The three Moirae. Relief, grave of Alexander von der Mark by Johann Gottfried Schadow. Old National Gallery, Berlin
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The Moirae, Moerae or Moirai (in Greek Μοῖραι – the "apportioners", often called The Fates), in Greek mythology, were the white-robed incarnations of destiny (Roman equivalent: Parcae, euphemistically the "sparing ones", or Fata; also equivalent to the Germanic Norns). Their number became fixed at three. The Greek word moira (μοῖρα) literally means a part or portion of the whole, and by extension one's portion in life or destiny, which consisted of bad and good moments that were distributed by the Fates,[1] They controlled the metaphorical thread of life of every mortal from birth to death, and it was impossible for anyone to act over his own destiny.

In the Homeric poems Moira or Aisa (Fate) represents a power related with the limit and end of life, and is acting in parallel with the gods.Later in the Theogony of Hesiod the Moirae represent a power acting over the gods.[1]. In Greek mythology they are daughters of Zeus and Themis, who was the embodiment of divine order, social order and law,[2][3] Later in Orphic cosmogony, they are daughters of the primeval goddess Ananke, "necessity".[4]

In earliest Greek philosophy, Anaximander combines these mythical ideas with the balancing of opposite powers as central to reality. The goddess Dike (justice, divine retribution), keeps the order and sets a limit to any actions.[5]

The concept of Moira conformed with the Greek desire to discern an order in the univese, to which even the gods have to comply. The ancient Greek writers called this power Moira (Fate), Ananke (necessity), or combined both in a scheme.[6]



The Ancient Greek word moira (μοίρα) meant a portion or lot of the whole, related to meros, "part, lot" and moros, "fate, doom",[7] Latin meritum, "dessert, reward" , English merit, derived from the PIE root *(s)mer, "to allot, assign". [8] It was used for the portion of the distributed land,[9] division of people, distribution of booty, and for one's portion in life, lot, destiny.[10] In Homer moira is the power of Fate or death , but it also means that which is meet and right. (Iliad 16.387: "according to fate": in order, rightly)[10] Moirae means shares or alloted portions. Eventually, the word daemon, which is the personification of a certain power between gods and men came to be similar with the word moira.[11]

The word nomos, "law", may have meant originally a portion or lot, as in the verb nemein, "to distribute", and thus "natural lot" came to mean "natural law".[12] The word dike, "justice", conveyed the notion that someone should stay within his own boundaries respecting the ones of his neighbour. If someone broke his boundaries, thus getting more than his ordained part, then he would be punished. By extension moira was one's portion or part in destiny which consisted of good and bad moments as it was predetermined by the Moirae (Fates)[1] and it was impossible for anyone to get more than his ordained part. In modern Greek the word came to mean "destiny" (μοίρα or ειμαρμένη).

Kismet, the predetermined course of events in Muslim religion seems to have a similar etymology and function. It means Fate or destiny in the Indo-Aryan Urdu language. In Persian qesmat, in Arabic qisma, "lot", derived from qasama, "to divide, allot".

The three Moirae, or the triumph of death,Flemish tapestry ca 1520, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The three Moirae

When they were three,[13] the three Moirae were:

  • Clotho (play /ˈklθ/, Greek Κλωθώ [klɔːˈtʰɔː] – "spinner") spun the thread of life from her distaff onto her spindle. Her Roman equivalent was Nona, (the 'Ninth'), who was originally a goddess called upon in the ninth month of pregnancy.
  • Lachesis (play /ˈlækɨsɪs/, Greek Λάχεσις [ˈlakʰesis] – "allotter" or drawer of lots) measured the thread of life allotted to each person with her measuring rod. Her Roman equivalent was Decima (the 'Tenth').
  • Atropos (play /ˈætrəpɒs/, Greek Ἄτροπος [ˈatropos] – "inexorable" or "inevitable", literally "unturning",[14] sometimes called Aisa) was the cutter of the thread of life. She chose the manner of each person's death; and when their time was come, she cut their life-thread with "her abhorred shears".[15] Her Roman equivalent was Morta ('Death').

( Clotho colum retinet, Lachesis net, Atropos occut).

In the Republic of Plato, the three Moirae sing in unison with the music of the Seirenes. Lachesis sings the things that were, Clotho the things that are, and Atropos the things that are to be. [16] Pindar in his Hymn to the Fates, holds them in high honour.He calls them to send the Hours ( Lawfulness, Right and Peace) to stop the internal civil strife:

Listen Fates, who sit nearest of gods to the throne of Zeus, and weave with shuttles of adamant, inescapable devices for councels of every kind beyond counting, Aisa, Clotho and Lachesis, fine-armed daughters of Night, hearken to our prayers, all-terrible goddesses, of sky and earth. Send us rose-bossomed Lawfulness, and her sisters on glittering thrones, Right and crowned Peace, and make this city forget the misfortunes which lie heavily on her heart [17]


In ancient times caves were used for burial purposes in eastern Mediterranean, in conjuction with underground shrines or temples. The priests and the priestesses exerted considerable influence upon the world of the living. Births are also recorded in such shrines, and the Greek legend of conception and birth in the tomb – as in the story of Danae- is based on the ancient belief that the dead know the future. Such caves were the caves of Ida and Dikte mountains in Crete, where myth situates the birth of Zeus and other gods, and the cave of Eileithyia near Knossos. [18] The relative Minoan goddesses were named Diktynna, who was a mountain nymph of hunting, and Eileithyia who was the goddess of childbirth. [19]

It seems that in Pre-Greek religion Aisa was a daemon. In Mycenean religion Aisa or Moira was originally an abstract power related with the limit and end of life. At the moment of birth she spins the destiny, because birth ordains death. [20].Later Aisa is not alone, but she is accompanied by the "Spinners", who are the personifications of Fate. [21]. The act of spinning is also associated with the gods, who at birth and at marriage don’t spin the thread of life, but single facts like destruction, return or good fortune. Everything which has been spun must be winded on the spindle, and this was considered a cloth, like a net or loop which captured man. [22] Invisible bonds and knots could be controlled from a loom, and twining was a magic art used by the magicians to harm a person, and control his individual fate. [23] Some similar ideas appear in Norse mythology [24], and in Greek folklore. The appearance of the gods and the Moirae may be related with the fairy tale motif, which is common in many IE sagas, and also in Greek folklore. The fairies appear besides the cradle of the newborn child, and bring gifts to him. [25]

The services of the temples were performed by old women who were physically mishappen though intellectually superior persons, giving rise to the fear of witches and of the mishappen. They might be considered representations of the Moirae, who belonged to the underworld, but secretly guided the lifes of those in the upperworld. Their power could be sustained by witchcraft and oracles. [18] In Greek mythology the Moirai at birth are accompanied by Eileithyia. At the birth of Hercules they use together a magic art, to free the newborn from any "bonds" and "knots". [23]

Spiders seem to have the ability to create their own worlds, and web-spinning caused the association of the spiders with creation myths. [26]

The Homeric Moira

Much of the Mycenean religion survived into classical Greece , but it is not known to what extent Greek religious belief is Mycenean, nor how much is a product of the Greek Dark Ages or later. M.Finley detected only few authentic Mycenean beliefs in the eighth-century Homeric world. [27] The religion which later the Greeks considered Hellenic, embodies a paradox. Though the world is dominated by a divine power bestowed in different ways on men, nothing but "darkness" lay ahead . Life was frail and unsubstantial, and man was like a shadow in a dream. [28]

In the Homeric poems the words moira, aisa, moros mean "portion, part". Originally they didn’t indicate a power which leaded destiny, and must be considered to include the "ascertainment" or "proof". By extention Moira is the portion in glory , happiness, mishappenings, death ( μοίρα θανάτοιο: destiny of death) which are unexpected events . The unexpected events were usually attributed to daemons, who appeared in special occurrences. In that regard 'Moira was later considered an agent, like the daemon of Pre-Greek religion. [29]

People believed that their portion in destiny was something similar with their portion in boote , which was distributed according to their descent, and traditional rules. It was possible to get more than their ordained portion (moira), but they had to face the severe consequencies, because their action was "over moira" (υπέρ μοίραν:over the portion). It may be considered that they "broke the order". The most certain order in human lifes is that every human should die, and this was determined by Aisa or Moira at the moment of birth. [20] The Myceneans believed that what comes should come (fatalism), and this was considered rightly oferred. ( according to fate: in order). If someone died in battle, he would exist like a shadow in the gloomy space of the underworld. [29]

The kingdom of Moira, is the kingdom of the limit and the end. In a passage in Ilias, Apollo tries three times to stop Patroclus in front of the walls of Troy, warning him that it is "over his portion" to sack the city. Aisa (moira) seems to set a limit to the most vigorous men's actions. [30]

Moira is a power acting in parallel with the gods, and even they could not change the destiny which was predetermined. In Ilias Zeus knows that his dearest Sarpedon will be killed by Patroclus, but he cannot save him. [31] In the famous scene of Kerostasia , Zeus the chief-deity of the Myceneans appears as the guider of destiny, and he decides that Hector must die, according to his aisa (destiny). [32] His decision seems to be independent from his will, and is not related with any "moral purpose". His attitude is explained by Achilleus to Priam , in a parable of two jars at the door of Zeus , one of which contains good things, and the other evil. Zeus gives a mixture to some men, to others only evil and such are driven by hunger over the earth . This was the old "heroic outlook". [33]

The personification of Moira appears in the newer parts of the epos. In Odyssey she is accompanied by the "Spinners", the personifications of Fate, who don’t have separate names. [21] Moira seems to spin the predetermined course of events. Agamemnon claims that he is not responsible for his arrogance. He took the the prize of Achilleus, because Zeus and Moira predetermined his decision. [34]. In the last section of Ilias , Moira is the "mighty fate" (μοίρα κραταιά:moira krataia) who leads destiny and the course of events. Thetis the mother of Achilleus warns him that he will not live long because mighty fate stands hard by him, therefore he must give to Priam the corpse of Hector. [35] At Hector’s birth mighty fate predetermined that his corpse would be devoured by dogs after his death, and Hecabe is crying desperately asking for revenge. [36]

Zeus and the Moirae

Bas relief of Atropos cutting the thread of life

In the Homeric poems Moira, who is almost always one, is acting indepedently from the gods. Only Zeus, the chief sky-deity of the Myceneans is close to Moira, and in a passage he is the personification of this abstract power.[29] Using a weighing scale (balance) Zeus weighs Hector's "lot of death" (Ker) against the one of Achilleus. Hector's lot weighs down, and he dies according to Fate. Zeus appears as the guider of destiny, who gives everyone the right portion.[37] [38]

In a Mycenean vase, Zeus holds a weighing scale (balance) in front of two warriors, indicating that he is measuring their destiny before the battle. The belief (fatalism) was that if they die in battle, they must die, and this was rightly oferred ( according to fate).[39]

In Theogony the Moirae are daughters of the primeval goddess, Nyx ("Night"),[40], and they represent a power acting over the gods.[1] In another passage probably from a different period, they are daughters of Zeus who gives them the greatest honour, and Themis,[41] who was the embodiment of divine order, social order and law.[2][3]

Bas relief of Clotho. Base of a lampstand in front of the Supreme Court of the United States, Washington

Even the gods feared the Moirae or Fate, which according to Herodotus a god couldn't escape.[42] The Pythian priestess at Delphi once admitted, that Zeus was also subject to their power, though no classic writing clarifies as to what exact extent the lives of immortals were affected by the whims of the Fates. It is to be expected that the relationship of Zeus and the Moirae was not immutable over the centuries.In either case in antiquity we can see a feeling towards a notion of an order to which even the gods have to conform, and which removes any imputation of irresponsibility or personal whim in the governance of the universe. Simonides names this power Ananke (necessity) (the mother of the Moirae in Orphic cosmogony)[4] and says that even the gods don't fight against it.[43] Aeschylus combines Fate and necessity in a scheme, and claims that even Zeus cannot alter which is ordained.[6]

A supposed epithet Zeus Moiragetes, meaning "Zeus Leader of the Moirae" was inferred by Pausanias from an inscription he saw in the 2nd century AD at Olympia: "As you go to the starting-point for the chariot-race there is an altar with an inscription to the Bringer of Fate.[44] This is plainly a surname of Zeus, who knows the affairs of men, all that the Fates give them, and all that is not destined for them."[45] At the Temple of Zeus at Megara, Pausanias inferred from the relief sculptures he saw "Above the head of Zeus are the Horai and Moirae, and all may see that he is the only god obeyed by Moira." Pausanias' inferred assertion is unsupported in cult practice, though he noted a sanctuary of the Moirae there at Olympia (v.15.4), and also at Corinth (ii.4.7) and Sparta (iii.11.8), and adjoining the sanctuary of Themis outside a city gate of Thebes[46]


Prometheus creates man. Clotho and Lachesis besides Poseidon (with his trident), and presumably Atropos besides Artemis (with the moon crescent). Roman sarcophagus, Louvre.

The Moirai were described as ugly old women, sometimes lame. They were severe, inflexible and stern. Clotho carries a spindle or a roll (the book of fate), Lachesis a staff with which she points to the horoscope on a globe, and Atropos (Aisa) a scroll, a wax tablet, a sundial, a pair of scales, or a cutting instrument. At other times the three were shown with staffs or sceptres, the symbols of dominion, and sometimes even with crowns. At the birth of each man they appeared spinning, measuring, and cutting the thread of life. [47] The Moirae were supposed to appear three nights after a child's birth to determine the course of its life, as in the story of Meleager and the firebrand taken from the hearth and preserved by his mother to extend his life [48] Bruce Karl Braswell[49] from readings in the lexicon of Hesychius, associates the appearance of the Moirae at the family hearth on the seventh day with the ancient Greek custom of waiting seven days after birth to decide whether to accept the infant into the Gens and to give it a name, cemented with a ritual at the hearth. At Sparta the temple to the Moirae stood near the communal hearth of the polis, as Pausanias observed.[50]

As goddesses of birth who even prophesized the fate of the newly born, Eileithyia the ancient Minoan goddess of childbirth and divine midwifery was their companion.Pausanias mentions an ancient role of Eileythia as "the clever spinner", relating her with destiny too. [51] Their appearance indicate the Greek desire for health which was connected with the Greek cult of the body that was essentially a religious activity.[52]

The 'Moirae assigned to the terrible chthonic goddesses Erinyes who inflicted the punishment for evil deads their proper functions , and with them directed fate according to necessity.As goddesses of death they appeared together with the daemons of death Keres and the infernal Erinyes. [47]

The Greeks variously claimed that they were the daughters of Zeus and the Titaness Themis (the "Institutor") or of primordial beings like Nyx, the Night, Chaos or Ananke, Necessity.

Bas relief of Lachesis. Base of a lampstand in front of the Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D.C.

In earlier times they were represented as only a few – perhaps only one – individual goddess. Homer's Iliad (xxiv.209) speaks generally of the Moera, who spins the thread of life for men at their birth; she is Moera Krataia "powerful Moira" (xvi.334) or there are several Moerae (xxiv.49). In the Odyssey (vii.197) there is a reference to the Klôthes, or Spinners. At Delphi, only the Fates of Birth and Death were revered.[53] In Athens, Aphrodite, who had an earlier, pre-Olympic existence, was called Aphrodite Urania the 'eldest of the Fates' according to Pausanias (x.24.4).

Some Greek mythographers went so far as to claim that the Moirae were the daughters of Zeus— paired with either Ananke ("Necessity") or, as Hesiod had it in one passage,[54] Themis ("Fundament") or Nyx ("Night"). Whether or not providing a father even for the Moirae was a symptom of how far Greek mythographers were willing to go, in order to modify the old myths to suit the patrilineal Olympic order,[55] the claim of a paternity was certainly not acceptable to Aeschylus, Herodotus, or Plato.

Despite their forbidding reputation, Moirae could be placated as goddesses. Brides in Athens offered them locks of hair and women swore by them. They may have originated as birth-goddesses and only later acquired their reputation as the agents of destiny.

They likewise have forbidding appearances (beards), and appear to determine the fates of all individuals.

While the Moirae were feared even by the formidable Olympians, including Zeus, they could still be defeated in battle as proven in the Gigantomachy where the Giants fought against the combined forces of the Gods, the Moirae and Heracles. Though the Moirae did kill the Giants Agrios and Thoon with their bronze clubs, a prophecy detailed a victory for the Giants should Heracles not fight alongside the Olympians.[56]

Cross-cultural parallels


In Roman mythology the three Moirae are the Parcae or Fata, plural of "fatum" meaning prophetic declaration, oracle, or destiny. The English words fate (native wyrd ) and fairy (magic, enchantment), are both derived from "fata" , "fatum" .[57]

In Norse mythology the Norns are female beings who rule the destiny of gods and men, twining the thread of life. They set up the laws and decided on the lives of children of time .[58] Their names were Urðr (that which became or happened) related with Wyrd, weird (fate), Verðandi (that which is happening) [59] and Skuld (that which should become, debt, guilt).[60] In younger legendary sagas, the Norns appear to have been synonymous with witches (Völvas), , and they arrive at the birth of the hero to shape his destiny. It seems that originally all of them were Disir, ghosts or deities associated with destruction and destiny. The idea that they were three, their distinction and association with the past, present and future may be due to a late influence from Greek and Roman mythology. [61]

In Anglo-Saxon culture Wyrd (Weird) is a concept corresponding to fate or personal destiny (literally: what befalls one). Its Norse cognate is Urðr, and both names are deriven from the PIE root wert, "to turn, wind", [62] related with "spindle, distaff". [63] In Old English literature Wyrd goes ever as she shall, and remains wholly inevitable. [64] [65] In Macbeth the Weird sisters (or Three Witches), are prophetesses, who are deeply entrenched in both worlds of reality and supernatural. Their creation was influenced by British folklore, witchcraft, and the legends of the Norns and the Moirae. [66]

The Valkyries (choosers of the slain) , were originally daemons of death. They were female figures who decided who will die in battle, and brought their chosen to the afterlife hall of the slain.They were also related with spinning, and one of them was named Skuld (debt, guilt). [67] They may be related to Keres, the daemons of death in Greek mythology, who accompanied the dead to the entrance of Hades. In the scene of Kerostasie Keres are the "lots of death", and in some cases Ker (destruction) has the same meaning with Moira interpreted as "destiny of death" (μοίρα θανάτοιο) . [68] [1]

The Germanic Matres and Matrones , female deities almost entirely in a group of three, have been proposed as connected to the Norns and the Valkyries. [69]

In the Lithuanian mythology Laima is the personification of destiny, and her most important duty was to prophecy how the life of a newborn will take place. She may be related to the Hindu goddessLaksmi, who was the personification of wealth and prosperity, and associated with good fortune. [70]. [71] In the Latvian mythology, Laima and her sisters were a trinity of fate deities. [72]

The Moirae were usually described as cold, remorseless and unfeeling, and depicted as old crones or hags. The independent spinster has always inspired fear rather than matrimony: "this sinister connotation we inherit from the spinning goddess," write Ruck and Staples (Ruck and Staples 1994:). See weaving (mythology).


The notion of a universal principle of natural order has been compared to similar ideas in other cultures, such as aša, (Asha) in Avestan religion , Rta in Vedic religion, and Maat in Ancient Egyptian religion. [73]

In the Avestan religion and Zoroastrianism, aša , is commonly summarized in accord with its contextual implications of "truth" , "right(eousness)", "order". Aša and its Vedic equivalent rta are both derived from a PIE root meaning "properly joined, right, true". The word is the proper name of the divinity Asha, the personification of "Truth" and "Righteousness". Aša corresponds to an objective, material reality which embraces all of existence. [74] This cosmic force is imbued also with morality, as verbal Truth, and Righteousness, action conforming with the moral order. [75] In the literature of the Mandeans, an angelic being, has the responsibility of weighing the souls of the deceased to determine their worthiness, using a set of scales. [76]

In the Vedic religion, rta is an abstract principle of natural order which regulates and coordinates the operation of the universe. The term may be interpreted abstractly as "cosmic order", or simply as "truth". [77] It seems that this concept originally arose in the Indo-Aryan period , from a consideration of the features of nature which either remain constant or which occur on a regular basis. [78]. The individuals fulfil their true natures when they follow the path set for them by the ordinances of Rta, acting according to the Dharma, which is related with social and moral spheres. [79] The god of the waters Varuna was probably originally conceived as the personalized aspect of the otherwise impersonal Ṛta. [80] The gods are never portrayed as having command over Ṛta, but instead they remain subject to it like all created beings. [79]

In Egyptian religion, maat was the ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, law, morality, and justice. The word is the proper name of the divinity Maat, who was the goddess of harmony, justice, and truth represented as a young woman. It was considered that she set the order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation. [81] Maat was the norm and basic values that formed the backdrop for the application of justice that had to be carried out in the spirit of truth and fairness. [82] In Egyptian mythology Maat dealt with the weighing of souls that took place in the underworld. Her feather was the measure that determined whether the souls (considered to reside in the heart) of the departed would reach the paradise of afterlife successfully. In the famous scene of the Egyptian Book of the dead Anubis using a scale weighs the sins of a man's heart against the feather of truth, which represents maat. If man's heart weighs down, then he is devoured by a monster [83]

The Moirae in literature

The Moirae are fictionalized characters in Piers Anthony's With a Tangled Skein.

See also


  • Armour Robert A, 2001, Gods and Myths of Ancient Egypt,American Univ. in Cairo Press, ISBN 9774246691
  • Homer. The Ilias with an English translation .A.T Murray,Ph.D (1924) , in two volumes. Cambridge M.A, Harvard University Press, London, William Heinemann Ltd.
  • Homer.The Oddysey with an English translation .A.T Murray,Ph.D (1919) , in two volumes.Cambridge M.A, Harvard University Press, London, William Heinemann Ltd.
  • Thomas Blisniewski, 1992. Kinder der dunkelen Nacht: Die Ikonographie der Parzen vom späten Mittelalter bis zum späten 18. Jahrhundert. (Cologne) Iconography of the Fates from the late Middle Ages to the end of the 18th century.
  • Markos Giannoulis, 2010. Die Moiren. Tradition und Wandel des Motivs der Schicksalsgöttinnen in der antiken und byzantinischen Kunst, Ergänzungsband zu Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum, Kleine Reihe 6 (F. J. Dölger Institut). Aschendorff Verlag, Münster , ISBN 9783402109137
  • Robert Graves, Greek Myths
  • Jane Ellen Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion 1903. Chapter VI, "The Maiden-Trinities"
  • L. H.Jeffery, 1976. Archaic Greece.The City-States c. 700-500 BC . Ernest Benn Ltd. London & Tonbridge ISBN 0510 03271 0
  • Karl Kerenyi, 1951. The Gods of the Greeks (Thames and Hudson)
  • Martin P. Nilsson,1967. Die Geschichte der Griechissche Religion. Vol I, C.F.Beck Verlag., Munchen
  • Bertrand Russel, 1946. A history of Western Philosophy, and its connections with Political and Social Circumstances from the earliest times to the Present Day. New York. Simon and Schuster p. 148
  • Harry Thurston Peck, Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, 1898.
  • Herbert Jennings Rose, Handbook of Greek Mythology, 1928.
  • Carl Ruck and Danny Staples, The World of Classical Myth, 1994.
  • William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1870, article on Moira,
  • R.G.Wunderlich (1994). The secret of Crete. Efstathiadis group, Athens pp. 290-291, 295-296 . (British Edition, Souvenir Press Ltd. London 1975) ISBN 960 226 261 3

External links


  1. ^ a b c d e Hesiod, Theogony 221-225. " Also Night (Nyx) bare the destinies (Moirai), and ruthless avenging Fates (Keres) , who give men at their birth both evil and good to have, and they pursue the transgressions of men and gods... until they punish the sinner with a sore penalty." :The Theogony of Hesiod.Transl. Hugh Evelyn White (1914) 221-225 online
  2. ^ a b M. Finley (1978) The world of Odysseus rev.ed. New York Viking Press p.78 Note.
  3. ^ a b In Odyssey,Themistes: "dooms, things laid down originally by divine authority", the themistes of Zeus. Body: council of elders who stored in the collective memory. Thesmos: unwritten law, based on precedent: L.H.Jeffery (1976) Archaic Greece.The City-States c. 700-500 BC . Ernest Benn Ltd. London & Tonbridge p. 42 ISBN 0510 03271 0
  4. ^ a b Theoi Project - Ananke.
  5. ^ Simplicius, In Physica 24.13 . The Greek peers of Anaximander echoed his sentiment with the belief in natural boundaries beyond which not even the gods could operate : Bertrand Russel (1946). A history of Western Philosophy, and its connections with Political and Social Circumstances from the earliest times to the Present Day. New York. Simon and Schuster p. 148
  6. ^ a b Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound , 510-518 : "Not in this way is Moira (Fate) who brings all to fulfillment, destined to complete this course. Skill is weaker far than Ananke (necessity). Yes in that even he (Zeus) cannot escape what is foretold" . Theoi Project - Ananke
  7. ^ Moira, Online Etymology Dictionary
  8. ^ merit , Online Etymology Dictionary
  9. ^ The citizents of Sparta were called omoioi (equals) , indicating that they had equal parts ("isomoiria", ισομοιρία) of the alloted land
  10. ^ a b μοῖρα, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  11. ^ "with the daemon" (συν δαίμονι) means "over destiny" (υπερ μοίραν): M.Nilsson (1967) Vol I. p.217
  12. ^ L.H.Jeffery (1976) Archaic Greece. The City-States c. 700-500 BC . Ernest Benn Ltd. London & Tonbridge p. 42 ISBN 0510 03271 0
  13. ^ The expectation that there would be three was strong by the 2nd century CE: when Pausanias visited the temple of Apollo at Delphi, with Apollo and Zeus each accompanied by a Fate, he remarked "There are also images of two Moirai; but in place of the third Moira there stand by their side Zeus Moiragetes and Apollon Moiragetes."
  14. ^ Compare the ancient goddess Adrasteia, the "inescapable".
  15. ^ "Comes the blind Fury with th'abhorred shears, / And slits the thin spun life." John Milton, Lycidas, l. 75.
  16. ^ Plato, Republic , 617c (translated by Sorrey). Theoi Project - Ananke
  17. ^ Pindar, Fragmenta Chorica Adespota, 5. Diehl
  18. ^ a b R.G.Wunderlich (1994). The secret of Crete. Efstathiadis group, Athens pp. 290-291, 295-296 . (British Edition, Souvenir Press Ltd. London 1975) ISBN 960 226 261 3
  19. ^ Burkert Walter. (1985). The Greek Religion , Harvard University Press. pp 32-47
  20. ^ a b "Not yet is thy fate (moira) to die and meet thy doom" ( Ilias 7.52), "But thereafter he (Achilleus) shall suffer whatever Fate (Aisa) spun for him at his birth, when his mother bore him": ( Ilias 20.128 ): M. Nilsson. (1967). Die Geschichte der Griechissche Religion’’ Vol I, C.F.Beck Verlag., Műnchen pp. 363-364
  21. ^ a b "But thereafter he shall suffer whatever Fate (Aisa) and the dread Spinners spun with her thread for him at his birth, when his mother bore him." (Oddysey, 7.198)
  22. ^ "Easily known is the seed of that man for whom the son of Cronos spins the seed of good fortune at marriage and at birth." (Odyssey, 4.208 ): M.Nilsson. (1967). "Die Geschichte der Griechissche Religion". C.F.Beck Verlag., Munchen pp. 363-364
  23. ^ a b M.Nilsson. (1967). "Die Geschichte der Griechissche Religion". C.F.Beck Verlag., Munchen pp. 114, 200
  24. ^ "If a lady loosened a knot in the woof, she could liberate the leg of her hero. But if she tied a knot, she could stop the enemy from moving. ":Harrison, D. & Svensson, K. (2007): Vikingaliv. Fälth & Hässler, Värnamo. P. 72 ISBN 978-91-27-35725-9Harrison &
  25. ^ M.Nilsson. (1967). "Die Geschichte der Griechissche Religion". C.F.Beck Verlag., Munchen pp. 363-364
  26. ^ De Lagua et al Frederica (2002). American Anthropology Papers from the American Anthrolpology, University of Nebraska Press, p. 455
  27. ^ M.Finley (1978). The world of Oddyseus. p.124
  28. ^ "Man's life is a day. What is he, what is he not? A shadow in a dream is man.: Pindar, Pythionikos VIII 95-7 :C.M.Bowra ( 1957). The Greek experience. The World publishing company. Cleveland and New York. p. 64
  29. ^ a b c M.Nilsson (1967). Die Geschichte der Griechischen Religion, Vol I . C.F.Beck Verlag. Munchen. p.361-368
  30. ^ Ilias 16.705: "Draw back noble Patrolos, it is not yoyr lot (aisa) to sack the city of the Trojan chieftains, nor yet it will be that of Achilleus, who is far better than you are. " : C.Castoriades (2004), Ce que fait La Grece. 1 D' Homere a Heraclite. La creation Humaine II . Edition du Seuils, Paris p.300
  31. ^ Ilias 16.433 : "Ah, woe is me, for that it is fated that Sarpedon, dearest of men to me, be slain by Patroclus, son of Menoetius! And in twofold wise is my heart divided in counsel as I ponder in my thought whether I shall snatch him up while yet he liveth and set him afar from the tearful war in the rich land of Lycia, or whether I shall slay him now beneath the hands of the son of Menoetius."
  32. ^ J.V. Morrison, "Kerostasia, the Dictates of Fate, and the Will of Zeus in the Iliad" Arethusa 30.2, Spring 1997, pp. 276-296.
  33. ^ Ilias 24.527-33 : C.M.Bowra ( 1957). ‘’The Greek experience’’. The World publishing company. Cleveland and New York. p. 53
  34. ^ Ilias 19.87:"Howbeit it is not I that am at fault, but Zeus and Fate (Moira) and Erinys, that walketh in darkness, seeing that in the midst of the place of gathering they cast upon my soul fierce blindness on that day, when of mine own arrogance I took from Achilles his prize."
  35. ^ Ilias 24.131 : "For I tell thee, thou shall not thyself be long in life, but even nowdoth death stand hard by thee and mighty fate ( moira krataia)".
  36. ^ Ilias 24.209: On this wise for him did mighty fate spin with her thread at his birth, when myself did bear him, that he should glut swift-footed dogs far from his parents, in the abode of a violent man. "
  37. ^ Ilias X 209 ff. O.Crusius Rl, Harisson Prolegomena 5.43 ff : M. Nillson (1967). Die Geschichte der Griechische Religion. Vol I . C.F.Beck Verlag. Munchen pp. 217, 222
  38. ^ This is similar to the famous scene in the Egyptian book of the dead, although the conception is different. Anubis weighs the sins of a man's heart against the feather of truth. If man's heart weighs down, then he is devoured by a monster: Taylor, John H. (Editor- 2009), Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead: Journey through the afterlife. British Museum Press, London, 2010. pp. 209, 215 ISBN 978-0-7141-1993-9
  39. ^ M.P.Nilsson, "Zeus-Schiksalwaage ". Homer and Mycenea D 56. The same belief in Kismet. Also the soldiers in the World-War believed that they wouldn't die by a bullet, unless their name was written on the bullet: M. Nillson (1967). Die Geschichte der Griechische Religion. Vol I . C.F.Beck Verlag. Munchen pp. 366, 367
  40. ^ H.J. Rose, Handbook of Greek Mythology, p.24
  41. ^ The Theogony of Hesiod.Transl. Hugh Evelyn White (1914) 901-906 online
  42. ^ Herodotus, Histories I 91
  43. ^ Diels-Kranz. Fr.420
  44. ^ The Greek is Moiragetes (Pausanias, 5.15.5).
  45. ^ Pausanias, v.15.5.
  46. ^ "There is a sanctuary of Themis, with an image of white marble; adjoining it is a sanctuary of the Fates, while the third is of Zeus of the Market. Zeus is made of stone; the Fates have no images." (Pausanias, ix.25.4).
  47. ^ a b Theoi Project Moirai
  48. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, story of Meleager in Bibliotheke 1.65.
  49. ^ Braswell, "Meleager and the Moirai: A Note on Ps.-Apollodorus 1. 65" Hermes 119.4 (1991:488f).
  50. ^ Pausanias, 3.11. 10-11.
  51. ^ Pausanias, 8.21.3.
  52. ^ Pindar, Nemean VII 1-4
  53. ^ Kerenyi 1951:32.
  54. ^ Hesiod, Theogony, 904.
  55. ^ "Zeus obviously had to assimilate this spinning Goddess, and he made them into his daughters, too, although not by all accounts, for even he was bound ultimately by Fate", observe Ruck and Staples (1994:57).
  56. ^
  57. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary : fate , fairy
  58. ^ Voluspa 20: Henry Adams Bellows' translation for The American-Scandinavian Foundation with clickable names Völuspá
  59. ^ Both are derived from the Old Norse verb verða, "to be" Swedish Etymological dictionary
  60. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary shall
  61. ^ Nordisk familjebook (1913)/ Uggleupplagan.19.Mykenai-Newpada. [htpp// Nordisk Familjebook]]
  62. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary : [htpp:// wyrd wyrd]
  63. ^ Latin vertere and Russian vreteno: Online Etymology Dictionary : [htpp:// versus versus]
  64. ^ Heaney, Seamus. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation. New York: W.W. Norton, 2001. ISBN 0-393-32097-9
  65. ^ The Wanderer. Alternative translation by Clifford A. Truesdell IV
  66. ^ Coddon, Karin S. "'Unreal Mockery': Unreason and the Problem of Spectacle in Macbeth." ELH. (Oct 1989) 56.3 pp. 485–501.
  67. ^ Davidson H.R. Ellis (1988). Myths and symbols in Pagan Europe. Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions . Manchester University Press p. 58-61 ISBN 0 7190 2579 6
  68. ^ Keres , derived from the Greek verb kirainein ( κηραίνειν) meaning "to be destroyed" . Compare Kir (κηρ) , "candle". M.Nilsson (1967). Vol I, p 218, 366
  69. ^ Lindow John ( 2001). Norse Mythology, a guide to the ghosts, heroes , rituals and beliefs , Oxford University Press ISBN 0 19 515382 0
  70. ^ Greimas Algirdas Julien (1992). Of gods and men. Studies in Lithuanian Mythology . Indiana University Press . p. 111, ISBN 0 253 32652 4
  71. ^ Related to "Iaksmlka" , mark, sign or token (Rigveda X, 71,2 ) : Monier Williams. Sanskrit-English Dictionary
  72. ^ Bojtar Endre (1999). Forward to the past. A cultural history of Baltic people . CEU Press, p. 301 , ISBN 963 9116 42 4
  73. ^ Cf. Ramakrishna (1965:153-168), James (1969:35-36)
  74. ^ Duchesne-Guillemin, Jacques (1963), "Heraclitus and Iran", History of Religions 3 (1): 34–49, doi:10.1086/462470 .
  75. ^ Boyce, Mary (1970), "Zoroaster the Priest", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 33 (1): 22–38, doi:10.1017/S0041977X00145100 
  76. ^ Matthew Bunson, Angels A to Z (New York:Crown), 1996.
  77. ^ Mahony (1998:3).
  78. ^ Oldenberg, Hermann (1894). Die Religion des Veda. Berlin: Verlag von Wilhelm Hertz. Pp. 30,195-198
  79. ^ a b Brown, W. N. (1992). "Some Ethical Concepts for the Modern World from Hindu and Indian Buddhist Tradition" in: Radhakrishnan, S. (Ed.) Rabindranath Tagore: A Centenary Volume 1861 - 1961. Calcutta: Sahitya Akademi. ISBN: 8-172-01332-9.
  80. ^ Ramakrishna, G. (1965). "Origin and Growth of the Concept of Ṛta in Vedic Literature". Doctoral Dissertation: University of MysoreCf.
  81. ^ Gods and Myths of Ancient Egypt, Robert A. Armour, American Univ in Cairo Press, p167, 2001, ISBN 9774246691
  82. ^ "Egyptian Religion", Siegfried Morenz, Translated by Ann E. Keep, p. 117-125, Cornell University Press, 1992, ISBN 0801480299
  83. ^ Taylor, John H. (Editor- 2009), Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead: Journey through the afterlife. British Museum Press, London, 2010. pp. 209, 215 ISBN 978-0-7141-1993

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