera sagrada de Olympos, para ser la novia primordial de Zeus Soter (el Salvador) “.
  Aristófanes, Birds 1720 y sigs (trad. O’Neill) (comedia griega C5th a 4th BC): “Twas en medio de tales festividades [de boda] que los Moirai (Moirae, Fates) anteriormente unía a Hera Olympia con el Rey [Zeus] que gobierna a los dioses desde la cima de su trono inaccesible “.
  IV. DEFENSA DEL TRONO DE ZEUS
  Ver Moirae & the Wars & Prophecies of Heaven (abajo)
  V. LAS LEYES DEL CIELO
  Junto a Themis, el Moirai presidió las sagradas leyes del cielo, con Styx sobre los juramentos, y junto con los Erinyes sobre la lealtad filial y la proscripción contra el asesinato.
  Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 19 (trad. Celoria) (mitógrafo griego C2nd AD): “[Cuando los ladrones intentaron robar miel de la cueva sagrada del nacimiento de Zeus:] Zeus tronó y blandió su rayo, pero el Moirai (Moirae, Fates) y Themis lo detuvieron. Era impío que alguien muriera allí. Así que Zeus los convirtió a todos en pájaros “.
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca 42. 526 y sigs. (Trans. Rouse) (griego épico C5th AD): “Ambos [los dioses] hicieron un juramento vinculante, por Kronides (Cronides) [Zeus] y Gaia (Gaea, Tierra), por Aither (Aether, Sky) y las inundaciones de Styx; y los Moirai (Moirae, Fates) presenciaron formalmente el trato “.
  Ver también Moirae y el crimen de asesinato (abajo)
  MOIRAE Y LAS GUERRAS Y PROFECÍAS DE LOS DIOSES
  Los Moirai (Fates) eran defensores del derecho divino de Zeus a gobernar.
  I. LA GUERRA DE LOS TITANES
  Ovidio, Fasti 3. 793 y siguientes (traducido Boyle) (poesía romana C1st BC a C1st AD): “Saturnus [Kronos (Cronus)] fue empujado desde su reino por Jove [ Zeus]. Enfurecido, mueve a los poderosos Titanes (Titanes) a las armas y busca la ayuda que le debe el destino. Había un monstruo impactante nacido de la Madre Terra (Tierra) [Gaia], un toro, cuya mitad trasera era una serpiente. Styx [como aliado de Zeus] lo encarceló, advertido por los tres Parcae (Fates) [Moirae], en un bosque negro con una pared triple. Quien alimentó las entrañas del toro con llamas consumidoras estaba destinado a derrotar a los dioses eternos “.
  II. LA GUERRA DE LOS GIGANTES
  Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 38 (trad. Aldrich) (mitógrafo griego C2nd AD): “[En la guerra entre los dioses y los Gigantes (Gigantes):] The Moirai ( Moirae) luchó con mazas de bronce y mató a Agrios (Agrius) y Thoon “.
  III. EL MONSTRUO TIFOEO
  Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 43: “[Zeus] persiguió a Tifón a la montaña llamada Nysa. Allí el Moirai (Moirae, Fates) engañó a la criatura perseguida, porque se comió algo de la fruta efímera en Nysa después de que lo persuadieron de que ganaría fuerza con ella “.
  IV. LA PROFECÍA DEL NIÑO DE THETIS
  Esquilo, Prometheus Bound 515 ff (trad. Weir Smyth) (tragedia griega C5th BC): “Coro: ¿Quién es entonces el timonel de Ananke (Necesidad)? Prometheus: El Moirai de tres formas (Moirae, Fates) y el atento Erinyes (Furias). Coro: ¿Puede ser que Zeus tenga menos poder que ellos? Prometeo: Sí, ya que ni siquiera él puede escapar de lo que se predice . Estribillo: ¿Por qué, qué está destinado para Zeus, excepto para mantener el dominio eterno? Prometeo: Esto no debes aprender todavía; no estés demasiado ansioso “. [N.B. Prometeo había aprendido que Thetis estaba destinado a tener un hijo mayor que su padre. Este niño derrocaría a Zeus si fuera concebido por el dios.]
  Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 12 (trans. Grant) (mitógrafo romano C2nd AD): “En ese momento se decía que los Moirae (Moirae, Fates) habían profetizado lo que el el orden natural de los acontecimientos debería ser. Dijeron que el hijo del esposo de Thetis, quienquiera que sea, sería más famoso que su padre “.
  V. LA DESTRUCCIÓN DE PHAETHON
  Ovid, Metamorphoses 1. 252 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) : “He [Zeus] recalled the Fata (Fate) [Moira] foretold a time when sea and land and heaven’s high palaces in sweeping flames should burn [scorched by Phaethon’s failed attempt to drive the chariot of the sun], and down should fall the beleaguered bastions of the universe.”
  MOIRAE, PERSEPHONE & THE HORAE (SEASONS)
  I. BIRTH OF THE HORAE (SEASONS)
  The Moirai united Zeus and Themis in marriage and from their union was born the three goddesses of the seasons.
  Pindar, Fragment 30 (trans. Sandys) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) : “First did the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) in their golden chariot bring heavenly Themis, wise in counsel, by a gleaming pathway from the springs of Okeanos (Oceanus) to the sacred stair of Olympos, there to be the primal bride of Zeus Soter (the Saviour).”
  II. PERSEPHONE & THE SEASONS
  The Moirai presided over the cyclical descent of Persephone into the underworld, and her springtime return. Her passing heralded the revolution of the seasons and symbolised the birth and death of all life on earth.
  Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 42. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) : “[Zeus learnt the whereabouts of Demeter when she had left to mourn Persephone leaving mankind to starve :] Zeus learnt this from Pan, and sent the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) to Demeter, who listened to the Moirai and laid aside her wrath, moderating her grief as well.”
  Orphic Hymn 43 to the Horae (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) : “[The Horai (Horae), Seasons] attending Persephone, when back from night the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) and Kharites (Charites, Graces) lead her up to light; when in a band harmonious they advance, and joyful found her form the solemn dance.”
  Ovid, Metamorphoses 5. 520 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) : “[Zeus addresses Demeter :] ‘Proserpina [Persephone] shall reach the sky again on one condition, that in Hell her lips have touched no food; such is the rule forestablished by the three Parcae (Fates) [Moirai].’”

  MOIRAE & THE PRIVILEGES OF GODS
  The Moirai were present at the birth of gods to declare their divine privileges and function. They also made declarations on the assignment of countries and nations to the gods.
  I. BIRTH OF APOLLO
  Pindar, Olympian Ode 6. 40 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) : “And she [the goddess Leto] let fall her crimson girdle and bore a son . . . and to serve at her side [in the birth] Apollon . . . sent Eleithyia the kindly goddess, and the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) divine.”
  II. BIRTH OF ARTEMIS
  Callimachus, Hymn 3 to Artemis 22 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) : “I [Artemis] will visit when women vexed by the sharp pangs of childbirth call me to their aid–even in the hour when I was born the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) ordained that I should be their helper, forasmuch as my mother suffered no pain either when she gave me birth or when she carried me in her womb, but without travail put me from her body.”
  III. BIRTH OF ATHENA
  Telestes, Fragment 805 (from Athenaeus, Scholars at Dinner) (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric V) (B.C.) : “Divine Athena . . . to whom [the Moira] Klotho (Clotho) had assigned a marriageless and childless virginity.”
  IV. BIRTH OF THE ERINYES
  Aeschylus, Eumenides 334 ff (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) : “For this is the office that relentless ( diantaia ) Moira (Fate) spun for us [the Erinyes] to hold securely: when rash murders of kin come upon mortals, we pursue them until they go under the earth; and after death, they have no great freedom . . . This office was ordained for us at birth; but the immortal gods must hold back their hands from us.”
  V. FOUNDATION OF OLYMPIC GAMES
  Pindar, Olympian Ode 10. 51 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) : “[Herakles founded the Olympic Games :] Now in that birthday hour the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) stood by, this new-established rite to consecrate, and Khronos (Chronos, Time), whose proof at last stands the sole judge of truth that shall abide.”
  VI. ASSIGNMENT OF RHODES TO HELIUS
  Helios the Sun was the patron-god of Rhodes. The island was awarded to him by Zeus and the Moirai.
  Pindar, Olympian Ode 7. 64 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) : “And straightaway then the god [Zeus] commanded Lakhesis (Lachesis) of the golden fillet to raise aloft her hands and swear, no on her lips alone, the great oath of the gods, promising with [Zeus] the son of Kronos (Cronus) this land once risen [the island Rhodes born from the sea] to the light of heaven should be thenceforth as for a crown of honour his own awarded title [i.e. given to the god Helios]. The great words spoken, fell in truth’s rich furrow.”
  VII. ASSIGNMENT OF COS TO POSEIDON
  Poseidon was the patron god of Kos. The island was awarded to him by the Moirai.
  Callimachus, Hymn 4 to Delos 16 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) : “[Apollon speaks :] ‘Bright isle [Kos (Cos)] it is and rich in pasture as any other. But there is due to her from the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) another god [i.e. to Poseidon, as his seat of worship].'”
  VIII. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ERINYES IN ATHENS
  Aeschylus, Eumenides 1044 ff (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) : “[A shrine was established for the Eumenides in Athens :] Peace endures for all time between Pallas’ citizens [the Athenians] and these new dwellers here [i.e. the Eumenides]. Zeus who sees all and Moira (Fate) have come down to lend aid [i.e. at the foundation of the cult]–cry aloud now in echo to our song!”
  MOIRAE GODDESSES OF FATE – FATE SPUN AT BIRTH
  The Moirai were present at births to assign men their destinies.
  For MYTHS of the Moirai as goddesses present at birth see:– (1) Moirae & the Birth of Meleager (below) (2) Moirae & the Birth of Herakles (below) (3) Moirae & the Birth of Gods (above)
  Homer, Iliad 19. 108 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) : “[Hera challenges Zeus over the birth of Herakles :] ‘Come, then, lord of Olympos, and swear before me a strong oath that he shall be lord over all those dwelling about him who this day shall fall between the feet of a woman, the man who is born of the blood of your generation.’ So Hera spoke. And Zeus was entirely unaware of her falsehood, but swore a great oath.” [N.B. Here Zeus, rather than the Moirai, declares the fate of the newborn.]
  Homer, Iliad 20. 127 ff : “[Hera speaks :] ‘For all of us have come down from Olympos to take our part in this battle, so nothing may be cone to him [Akhilleus (Achilles)] by the Trojans on this day. Afterwards he shall suffer such things as destiny ( aisa ) wove with the strand of his birth that day he was born to his mother.’”
  Homer, Iliad 24. 209 ff : “[Queen Hekabe (Hecuba) speaks :] ‘Let us sit apart in our palace now, and weep for Hektor (Hector), and the way at the first strong Moira (Destiny) spun with his life line when he was born, when I gave birth to him, that the dogs with their shifting feet should feed on him, far from his parents, gone down before a stronger man.’”
  Homer, Odyssey 7. 193 ff (trans. Shewring) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) : “He must look to meet whatever events his own fate ( aisa ) and the stern Klothes (Clothés, Spinners) twisted into his thread of destiny when he entered the world and his mother bore him.” [N.B. The Moirai are here named Klothes or Spinners.]
  Hesiod, Theogony 218 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) : “Klotho (Clotho), Lakhesis (Lachesis), and Atropos, who at their birth bestow upon mortals their portion of good and evil.”
  Hesiod, Theogony 904 ff : “The Moirai (Moirae, Fates), to whom Zeus of the counsels gave the highest position: they are Klotho (Clotho), Lakhesis (Lachesis), and Atropos : they distribute to mortal people what people have, for good and for evil.”
  Pindar, Olympian Ode 6. 40 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) : “And she [the goddess Leto] let fall her crimson girdle and bore a son . . . and to serve at her side [in the birth] Apollon . . . sent Eleithyia (Goddess of Childbirth) the kindly goddess, and the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) divine.”
  Pindar, Nemean Ode 7. 1 ff : “Eileithyia (Goddess of Childbirth), maid to the throne of the deep-thinking Moirai (Moirae, Fates).”
  Bacchylides, Fragment 24 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric IV) (C5th B.C.) : “Since the man for whom the righteous Moirai (Moirae, Fates) with the golden distaffs, taking their place by his side [i.e. at his birth], predicts evils has not escape, not even if he has fortified his house with bornze walls and stays there trying to shut them out, a mere mortal: both prosperity and fame.”
  Callimachus, Hymn 3 to Artemis 22 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) : “I [Artemis] will visit when women vexed by the sharp pangs of childbirth call me to their aid–even in the hour when I was born the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) ordained that I should be their helper, forasmuch as my mother suffered no pain either when she gave me birth or when she carried me in her womb, but without travail put me from her body.”
  Callimachus, Hymn 5 Bath of Pallas 103 ff : “[Athena speaks to Khariklo (Chariclo) about the blinding of her son :] ‘Noble lady, the thing that is done can no more be taken back; since thus the thread of the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) span when thou didst bear him at the first.’”
  Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 21. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) : “The Lykian (Lycian) Olen, an earlier poet, who composed for the Delians, among other hymns, one to Eileithyia (Goddess of Childbirth), where he calls her the good spinner, obviously identifying her with Moira (Fate), and says she is older than Kronos (Cronus).”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 3. 755 ff (trans. Way) (Greek epic C4th A.D.) : “[On the immortal horses of Akhilleus (Achilles) :] The Moirai (Moirae, Fates), daughters of holy Khaeos (Chaos), at their birth had spun the life-threads of those deathless foals, even to serve Poseidon first, and next Peleus the dauntless king, Akhilleus then the invincible, and, after these, the fourth, the mighty-hearted Neoptolemos, whom after death to the Elysian Plain they were to bear, unto the Blessed Land, by Zeus’ decree.”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 11. 140 ff : “The Moirai (Moirae, Fates) hath spun long destiny-threads for thee and thee.”
  Philostratus the Elder, Imagines 2. 8 (trans. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D.) : “[From a description of a painting depicting the union of Meles and Kritheis, mythical parents of the poet Homer :] Now, by decree of the Moirai (Moirae, Fates), the Mousai (Muses) are spinning the birth of Homer.”
  Orphic Hymn 55 to Aphrodite (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) : “The triple Moirai (Moirae, Fates) [as birth goddesses] are ruled by thy [Aphrodite’s] decree [as the goddess of procreation], and all productions yield alike to thee.”
  Statius, Thebaid 3. 241 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) : “The Fata (Fate) [Moira] has sworn to me [Jove, Zeus], and the dark spindles of the Sororum (Sisters): this day abides from the beginning of the world ordained for war, these people are destined to battle from their birth.”
  Statius, Silvae 1. 4. 123 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman poetry C1st A.D.) : “Twin now, ye Sisters [Moirae, Fates], joyfully twin your threads of shining white! Let none reckon the measures of life already spent : this day is the birthday of life to be.”
  Statius, Silvae 2. 1. 120 ff : “Truly did Lachesis touch his cradle with ill-omened hand [i.e. he died young].”
  Suidas s.v. Geinamenais (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) : “The Moirai (Moirae, Fates) decreed tears for Hekabe (Hecuba) and for the women of Ilion [Troy] at the very time they gave birth.”
  MOIRAE & THE BIRTH OF MELEAGER (MELEAGROS)
  The three Moirai appeared to Althaia at the birth of her son Meleagros and declared that he would die when a brand burning in the fireplace had been consumed.
  Bacchylides, Fragment 5 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric IV) (C5th B.C.) : “[The ghost of Meleagros (Meleager) tells his story :] ‘And she [my mother] set fire to the swift-dooming log, taking it from the elaborate chest, and Fate then decreed that that be the limit of my life. I happened to be slaying Klymenos (Clymenus) . . and my sweet life was diminished within me, and I realised I had little strength left, alas! And as I breathed my last I wept in misery at leaving behind my glorious youth.’”
  Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 65 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) : “Althaia (Althaea) also bore a son named Meleagros (Meleager) . . . They say that, when he was but seven days old, the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) appeared and declared that Meleagros would die when the fire-brand that was then ablaze on the hearth should be totally burnt up. When she heard that, Althaia grabbed the brand and put it away in a chest.”
  Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 34. 6 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) : “At the time of the birth of Meleagros (Meleager) the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) stood over Althaia (Althaea) in her sleep and said to her that her son Meleagros would die at the moment when the brand in the fire had been consumed. Consequently, when she had given birth, she believed that the safety of her child depended upon the preservation of the brand and so she guarded the brand with every care. Afterward, however, being deeply incensed at the murder of her brothers, she burned the brand and so made herself the cause of the death of Meleagros.”
  Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 31. 2 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) : “The piece of fire-wood that the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) gave Althaia (Althaea), which had to be consumed in flames before Meleagros (Meleager) could ever die.”
  Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 2 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) : “He [Meleagros (Meleager)] rose up against the army of the Kouretes (Curetes) and himself died because his mother had burnt the brand which had been given to her by the Moirai (Moirae, Fates). For they had assigned him a stretch of life to last only as long as the brand.”
  Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 171 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) : “When Meleager was born from them [Althaea and the god Ares], suddenly in the place the Parcae (Fates) [Moirai] Coltho, Lachesis, and Atropos appeared. They thus sang his fate: Clotho said that he would be noble, Lachesis that he would be brave, but Atropos looking at a brand burning on the hearth and said, ‘He will live only as long as this brand remains unconsumed.’ When Althaea, the mother, heard this, she leaped from the bed, put out the fatal brand, and buried it in the midst of the palace, so that it shouldn’t be destroyed by fire.”
  Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 174 : “Althaea, daughter of Thestius, bore Meleager to Oeneus. There in the palace a glowing brad is said to have appeared. The Parcae (Fates) [Moirai] came there, and foretold the fate of Meleager, that he would live as long as the brand was unharmed. Althaea, putting it in a chest, carefully preserved it. When Althaea, the mother, heard that her son had dared to commit such a crime [i.e. he killed her brother’s in a row], remembering the warning of the Parcae, she brought out the brand from the chest and threw it in the fire. Thus, in desiring to avenge the death of her brothers, she killed her son.”
  Ovid, Metamorphoses 8. 449 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) : “There was a log which, when Thestias [Althaia, daughter of Thestius] lay in childbirth with her son, the Sisters Three ( Sorores Triplices ) [the Moirai] placed in her blazing hearth and as they spun, with thumbs firm-pressed, the thread of fate, they said ‘To you, babe newly born, and to this log we give the same life-span.’ This prophecy pronounced the Sisters ( Sorores ) vanished, and at once the mother snatched the burning brand away and quenched the flame. The brand, for years concealed in deepest secrecy, had been kept safe and kept the lad’s life safe. And now at last she brought it out [angry at her son for the murder of her brothers] and called for kindling wood and fired the kindling with a flame of hate . . . With trembling hand and eyes averted, full into the flames she threw the fatal brand. The log itself groaned, or it seemed to groan, as there it lay licked by the unwilling flames and burned away. Unknowing, absent, Meleager burned, burned with those flames and felt a hidden fire scorching his vitals and courageously suppressed his agony . . . The fire, the pains increase, then sink again; both die away together; gradually in the light air his spirit slips away as over the embers spreads a veil of grey.”
  MOIRAE & THE BIRTH OF HERACLES
  At the command of Hera, Eileithyia and the Moirai obstructed the birth of Herakles. However, Alkmene’s midwife Galinthias distracted them and the child was born.
  Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 29 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) : “At Thebes Proitos (Proetus) had a daughter Galinthias. This maiden was playmate and companion of Alkmene (Alcmena), daughter of Elektryon (Electryon). As the birth throes for Herakles (heracles) were pressing on Alkmene, the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) and Eileithyia (Birth-Goddess), as a favour to Hera, kept Alkmene in continuous birth pangs. They remained seated, each keeping their arms crossed. Galinthias, fearing that the pains of her labour would drive Alkmene mad, ran to the Moirai (Fates) and Eleithyia and announced that by desire of Zeus a boy had been born to Alkmene and that their prerogatives had been abolished. At all this, consternation of course overcame the Moirai and they immediately let go their arms. Alkmene’s pangs ceased at once and Herakles was born. The Moirai were aggrieved at this and took away the womanly parts of Galinthias since, being but a mortal, she had deceived the gods. They turned her into a deceitful weasel, making her live in crannies and gave her a grotesque way of mating. She is mounted through the ears and gives birth by bringing forth her young through the throat. Hekate (Hecate) felt sorry for this transformation of her appearance and appointed her a sacred servant of herself.”
  MOIRAE GODDESSES OF FATE – THE SPINNING OF FATE
 
  Weavers, Athenian black-figure lekythos C6th B.C., Metropolitan Museum of Art Homer, in the Odyssey , is the first to call the Fates Spinners ( Klôthes ). Some later writers use a similar term, Kataklôthes .
  Homer, Iliad 20. 127 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) : “He shall suffer such things as destiny ( aisa ) wove with the strand of his birth that day he was born to his mother.”
  Homer, Iliad 24. 209 ff : “The way at the first strong Moira (Destiny) spun with his life line when he was born, when I gave birth to him.”
  Homer, Iliad 24. 525 ff : “Such is the way the gods spun for unfortunate mortals, that we live in unhappiness, but the gods themselves have no sorrow.”
  Homer, Odyssey 7. 193 ff (trans. Shewring) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) : “He must look to meet whatever events his own fate ( aisa ) and the stern Klothes (Clothés, Spinners) twisted into his thread of destiny when he entered the world and his mother bore him.”
  Bacchylides, Fragment 24 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric IV) (C5th B.C.) : “The righteous Moirai (Moirae, Fates) with the golden distaffs.”
  Aeschylus, Eumenides 334 ff (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) : “For this is the office that relentless Moira (Fate) spun for us [the Erinyes].”
  Plato, Republic 617c (trans. Shorey) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) : “The Moirai (Moirae, Fates), daughters of Ananke, clad in white vestments with filleted heads, Lakhesis (Lachesis), and Klotho (Clotho), and Atropos, who sang in unison with the music of the Seirenes (Sirens), Lakhesis singing the things that were, Klotho the things that are, and Atropos the things that are to be. And Klotho with the touch of her right hand helped to turn the outer circumference of the spindle, pausing from time to time. Atropos with her left hand in like manner helped to turn the inner circles, and Lakhesis alternately with either hand lent a hand to each.”
  Lycophron, Alexandra 143 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) : “The lame daughters [the Moirai] of the ancient Sea (Halos) with triple thread.”
  Lycophron, Alexandra 584 ff : “These things the Ancient Maidens [the Moirai, Fates] whirl on with rushing thread of brazen spindles.”
  Seneca, Oedipus 980 ff (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) : “By fate are we driven; yield ye to fate. No anxious cares can change the threads of its inevitable spindle. Whate’er we mortals bear, whate’er we do, comes from on high; and Lachesis maintains the decrees of her distaff which by no hand may be reversed. All things move on in an appointed path, and our first day fixed our last. Those things God may not change which speed on their way, close woven with their causes. To each his established life goes on, unmovable by any prayer. To many their very fear is bane; for many have come upon their doom while shunning doom.”
  Statius, Thebaid 1. 632 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) : “Mors (Death) [Thanatos] with his sword cuts through the Sister’s [the Moirai’s, Fates’] threads.”
  Statius, Thebaid 3. 642 ff : “Lachesis with crumbling thread laying the ages waste.”
  Statius, Thebaid 8. 10 ff : “[Amphiaraus fell into a gaping chasm and appeared alive in the realm of Haides :] His presence surprised the very distaff of the Fatae (Fates) [Moirai], and not till in terror beheld the augur did the Parcae (Fates) [Moirai] break the thread.”
  Statius, Silvae 3. 1. 171 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman poetry C1st A.D.) : “Hold fast the threads of the Parcae (Fates) [Moirai] and stretch out the wool upon their distaffs–subdue remorseless Mortes (Death) [Thanatos].”
  Statius, Silvae 3. 3. 125 ff : “Atropos roughly tore the thread of flourishing life.”
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca 1. 366 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) : “He [Zeus] devised with him an ingenious plan, and entwined the deadly threads of Moira’s (Fate’s) spindle for Typhon (Typhoeus).”
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca 2. 675 ff : “May you escape all the bitter things which the wreathed spindle of apportioned Moira has spun for your fate–if the threads of the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) ever obey!”
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca 3. 329 ff : “All that are born of mortal womb are slaves by necessity to Moira (Fate) the Spinner.”
  MOIRAE GODDESS OF FATE – DISTRIBUTION OF FORTUNE
  The Moirai were the distributers of good and bad fortune to men and to nations.
  See also Moirae & the Spinning of Fate (above)
  Homer, Odyssey 3. 208 ff (trans. Shewring) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) : “For me the gods have allotted no such happiness; I have no choice but to bear what comes.”
  Hesiod, The Great Eoiae Fragment 2 (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) : “The Moirai (Moirae, Fates) made you [Herakles] the most toilful and the most excellent.”
  Solon, Fragment 13 (trans. Gerber, Vol. Greek Elegiac) (Greek elegy C6th B.C.) : “Moira (Fate) brings good and ill to mortals and the gifts of the immortal gods are inescapable.”
  Pindar, Olympian Ode 2. 21 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) : “Fate brings from the hand of heaven happiness rich and wide.”
  Pindar, Olympian Ode 2. 35 ff : “For as Moira (Fate), who accords our mortal race their heritage of happy fortune, to their heaven-sent prosperity brings at another hour an opposite load of ill.”
  Pindar, Nemean Ode 7. 5 ff : “Yet is the life we breathe not given to all for a like end. Destiny’s bar yokes one man to this venture, one to that.”
  Pindar, Isthmian Ode 6. 17 ff : “I to high-throned Klotho (Clotho, Spinner) and her sister Moirai (Moirae, Fates) add this my plea, that they may look with favour on this dear wish of my good friend.”
  Stesichorus, Fragment 222a (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric III) (C7th to 6th B.C.) : “[Eteokles (Eteocles) and Polyneikes (Polynices) drew lots for rulership of the kingdom of Thebes :] But if it is destined that I see my sons slain each by the other and the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) have spun it . . .
One of you have the palace . . . and the other have the flocks and all the gold of his dear father and depart–he who in the shaking of lots is the first to obtain his portion, thanks to the Moirai (Fates).” [N.B. The lot, which usually took the form of a pottery shard or pebble drawn from a helmet or urn, was the device of the Moirai (Fates). Lotteries were believed to reflect the will of the gods of fate, rather than mere random chance.]
  Stesichorus, Fragment 222b : “For a city is greatly exalted when god grants blessings, not is there any excellence and honour of mortals contrary to the deity’s dispensation and Lakhesis (Lachesis).”
  Ibycus, Fragment 282a (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric IV) (C5th B.C.) : “The gods give much prosperity to those whom they wish to have it, but for the others they destroy it by the plans of the Moirai (Moirae, Fates).”
  Bacchylides, Fragment 16 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric IV) (C5th B.C.) : “At that moment the irresistable god ( daimon amakhos ) [ i.e. Fate] wove for Deianeira a tear-filled plan. Whatever all-powerful Moira (Fate) has ordained for us from the gods and the scales of justice confirm, we shall fulfil it as our destined portion when it comes.”
  Bacchylides, Fragment 24 : “But mortals are not free to choose prosperity nor stubborn war nor all-destroying civil strife: Aisa (Aesa, Destiny), giver of all things, moves a cloud now over this land, now over that.”
  Greek Lyric V Anonymous, Fragments 1018 (from Stobaeus, Anthology) (trans. Campbell) : “Aisa, Klotho (Clotho) and Lakhesis (Lachesis), fair-armed daughters of Nyx (Night), hear our prayers, you all-terrible deities of heaven and the lower world: send us rose-bloomed Eunomia (Good Order) and her bright-throned sisters Dike (Justice) and garland-wearing Eirana (Eirene, Peace), and make this city forget its heavy-hearted misfortunes.”
  Aeschylus, Agamemnon 126 ff (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) : “[The seer Kalkhas (Calchas) prophecises before the departure of the Greeks for Troy :] ‘In time those who here issue forth shall seize Priamos’ (Priam’s) town, and Moira (Fate) shall violently ravage before its towered walls all the public store of cattle.’”
  Aeschylus, Agamemnon 1534 ff : “On other whetstones Destiny ( moira ) is sharpening justice for another evil deed [i.e. in reference to the cycle of family murders in the saga of the Atreides].”
  Aeschylus, Eumenides 971 ff : “[The Eumenides bless the Athenians with good fortune :] ‘I forbid deadly and untimely fate for men; grant to lovely maidens life with a husband, you that have the rightful power; you, divine Moirai (Moirae, Fates), our sisters by one mother, divinities who distribute justly, who have a share in every home, and whose righteous visitations press heavily at every season, most honored everywhere among the gods!’”
  Aeschylus, Libation Bearers 306 ff : “You mighty Moirai (Moirae, Fates), through the power of Zeus grant fulfilment in the way to which Dike (Justice) now turns [i.e. avenging the murder of Agamemnon with murder]. ‘For a word of hate let a word of hate be said,’ Dike (Justice) cries out as she exacts the debt, ‘and for a murderous stroke let a murderous stroke be paid.’”
  Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 511 ff : “Not in this way is Moira (Fate), who brings all to fulfillment, destined to complete this course . . . Skill is weaker by far than Ananke (Necessity). Who then is the helmsman of Ananke (Necessity)? The three-shaped ( trimorphoi ) Moirai (Moirae, Fates) and mindful Erinyes (Furies).”
  Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 694 ff : “Alas, O Fate ( moira ), O Fate ( moira ), I shudder to behold the plight that has befallen Io.”
  Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 894 ff : “Never, oh never, immortal ( potniai ) Moirai (Moirae, Fates), may you see me [the Okeanides (Oceanids), terrified by the fate of Io] the partner of the bed of Zeus, and may I be wedded to no bridegroom who descends to me from heaven.”
  Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes 977 & 991 : “O Moira (Fate), giver of grievous troubles, and . . . black Erinys, you are indeed a mighty force.”
  Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3. 389 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) : “No, it was Destiny and the cruel orders of a brutal king that sent me [Jason] here [to Kholkis (Colchis) to fetch the Fleece].”
  Lycophron, Alexandra 143 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) : “The lame daughters [the Moirai, Fates] of the ancient Sea (Halos) with triple thread have decreed that her [Helene] bedfellows shall share their marriage-feast among five bridegrooms.”
  Lycophron, Alexandra 584 ff : “These things [the events of the Trojan War] the Ancient Maidens [Moirai, Fates] whirl on with rushing thread of brazen spindles.”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 7. 66 ff (trans. Way) (Greek epic C4th A.D.) : “On high good things and bad lie on the knees of spirits unnumbered, indistinguishably blent. These no Immortal seeth; they are veiled in mystic cloud-folds. Only Moira (Fate) puts forth her hands thereto, nor looks at what she takes, but casts them from Olympos down to earth. This way and that they are wafted, as it were by gusts of wind. The good man oft is whelmed in suffering : wealth undeserved is heaped on the vile person. Blind is each man’s life; therefore he never walketh surely; oft he stumbleth: ever devious is his path, now sloping down to sorrow, mounting now to bliss. All-happy is no living man from the beginning to the end, but still the good and evil clash. Our life is short; beseems not then in grief to live. Hope on, still hope for better days: chain not to woe thine heart.”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 9. 415 ff : “And no man of them all was cause of thine affliction, but the Moirai (Moirae, Fates), the cruel ones, whom none that walk the earth escape, but aye they visit hapless men unseen; and day by day with pitiless hearts now they afflict men, now again exalt to honour–none knows why; for all the woes and all the joys of men do these devise after their pleasure.”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 9. 500 ff : “For all the tangled paths of human life, by land and sea, are by the will of Moira (Fate) hid from our eyes, in many and devious tracks are cleft apart, in wandering mazes lost. Along them men by Aisa’s (Fortune’s) dooming drift like unto leaves that drive before the wind. Oft on an evil path the good man’s feet stumble, the brave finds not a prosperous path; and none of earth-born men can shun the Moirai (Moirae, Fates).”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 11. 272 ff : “Far other issues Aisa (Aesa, Fate) devised, nor recked of Zeus the Almighty, nor of none beside of the Immortals. Her unpitying soul cares naught what doom she spinneth with her thread inevitable, be it for men new-born or cities: all things wax and wane through her.”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 12. 171 ff : “[Fate prevented the gods allied with the Trojans from destroying the Wooden Horse :] All-contriving Aisa (Aesa, Fate) held them therefrom, and turned their hearts to strife against each other.”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 12. 565 ff : “One heart was steadfast, and one soul clear-eyed, Kassandra. Never her words were unfulfilled; yet was their utter truth, by Aisa’s (Aesa’s, Fate’s) decree, ever as idle wind in the hearers’ ears, that no bar to Troy’s ruin might be set.”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 13. 472 ff : “[The Trojans prayed to the gods as their city was plundered :] For all their prayers, no god defends them now; for strong Aisa (Aesa, Fate) oversees all works of men, and the renownless and obscure to fame she raises, and brings low the exalted ones. Oft out of good is evil brought, and good from evil, mid the travail and change of life.”
  Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 8. 7 (trans. Conybeare) (Greek biography C1st to 2nd A.D.) : “What I said concerned the topic of the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) and necessity ( ananke ), and I only used as an example of my argument the affairs of kings, because your rank is thought to be the highest in human ranks; and I dwelled upon the influence of the Moirai (Fates), and argued that the threads which they spin are so unchangeable, that, even if they decreed to someone a kingdom that belonged to another, and even if that other slew the man of destined, to save himself from ever being deprived by him of this throne, nevertheless the dead man would come to life again in order to fulfil the decree of the Moirai . . . He who is destined to become a carpenter, will become one even if his hands have been cut off: and he who has been destined to carry off the prize for running the Olympic Games, will not fa il to win even if he broke his leg: and a man to whom the Moirai have decreed that he shall be an eminent archer, will not miss the mark, even though he lost his eyesight . . . An argument such as mine is tolerated by most of the gods; and even Zeus himself is not angry when he hears from the poet in the Story of Lykia this language :–‘Alas for myself, when Sarpedon . . .’ And there are other such strains referring to himself, such as those in which he accuses the Moirai (Fates) of having deprived him of his son.”
  Philostratus the Younger, Imagines 1 (trans. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D.) : “Thetis learned from her father Nereus the decree of Moirai (Moirae, Fates) about her son–that one of two things had been allotted to him, either to live ingloriously or becoming glorious to die very soon.”
  Philostratus the Younger, Imagines 9 : “The girl [Hippodameia] in love with her lover [Pelops] is conspiring against her father, the future which is in store for the house of Pelops comes from the Moirai (Moirae, Fates).”
  Virgil, Aeneid 12. 147 ff (trans. Day-Lewis) (Roman epic C1st B.C.) : “As far as fortune seemed to allow and the Fate-spinners granted that Latium’s affairs should go well.”
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca 2. 698 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) : “For you [Kadmos (Cadmus)], the Moira’s (Fate’s) thread weighs equal with your brothers; be king of the Kadmeians, and leave your name to your people.”
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca 25. 364 ff : “[Attis reveals to Dionysos the will of Fate on his Indian War :] ‘The war shall not end until the four Seasons complete he sixth year. So much the eye of Zeus and the threads of the unturning Moira (Fate) have granted to the will of Hera; in the seventh lichtgang which follows, you shall destroy the Indian city.’”
  MOIRAE GODDESSES OF FATE – PROPHECY
  The Moirai were sometimes regarded as the source of prophecies. This role, however, was usually assigned to Apollon.
  Bacchylides, Fragment 9 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric IV) (C5th B.C.) : “To few men have the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) granted the gift of conjecturing the future.”
  Ovid, Metamorphoses 15. 807 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) : “[Zeus addresses Aphrodite :] ‘Child, do you mean, by your sole self, to move unconquerable fate? You are allowed to enter the three Sisters’ [Fates’] dwelling. There a giant fabric forged of steel and bronze will meet your eyes, the archives of the world, that fear no crush of heaven, no lightning’s wrath, nor any cataclysm, standing safe to all eternity. And there you’ll find engraved on everlasting adamant the fortunes of your line. I read them there myself and stored them in my memory and I’ll declare them that you may not still labour in ignorance of things to come.’”
  Statius, Thebaid 3. 552 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) : “Whence first arose among unhappy mortals throughout the world that sickly craving for the future? . . . that search our the day of our birth [i.e. horoscopes] and the scene of life’s ending, what the kindly Father of the gods [Jove-Zeus] is thinking, or iron-hearted Clotho?”
  Statius, Thebaid 4. 635 ff : “[The ghost of King Laios (Laeus) is summoned from Haides to prophecise the future of Thebes :] ‘I have found such favour as a prophet of these times of woe, I will speak, so far as [the Moira] Lachesis and grim [Erinys] Megaera suffer me.’”
  Statius, Thebaid 8. 190 ff : “Sittest thou [in the underworld] beside the glad Parcae (Fates) [Moirai], thine own deities, and by harmonious interchange dost learn and teach the future?”
  See also Moirae & the Wars and Prophecies of the Gods (above)
  MOIRAE GODDESSES OF FATE – DEATH
  This section is divided into two parts, the first contains quotes with direct references to the goddess Fates, the second more abstract poetical references to moira (fate) and aisa (destiny).
  I. DESTINY OF DEATH (THE GODDESS FATES)
  Hesiod, Shield of Heracles 237 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) : “There were men fighting in warlike harness, some defending their own town and parents from destruction, and others eager to sack it; many lay dead, but the greater number still strove and fought . . . and behind them the dusky Keres (Death-Spirits), gnashing their white fangs, lowering, grim, bloody, and unapproachable, struggled for those who were falling, for they all were longing to drink dark blood. So soon as they caught a man overthrown or falling newly wounded, one of them would clasp her great claws about him, and his soul would go down to Haides to chilly Tartaros. And when they had satisfied their souls with human blood, they would cast that one behind them, and rush back again into the tumult and the fray. [The Moirai, Fates] Klotho (Clotho) and Lakhesis (Lachesis) were over them and Atropos less tall than they, a goddess of no great frame, yet superior to the others and the eldest of them. And they [the Keres] all made a fierce fight over one poor wretch, glaring evilly at one another with furious eyes and fighting equally with claws and hands.”
  Alcman, Fragment 1 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric II) (C7th B.C.) : “Aisa (Aesa, Destiny) and Poros (Contrivance), those ancient ones, conquered them all [i.e. they were killed in battle].”
  Stesichorus, Fragment 222a (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric III) (C7th to 6th B.C.) : “If it is destined that I see my sons slain each by the other and the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) have spun it.”
  Timotheus, Fragment 786 (from Machon, Philoxenus) (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric V) (B.C.) : “Kharon (Charon) [ferryman of Hades] . . . does not let me dally but shouts that the ferry-boat is leaving, and gloomy Moira (Fate), who must be obeyed is summoning me.”
  Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 8. 7 (trans. Conybeare) (Greek biography C1st to 2nd A.D.) : “Yet he [Zeus] could not exempt him [his son Minos] from the decree of the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) [i.e. could not save him from death].”
  Anonymous, Epicedeion for a Professor of the University of Berytus (trans. Page, Vol. Select Papyri III, No. 138) (Greek poetry C4th A.D.) : “Yet all this kept not evil doom from him, nor availed the broad flood of his speech to avert relentless unsmiling Moira (Fate); the brazen doom of death laid him to sleep.”
  Ovid, Metamorphoses 15. 781 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) : “The gods were moved; but none can break the ancient Sisters’ iron decrees [i.e. none can overrule the Fates of death].”
  Propertius, Elegies 2. 13 (trans. Goold) (Roman elegy C1st B.C.) : “Would that any one Sister ( Soror ) of the Three ( Tribus ) had bidden me lay down my life in my infant cradle.”
  Seneca, Hercules Furens 177 (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) : “While the Fatae (Fates) [Moirai] permit, live happily; life speeds on with hurried step, and with winged days the wheel of the headlong year is turned. The harsh sisters ply their tasks, yet do they not spin backward the threads of life. But men are driven, each one uncertain of his own, to meet the speeding fates; we seek the Stygian waves of our own accord . . . At the appointed time the Parcae (Fates) [Moirai] come. No one may linger when they command, no one may postpone the allotted day; the urn receives the nations hurried to their doom.”
  Seneca, Hercules Furens 452 ff : “[The journey of Herakles to the Underworld :] Oh, that thou mayest o’ercome the laws of cruel Styx [i.e. death], and the relentless distaffs of the Parcae (Fates) [Moirai] . . . Fate’s bars burst thou with thy hands; to the sad nether regions open a view of light.”
  Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 1. 502 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) : “With him [Zeus] all the gods rejoice, and the Parcae (Fates) [Moirai] mark how the coming age and the paths over the waters increase for their own gain.”
[I.e. In the coming age merchantmen will travel the seas, and many will die in storms, “the gain” of the Fates.]
  Statius, Thebaid 1. 632 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) : “Pleasant lives droop and fail, Mors (Death) [Thanatos] with his sword cuts through the Sister’s [Moirai’s, Fates] threads, and hurries the stricken city to the shades.”
  Statius, Thebaid 3. 67 ff : “The gods’ commands snatched destruction from me [i.e. he, alone of his companions, survived], and Atropos, whose pleasure knows no denial, and the fate that long since shut against me this door of death.”
  Statius, Thebaid 3. 642 ff : “Lachesis with crumbling thread laying the ages waste [in war].”
  Statius, Thebaid 8. 10 ff : “[Amphiaraus was swallowed by the earth and arrived still alive in the realm of Haides :] His presence surprised the very distaff of the Fatae (Fates) [Moirai], and not till in terror beheld the augur did the Parcae [Moirai] break the thread.”
  Statius, Silvae 3. 3. 19 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman poetry C1st A.D.) : “A son is thinking that his father’s life is swiftly flown, that the black Sisters [the Moirai] have brought the end too soon.”
  Statius, Silvae 3. 3. 125 ff : “But in the midst of thy prime those joys fell shattered, and Atropos roughly tore the thread of flourishing life.”
  Statius, Silvae 3. 4. 40 ff : “Surely it was in pity of thee [my love] alone that Lachesis prolonged my exhausted term of life.”
  Statius, Silvae 4. 4. 56 ff : “If Atropos gives thee a long span of life–and ’tis my prayer she may.”
  Statius, Silvae 4. 8. 19 ff : “To thee hath white-robed Atropos promised old age and the glory of enduring worth.”
  Statius, Silvae 5. 1. 155 ff : “The dark snares of death encompassed around the wretched woman, the Sisters’ [Moirai’s] ruthless threads are tightened, and there abides but the last portion of the exhausted span.”
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca 1. 366 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) : “He [Zeus] devised with him an ingenious plan, and entwined the deadly threads of Moira’s (Fate’s) spindle for Typhon.”
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca 2. 675 ff : “May you escape all the bitter things which the wreathed spindle of apportioned Moira (Fate) has spun for your fate–if the threads of the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) ever obey!”
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca 3. 329 ff : “All that are born of mortal womb are slaves by necessity to Moira (Fate) the Spinner [i.e. all mortals must necessarily die].”
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca 3. 356 ff : “Unforseen, for you also the terrible thread of Moira (Fate) is rolling the eddy of your wandering lot of life, and the seal is set.”
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca 38. 217 ff : “Then although he [Helios] knew in his heart the immovable inflexible spinnings of Moira (Fate), he consented regretful [i.e. to let Phaethon drive his Sun-chariot and die in so doing].”
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca 39. 234 ff : “The threads of Moira (Fate) drowned them in waters.”
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca 47. 665 ff : “The Moirai’s (Fates’) threads obey not persuasion [i.e. death is inevitable].”
  II. DESTINY OF DEATH (GENERAL REFERENCES)
  A common Homeric phrase speaks of men falling in battle to red death ( porphureos thanatos ) and powerful destiny ( moira krataiê ). The word aisa is often used as a synonym for moira .
  Homer, Iliad 3. 101 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) : “As for that one of us two to whom death ( thanatos ) and doom ( moira ) are given, let him die.”
  Homer, Iliad 5. 83 ff : “So that the arm dropped bleeding to the ground, and red death ( thanatos ) and destiny ( moira ) the powerful took hold of both eyes.”
  Homer, Iliad 5. 613 ff : “But his own destiny ( moira ) brought him [i.e. an ally of the Trojans about to die in battle] companion in arms to Priamos (Priam).”
  Homer, Iliad 9. 411 ff : “[Akhilleus (Achilles) speaks of his prophesied destiny :] ‘For my mother Thetis the goddess of the silver feet tells me I carry two sorts of destiny ( ker ) toward the day of my death. Either, if I stay here and fight beside the city of the Trojans, my return home is gone, but my glory shall be everlasting; but if I return home to the beloved land of my fathers, the excellence of my glory is gone, but there will be a long life left for me, and my end in death will not come to me quickly.’”
  Homer, Iliad 16. 853 ff : “You yourself are not one who shall live long, but now already death ( thanatos ) and powerful destiny ( moira ) are standing beside you, to go down under the hands of . . . Akhilleus (Achilles).”
  Homer, Iliad 20. 477 ff : “So all the sword was smoking with blood, and over both eyes closed the red death ( thanatos ) and the strong destiny ( moira ).”
  Homer, Iliad 21. 100 ff : “Patroklos (Patroclus) came to the day of his destiny ( êmar aisimon ).”
  Homer, Iliad 24. 132 ff : “[Thetis warns Akhilleus (Achilles) of his impending death :] `But already death (thanatos) and powerful destiny ( moira ) stand closely above you.'”
  Homer, Odyssey 3. 238 ff (trans. Shewring) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) : “Nevertheless it is true enough that death ( thanatos ) comes to all, and the gods themselves cannot ward it off, even from one they love, on the day when he is overtaken by the grim doom ( moira oloê ) of distressful death ( thanatos ).”
  Homer, Odyssey 24. 29 ff : “[The shade of Akhilleus (Achilles) addresses the shade of Agamemnon :] ‘Yet deadly fate ( moira oloê ), which no man, once he is born, can shun, was appointed ot visit you thus early. Would that, in all the glory you mastered then you had met your death ( thanatos ) and doom ( potmos ) at Troy! . . . But instead it was fated that you should fall by the most pitiable of deaths.’”
  Aeschylus, Fragment 271 Epigrams (from Palatine Anthology 7. 255) (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) : “On other Thessalian champions. Dark Fate ( moira ) likewise laid low these valiant spearmen defending their fatherland.”
  Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1. 1029 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) : “Their king [i.e. of the Doliones] himself was not allowed to cheat the fate ( moira ) . . . he had had his span of life, and more than that no mortal can command–we are like birds trapped in the wide net of destiny.”
  Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 2. 815 ff : “But at this moment fate ( moira ) intervened and Idmon . . . met his predestined end.”
  Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 2. 855 ff : “Who then was next [of the Argonauts] to die? The story goes that it was Tiphys . . . whom destiny ( moira ) allowed to sail no further.”
  Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 4. 1467 ff : “Kanthos (Canthus) . . . was impelled to go [on a quest that led to his death], not only by the hand of fate ( aisa ), but by his own chivalry.”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 1. 389 ff (trans. Way) (Greek epic C4th A.D.) : “The impending doom ( aisa ), which roused unto the terrible strife not yet Akhilleus (Achilles), clothed her [the Amazon Penthesilea] still with glory; still aloof the dread Power stood, and still would shed splendour of triumph o’er the death-ordained but for a little space, ere it should quell that Maiden ‘neath the hands of Aiakos’ (Aeacus’) son [Akhilleus]. In darkness ambushed, with invisible hand ever it thrust her on, and drew her feet destruction-ward, and lit her path to death with glory, while she slew foe after foe.”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 1. 492 ff : “So the great Danaan host lay, dashed to dust by doom of fate ( moira ), by Penthesileia’s spear.”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 2. 235 ff : “Like to a baleful doom ( aisa ) which bringeth down on men a grim and ghastly pestilence.”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 2. 361 ff : “[When Memnon was battling the Greeks at Troy :] But all the while stood baleful doom ( moira ) beside him, and spurred on to strife, with flattering smile.”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 3. 650 ff : “Know’st thou not that round all men which dwell upon the earth hovereth irresistible deadly fate ( aisa ), who recks not even of the Gods? Such power she only hath for heritage. Yea, she soon shall destroy gold-wealthy Priamos’ town, and Trojans many and Argives doom to death, whom so she will. No god can stay her hand.”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 4. 433 ff : “The destroyer fate ( moira ) had lured him [i.e. Troilos, who was destined to be killed by Akhilleus (Achilles)] on to war, upon the threshold of glad youth, when youth is bold, and the heart feels no void.”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 5. 581 ff : “Blame the dark dolorous fate ( aisa ) that struck him down . . . But that great-hearted man [Aias (Ajax)] was led astray by fate ( aisa ), the hateful fiend [i.e. Aias killed himself out of anger and grief]; for surely it is unworthy a man to be made passion’s fool.”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 10. 97 ff : “Doom ( moira ) the destroyer against the Argives sped valiant Aeneas’ friend, Eurymenes . . . Then Meges’ dart smote ‘neath his ribs; blood spurted from his mouth, and in death’s agony doom ( moira ) stood at his side.”
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 11. 304 ff : “In red dust thousands fell, horses and men; and chariots overturned were strewn there: blood was streaming all around like rain, for deadly doom ( aisa ) raged through the fray.”
  MOIRAE IN THE UNDERWORLD
  The Moirai assigned to each man at birth his allotted portion of life. When the portion expired they cut the thread of life. As such they were sometimes described as goddesses of death, attendant upon the throne of Haides.
  Aristophanes, Frogs 449 ff (trans. O’Neill) (Greek comedy C5th to 4th B.C.) : “Now haste we [i.e. the shades of the Eleusinian Initiates] to the roses [of Elysium], and the meadows full of posies, now haste we to the meadows in our own old way, in choral dances blending, in dances never ending, which only for the holy the Moirai (Moirae, Destinies) array [i.e. the Moirai only allow the good to pass to Elysium].”
  Plato, Republic 617c (trans. Shorey) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) : “And there were another three who sat round about [the throne of Haides] at equal intervals, each one on her throne, the Moirai (Moirae, Fates), daughters of Ananke, clad in white vestments with filleted heads, Lakhesis (Lachesis), and Klotho (Clotho), and Atropos, who sang in unison with the music of the Seirenes (Sirens), Lakhesis singing the things that were, Klotho the things that are, and Atropos the things that are to be. And Klotho with the touch of her right hand helped to turn the outer circumference of the spindle, pausing from time to time. Atropos with her left hand in like manner helped to turn the inner circles, and Lakhesis alternately with either hand lent a hand to each. Now when they arrived they were straight-way bidden to go before Lakhesis, and then a certain prophet first marshalled them in orderly intervals, and thereupon took from the lap of Lakhesis lots and patterns of lives and went up to a lofty platform and spoke, `This is the word of Lakhesis, the maiden daughter of Ananke (Necessity), souls that live for a day, now is the beginning of another cycle of mortal generation where birth is the beacon of death.'”
  Seneca, Hercules Furens 603 ff (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) : “[From a description of the Underworld :] The chaos of everlasting night, and something worse than night, and the grim gods and the fates [i.e. the Moirai]–all these I [Herakles] saw and, having flouted death, I have come back.”
  Statius, Thebaid 9. 318 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) : “The Elysian Sisters [Moirai, Fates].”
  Statius, Thebaid 8. 21 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) : “The lord of Erebus [Haides], enthroned in the midst of the fortress of his dolorous realm, was demanding of his subjects the misdoings of their lives, pitying nought human but wroth against all the Manes (Shades). Around him stand the Furiae (Furies) [Erinyes] and various Mortes (Deaths) [Thanatoi] in order due, and savage Poena (Vengeance) thrusts forth her coils of jangling chains; the Fatae (Fates) [Moirai] bring the Animas (Souls) and with one gesture damn them [literally, ‘the thumb,’ as in the Roman amphitheatre]; too heavy grows the work. Hard by, Minos with his dread brother [Rhadamanthys] in kindly mood counsels a milder justice, and restrains the bloodthirsty king [Haides].”
  Statius, Silvae 5. 1. 253 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman poetry C1st A.D.) : “Whenever a shade approaches that has won the praise of a loving spouse, Proserpine [Persephone] [sends the shade to Elysium.] . . . Thus doth [the dead wife] Priscilla enter the kingdom of the dead; there with suppliant hand she prays the Fatae (Fates) [Moirai] for thee, and placates the lords of grim Avernus [Haides], that having fulfilled the term of human life thou in old age mayst leave thy prince [husband] still giving peace to the world and still young! The unfailing Sisters [Moirai] take oath to grant her prayers.”
  MOIRAE & THE CRIME OF MURDER
  Murder was a crime performed in defiance of the decrees of fate. The Erinyes, acting as agents of the Moirai (Fates), exacted punishment upon the miscreant.
  I. MURDER IN DEFIANCE OF FATE
  Homer, Odyssey 1. 32 ff (trans. Shewring) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) : “His [Zeus’] mind was full of Lord Aigisthos (Aegisthus), slain by renowned Orestes . . . with him in mind Zeus began to speak to the Deathless Ones. ‘Oh the waywardness of these mortals! They accuse the gods, they say that their troubles come from us, and yet by their won presumptuousness they draw down sorrow upon themselves that outruns their allotted portion. So now; Aigisthos outran his allotted portion by taking in marriage the wedded wife of the son of Atreus and killing her husband when he returned.’”
  Pindar, Pythian Ode 4. 145 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) : “But if enmity breeds twixts men of the same race, to hide the shame even the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) veil their eyes.”
  Statius, Thebaid 6. 375 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) : “I [Apollon] served [Admetos] as thrall on Pelian ground–such was Jove’s [Zeus’] command, so the dark Sisters [the Moirai] willed [i.e. as punishment for the murder of the Kyklopes (Cyclopes)].”
  II. ERINYES AGENTS OF THE MOIRAE
  Aeschylus, Eumenides 334 ff (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) : “This [revenge upon the murderer] is our [the Erinyes] right, spun for us by the Moirai (Moirae, Fates), the ones who bind the world.”
  Aeschylus, Eumenides 350 ff : “Even at birth, I say, our [the Erinyes’] rights were so ordained [i.e. to exact vengeance for murder]. The deathless gods must keep their hands far off . . . the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) who gave us power made us free.”
  Aeschylus, Eumenides 400 ff : “Then where is the man not stirred with awe, not gripped by fear to hear us tell the law that Fate ordains, the gods concede the Erinyes (Furies) absolute till the end of time.”
  Aeschylus, Eumenides 973 ff : “[The Erinyes speak :] Sisters [the Moirai, Fates] born of Nyx (Night) our mother, spirits sharing at all our hearths, at all times bearing down to make our lives more just, all realms exalt you highest of the gods.”
  Aeschylus, Libation Bearers 639 ff : “But the keen and bitter sword is near the breast [of Aigisthos (Aegisthus), murderer of Agamemnon] and drives home its blow at the bidding of Dike (Justice). For truly the injustice of him who has unjustly transgressed the sovereign majesty of Zeus lies on the ground trampled under foot. The anvil of Dike (Justice) is planted firm. Aisa (Aesa, Destiny) fashions her arms and forges her sword quickly, and the famed and deeply brooding Erinys (Fury) is bringing the son into our house, to requite at last the pollution of blood shed long ago.”
  Aeschylus, Libation Bearers 909 ff : “Orestes [addresses his mother, the murderess Klytaimestra (Clytemnestra)] : What! Murder my father and then make your home with me? Klytaimestra : Moira (Fate), my child, must share the blame for this. Orestes : And Moira (Fate) now brings this destiny to pass [i.e. he will kill Klytaimestra for her crime].”
  Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 515 ff : “Okeanides (Oceanids) : And whose hand controls necessity? Prometheus : The three Moirai (Moirae, Fates); and the Erinyes (Furies), who forget nothing.”
  Statius, Thebaid 1. 110 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) : “From her [the Erinys Tisiphone’s] shoulders falls a stark and grisly robe, whose dark fastenings meet upon her breast: Atropos [one of the Moirai] and Proserpine [Persephone] fashion her this garb anew.”
  III. SUICIDE IN DEFIANCE OF FATE
  Suicide is described as a breech of fate by at least one Roman writer.
  Statius, Thebaid 10. 810 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) : “Of thy own will and pleasure slain [of one who committed suicide], ay, even against the will of Fata (Fate) [Moira], thou hast forcest an entrance to the gloomy Manes (Shades).”
  MOIRAE & REPRIEVES FROM FATE
  I. RESURRECTION OF PELOPS
  The boy Pelops was murdered by his father and served up at a feast of the gods. The Moirai (Fates) restored him to life.
  Pindar, Olympian Ode 1. 27 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) : “Pelops, that he who shakes the earth in his great strength, Poseidon, loved when Klotho (Clotho) lifted him out of the clear cauldron, his shoulder gleaming ivory.”
  Philostratus the Elder, Imagines 1. 30 (trans. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D.) : “[From a description of an ancient Greek painting :] This too is a clever touch: Poseidon loves the lad [Pelops] and brings him to the cauldron and to Klotho (Clotho), after which Pelops’ shoulder seemed to shine [i.e. because it was replaced with ivory].”
  II. ADMETUS RELEASED FROM DEATH
 
  Aeschylus, Eumenides 723 ff (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) : “Chorus [of Eumenides] : You [Apollon] did such things also in the house of Pheres [i.e. of Admetos (Admetus)], when you persuaded the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) to make mortals free from death. Apollon : Is it not right, then, to do good for a worshipper, especially when he is in need? Chorus : It was you who destroyed the old dispensations when you beguiled the ancient goddesses ( theai arkhaiai ) with wine.”
  Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 106 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) : “[Apollon] also obtained from the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) a privilege for Admetos (Admetus), whereby, when it was time for him to die, he would be released form death if someone should volunteer to die in his place.”
  Statius, Silvae 3. 1. 171 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman poetry C1st A.D.) : “I [Herakles] will hold fast the threads of the Parcae (Fates) [Moirai] and stretch out the wool upon their distaffs–I can subdue remorseless Mortes (Death) [Thanatos] [i.e. Herakles rescues Alkestis (Alcestis) from death in spite of the Fates].”
  Statius, Silvae 3. 3. 186 ff : “Is it not granted to move the Parcae (Fates) [Moirai], or appease the ruthless deities of deadly Lethe? . . . Is it so, then that the Thessalian consort [Alkestis (Alcestis)] could give her life to save her lord [Admetos (Admetus)]?”
  III. EURYDICE RELEASED FROM DEATH
  Statius, Thebaid 8. 58 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) : “It shames me [the god Haides] too, alas! how Tartarus opened a way to the Odyrsian plaint [Orpheus]; with my own eyes I saw the Eumenides [Erinyes, Furies] shed base tears at those persuasive strains, and the Sisters [Moirai, Fates] repeat their allotted task [bringing Eurydike (Eurydice) back to the underworld].”
  Statius, Silvae 3. 3. 186 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman poetry C1st A.D.) : “Is it not granted to move the Parcae (Fates) [Moirai], or appease the ruthless deities of deadly Lethe? . . . Is it so, then that . . . the suppliant Thracian [Orpheus] could defeat remorseless Styx?”
  IV. JOURNEYS TO THE UNDERWORLD
  Return from the underworld was only allowed through special dispensation from the Fates.
  Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 251 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) : “Those who, by permission of the Parcae (Fates) [Moirai], returned from the lower world. Ceres [Demeter], seeking Porserpina [Persephone], her daughter. Father Liber [Dionysos]; he descended for Semele, his mother, daughter of Cadmus. Hercules [Herakles], son of Jove [Zeus], to bring up the dog Cerberus. Asclepius, son of Apollo and Coronis. Castor and Pollux, sons of Jove [Zeus] and Leda, return in alternate death. Mercurius [Hermes], son of Maia, in constant trips.”
  Ovid, Metamorphoses 5. 520 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) : “[Zeus addresses Demeter :] ‘Proserpina [Persephone] shall reach the sky again on one condition, that in Hell her lips have touched no food; such is the rule forestablished by the three Parcae (Fates) [Moirai].’”
  V. RELEASE OF CHIRON (KHEIRON) FROM IMMORTALITY
  In a curious reversal of the above tradition, the centaur Kheiron (Chiron) was granted a release from his predestined immortality.
  Ovid, Metamorphoses 2. 653 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) : “[Kheiron (Chiron)], you, immortal now and destined by your birthright to live on through all eternity, will long to die when you are tortured by the serpent’s blood, that agonizing poison in your wounds; and, saved from immortality, the gods shall put you in death’s power, and the three Goddesses ( Deae Triplices ) [i.e. the Moirai] shall unloose your threads of fate.”
  MOIRAE & POST-MORTEM APOTHEOSIS AND METAMORPHOSIS
  Death could be reversed or avoided through apotheosis (ascension to godhood) and metamorphosis–the transformation of man post mortem into bird, animal, plant or constellation. There are few examples where the Moirai are mentioned in the process.
  I. APOTHEOSIS OF HYACINTHUS (HYAKINTHOS)
  In the Spartan cult of Hyakinthos, the love of Apollon, the boy was described carried to heaven by the Fates after death.
  Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 19. 4 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) : “[Amongst the scenes depicted on the altar of Apollon at Amyklai (Amyclae) near Sparta :] On the altar are also [depicted] Demeter, Kore (Core) [Persephone], Plouton (Pluton) [Haides], next to them the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) and Horai (Horae, Seasons), and with them Aphrodite, Athena and Artemis. They are carrying to heaven Hyakinthos (Hyacinthus) and Polyboia (Polyboea), the sister, they say, of Hyakinthos.”
  II. METAMORPHOSIS OF AMPELOS
  Ampelos was a boy loved by the god Dionysos who was transformed by the Fates, or with the assent of the Fates, into a vine at death.
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca 12. 138 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) : “[Ampelos, a youth loved by the god Dionysos, was killed by a bull :] Dionysos, who never wept, lamented thus in his love, the awful threads of Moira (Fate) were unloosened and turned back; and Atropos Neverturnback, whose word stands fast, uttered a voice divine to console Dionysos in sorrow : ‘He lives, I declare, Dionysos; your boy lives, and shall not pass the bitter water of Akheron (Acheron). Your lamentation has found out how to undo the inflexible threads of unturning Moira (Fate), it has turned back the irrevocable. Ampelos is not dead, even if he died; for I will change your boy to a lovely drink, a delicious nectar. He shall be worshiped with dancing beat of tripling fingers, when the double-sounding pipe shall strike up harmony over the feast, be it in Phrygian rhythm or Dorian tune; or on the boards a musical man shall sing him, pouring out the voice of Aonian reeds for Ismenians or the burghers of Marathon. The Mousai (Muses) shall cry triumph for Ampelos the lovely with Lyaios (Lyaeus) of the Vine (Ampelos). You shall throw off the twisting coronal of snakes from your head, and entwine your hair with tendrils of the vine; you shall make Phoibos (Phoebus) [Apollon] jealous, that he holds out his melancholy iris with its leafy dirge. You too dispense a drink, the earthly image of heavenly nectar, the comfort of the human race, and your young friend shall eclipse the flowery glory of the Amyklaian (Amyclaean) boy [i.e. Hyakinthos]: if his country produces the bronze of battle, your boy’s country too increases the shining torrent of red juice like a river–she is all proud of her gold, and she likes not steel. If one boasts of a roaring river, Paktolos had better water than Eurotas. Ampelos, you have brought mourning to Dionysos who never mourns–yes, that when your honeydropping wine shall grow, you my bring its delight to all the four quarters of the world, a libation for the Blessed, and for Dionysos a heart of merry cheer. Lord Bakkhos (Bacchus) has wept tears, that he may wipe away a man’s tears!’ Having spoke thus, the divinity departed with her sisters.
Then a great miracle was shown to sorrowful Bakkhos witnessing. For Ampelos the lovely dead rose of himself and took the form of a creeping snake, and became the healtrouble flower. As the body changed, his belly was along stalk, his fingers grew into toptendrils, his feet took root, his curlclusters were grapeclusters, his fawnskin changed into the manycoloured bloom of the growing fruit, his long neck became a bunch of grapes, his elbow gave place to a bending twig swollen with berries, his head changed until the horns took the shape of twisted clumps of drupes. There grew rows of [grape-vine] plants without end.”
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca 12. 213 ff : “[After the dead Ampelos was transformed into a grapevine, Dionysos declares :] ‘Verily even Moira’s (Fate’s) threads have been turned womanish for you [Ampelos] and your beauty; for you Haides himself has become merciful, for you Persephone herself has changed her hard temper, and saved you alive in death for brother Bakkhos (Bacchus).’”
  MOIRAE & THE INVENTION OF LETTERS
  The Moirai were the attributed inventors of certain letters of the alphabet. Presumably these had certain mystical values connected with prophecy and fate.
  Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 277 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) : “First Inventors. The Parcae (Fates) [Moirai], Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos invented seven Greek letters–A B H T I U.”
  OTHER GODDESSES IDENTIFIED AS MOIRAE
  Several other goddesses such as Tykhe (Tyche), fortune personified, Aphrodite as goddess of generation, and Eileithyia, goddess of childbirth, were sometimes described as Moirai or goddesses of fate.
  I. APHRODITE GODDESS OF PROCREATION
  Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 19. 2 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) : “The incscription [in the temple of Aphrodite at Athens] declares that Aphrodite Ourania (Urania, Heavenly) is the oldest of those called Moirai (Moirae, Fates).”
  Orphic Hymn 55 to Aphrodite (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) : “The triple Moirai (Moirae, Fates) [as birth goddesses] are ruled by thy [Aphrodite’s] decree [as the goddess of procreation], and all productions yield alike to thee.”
  For MORE information on this goddess see APHRODITE
  II. TYCHE GODDESS OF FORTUNE
  Pausanias, Description of Greece 7. 26. 8 : “I am in general agreement with Pindar’s ode, and especially with his making Tykhe (Tyche, Fortune) one of the Moirai (Moirae, Fates), and more powerful than her sisters.”
  For MORE information on this goddess see TYKHE
  III. EILEITHYIA GODDESS OF CHILDBIRTH
  Pindar, Nemean Ode 7. 1 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) : “Eileithyia (Goddess of Childbirth), maid to the throne of the deep-thinking Moirai (Moirae, Fates).”
  Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 21. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) : “The Lykian (Lycian) Olen, an earlier poet, who composed for the Delians, among other hymns, one to Eileithyia, where he calls her the good spinner, obviously identifying her with Moira (Fate), and says she is older than Kronos (Cronus, Time).”
  For MORE information on this goddess see EILEITHYIA
  HYMNS TO THE MOIRAE
  I. THE ORPHIC HYMNS
  Orphic Hymn 59 to the Fates (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) : “To the Moirai (Moirae, Fates), Fumigation from Aromatics. Daughters of darkling Nyx (Night), much named, draw near, infinite Moirai, and listen to my prayer; who in the heavenly lake, where waters white burst from a fountain hid in depths of night, and through a dark and stony cavern glide, a cave profound, invisible abide; from whence, wide coursing round the boundless earth, your power extends to those of mortal birth; to men with hope elated, trifling, gay, a race presumptuous, born but to decay. To these acceding, in a purple veil to sense impervious, you yourselves conceal, when in the plain of Moira (Fate) you joyful ride in one great car, with glory for your guide; till all-complete, your heaven appointed round, at justice, hope, and care’s concluding bound, the terms absolved, prescribed by ancient law, of power immense, and just without a flaw. For Moira (Fate) alone with vision unconfined surveys the conduct of the mortal kind. Moira (Fate) is Zeus’ perfect eternal eye, for Zeus and Moira our every deed descry. Come, gentle powers, well born, benignant, famed, Atropos, Lakhesis (Lachesis), and Klotho (Clotho) named; unchanged, aerial, wandering in the night, untamed, invisible to mortal sight; Moirai all-producing, all-destroying, hear, regard the incense and the holy prayer; propitious listen to these rites inclined, and far avert distress, with placid mind.”
  II. OTHER INVOCATIONS
  Greek Lyric V Anonymous, Fragments 1018 (from Stobaeus, Anthology) (trans. Campbell) (Greek lyric B.C.) : “Listen, Moirai (Moirae, Fates), who sit nearest of the gods to the throne of Zeus and weave on adamantine shuttles countless and inescapable devices of counsels of all kinds. Aisa (Aesa, Destiny), Klotho (Clotho) and Lakhesis (Lachesis), fair-armed daughters of Nyx (Night), hear our prayers, you all-terrible deities of heaven and the lower world: send us rose-bloomed Eunomia (Order) and her bright-throned sisters Dike (Justice) and garland-wearing Eirana (Eirene, Peace), and make this city forget its heavy-hearted misfortunes.”
  Greek Lyric V Anonymous, Fragments 937 (from Inscription from the shrine of Asclepius at Epidaurus) (trans. Campbell) (Greek lyric B.C.) : “High-skilled Asklepios (Asclepius); and summon the two Dioskouroi (Dioscuri) and the august Kharites (Charites, Graces) and glorious Mousai (Muses) and kindly Moirai (Moirae, Fates) . . . Greetings, all you immortal gods everlasting and immortal goddesses!”
  SACRED BIRDS & ANIMALS
  Aelian, On Animals 10. 33 (trans. Scholfield) (Greek natural history C2nd to 3rd A.D.) : “White Turtle-doves are often to be seen. These, they say, are sacred to Aphrodite and Demeter, while the other kind [i.e. the more common dusky turtle-dove] is sacred to the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) and the Erinyes (Furies).”
  CULT OF THE MOIRAE
  I. CORINTH (KORINTHOS) Chief City of Corinthia (Southern Greece)
  Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 4. 7 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) : “[On the Akropolis (Acropolis) of Korinthos (Corinth) :] The temple of the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) and that of Demeter and Kore (Core) [Persephone] have images that are not exposed to view.”
  II. SICYON-PHLIUS (SIKYON-PHLIOS) ROAD Towns in Sicyonia (Southern Greece)
  Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 11. 3 – 4 : “On the direct road from Sikyon (Sicyon) to Phlios (Phlius) . . . At a distance along it, in my opinion, of twenty stades, to the left on the other side of the Asopos [river], is a grove of holm oaks and a temple of the goddesses named by the Athenians the Semnai (August), and by the Sikyonians the Eumenides (Kindly Ones). On one day in each year they celebrate a festival to them and offer sheep big with young as a burnt offering, and they are accustomed to use a libation of honey and water, and flowers instead of garlands. They practise similar rites at the altar of the Moirai (Moirae, Fates); it is in an open space in the grove.”
  III. SPARTA Chief City of Lacedaemonia (Lakedaimonia) (Southern Greece)
  Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 11. 10 : “The Lakedaimonians (Lacedaemonians) have also a sanctuary [at Sparta] of the Moirai (Moirae, Fates), by which is the grave of Orestes, son of Agamemnon.”
  IV. OLYMPIA Town & Sanctuary in Elis (Southern Grece)
  Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 15. 5 : “There is an altar [at Olympia] with an inscription ‘to the Bringer of the Fates (Moiragetes).’ This is plainly a surname of Zeus, who knows the affairs of men, all that the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) give them, and all that is destined for them. Near there is also an oblong altar of Moirai (Fates).”
  V. Near ACACESIUM (AKAKESION) Town in Arkadia (Southern Greece)
  Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 37. 1 : “From Akakesion (Acacesium) [in Arkadia] as you go to the temple [of Despoine] there is a portico on the right, with reliefs of white marble on the wall. On the first relief are wrought Moirai (Moirae, Fates) and Zeus surnamed Moiragetes (Guide of Fate).”
  VI. THEBES Chief City of Boeotia (Central Greece)
  Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 25. 4 : “Along the road from the Neistan gate [at Thebes in Boiotia (Boeotia)] are three sanctuaries. There is a sanctuary of Themis, with an image of white marble; adjoining it is a sanctuary of the Moirai (Moirae, Fates), while the third is of Agoraios (Agoreus, of the Market) Zeus. Zeus is made of stone; the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) have no images.”
  VII. DELPHI (DELPHOI) Town & Sanctuary in Phocis (Central Greece)
  Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 24. 4 : “[In the temple of Apollon at Delphoi (Delphi) :] There are also images of two Moirai (Fates); but in place of the third Moira there stand by their side Zeus Moiragetes (Guide of Fate), and Apollon Moiragetes (Guide of Fate).”
  VIII. CORCYRA (KORKYRA) Island (Ionian Sea)
  Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 4. 1216 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) : “And still the altars which Medea built on the island [of the Phaiakes (Phaeacians)] at the shrine of the Shepherd Apollon are laden year by year with offerings to the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) and the Nymphai (Nymphs).”
  POETIC TITLES & EPITHETS
  The Moirai had a number of poetic titles and epithets.
 
 
  Nombre griego
  Κλωθεσ
  Κατακλωθεσ
  Διανταιαι
  Θεαι Αρχαιαι
 
 
  Transliteración
  Klôthes
  Kataklôthes
  Diantaiai
  Theai Arkhaiai
 
 
  Ortografía latina
  Clothés
  Cataclothés
  Diantaeae
  Theae Archaeae
 
 
  Traducción
  The Spinners
  The Spinners
  Relentless Ones
  Ancient Goddesses
 
 
 
  ANCIENT GREEK ART
 
 
 
 
  K16.1 Moirae, Athena, Artemis
  Figura ateniense negra Jarrón Pintura C6th B.C.
 
 
 
 
 
 
  K16.2 Spinner
  Figura roja ateniense Florero Pintura C5th B.C.
 
 
 
 
 
 
  K16.3 Weavers
  Figura ateniense negra Jarrón Pintura C6th B.C.
 
 
 
 
  SOURCES
  GREEK
  Homer, The Iliad – Greek Epic C8th B.C.
  Homer, The Odyssey – Greek Epic C8th B.C.
  Hesiod, Theogony – Greek Epic C8th – 7th B.C.
  Hesiod, The Shield of Heracles – Greek Epic C8th – 7th B.C.
  The Homeric Hymns – Greek Epic C8th – 4th B.C.
  Pindar, Odes – Greek Lyric C5th B.C.
  Greek Lyric I Alcman, Fragments – Greek Lyric C7th B.C.
  Greek Lyric III Stesichorus, Fragments – Greek Lyric C7th – 6th B.C.
  Greek Lyric III Ibycus, Fragments – Greek Lyric C6th B.C.
  Greek Lyric IV Bacchylides, Fragments – Greek Lyric C5th B.C.
  Greek Lyric V Telestes, Fragments – Greek Lyric C5th B.C.
  Greek Lyric V Timotheus, Fragments – Greek Lyric C5th B.C.
  Greek Elegaic Solon, Fragments – Greek Elegaic C6th B.C.
  Aeschylus, Agamemnon – Greek Tragedy C5th B.C.
  Aeschylus, Eumenides – Greek Tragedy C5th B.C.
  Aeschylus, Libation Bearers – Greek Tragedy C5th B.C.
  Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound – Greek Tragedy C5th B.C.
  Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes – Greek Tragedy C5th B.C.
  Aeschylus, Fragments – Greek Tragedy C5th B.C.
  Aristophanes, Birds – Greek Comedy C5th – 4th B.C.
  Aristophanes, Frogs – Greek Comedy C5th – 4th B.C.
  Plato, Republic – Greek Philosophy C4th B.C.
  Apollodorus, The Library – Greek Mythography C2nd A.D.
  Apollonius Rhodius, The Argonautica – Greek Epic C3rd B.C.
  Callimachus, Hymns – Greek Poetry C3rd B.C.
  Lycophron, Alexandra – Greek Poetry C3rd B.C.
  Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History – Greek History C1st B.C.
  Pausanias, Description of Greece – Greek Travelogue C2nd A.D.
  The Orphic Hymns – Greek Hymns C3rd B.C. – C2nd A.D.
  Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses – Greek Mythography C2nd A.D.
  Aelian, On Animals – Greek Natural History C2nd – 3rd A.D.
  Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae – Greek Rhetoric C3rd A.D.
  Philostratus the Elder, Imagines – Greek Rhetoric C3rd A.D.
  Philostratus the Younger, Imagines – Greek Rhetoric C3rd A.D.
  Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana – Greek Biography C2nd A.D.
  Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy – Greek Epic C4th A.D.
  Nonnus, Dionysiaca – Greek Epic C5th A.D.
  Greek Papyri III Anonymous, Fragments – Greek Poetry C4th A.D.
  ROMAN
  Hyginus, Fabulae – Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.
  Ovid, Metamorphoses – Latin Epic C1st B.C. – C1st A.D.
  Ovid, Fasti – Latin Poetry C1st B.C. – C1st A.D.
  Virgil, Aeneid – Latin Epic C1st B.C.
  Propertius, Elegies – Latin Elegy C1st B.C.
  Cicero, De Natura Deorum – Latin Rhetoric C1st B.C.
  Seneca, Hercules Furens – Latin Tragedy C1st A.D.
  Seneca, Oedipus – Latin Tragedy C1st A.D.
  Valerius Flaccus, The Argonautica – Latin Epic C1st A.D.
  Statius, Thebaid – Latin Epic C1st A.D.
  Statius, Silvae – Latin Poetry C1st A.D.
  BYZANTINE
  Suidas, The Suda – Byzantine Greek Lexicon C10th A.D.
  BIBLIOGRAPHY
  A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.