ⓘ Parcae


ⓘ Parcae

In Roman mythology, the Parcae were the female personifications of destiny. They are often called the Fates in English. Their Greek equivalent were the Moirai. They controlled the "thread of life" of every mortal and immortal. Even the gods feared the Parcae.

The names of the three Parcae were:

  • Decima Greek Lachesis, who measured the thread of life;
  • Nona Greek equivalent Clotho, who spun the thread of life on her spindle;
  • Morta Greek Atropos, who cut the thread of life and chose the way a person would die.

The earliest known documents about these deities are three small stelae cippi. They were found near ancient Lavinium shortly after World War II. They have the inscription:

Neuna fata, Neuna dono, Parca Maurtia dono

The names of two of the three Roman Parcae are recorded Neuna = Nona, Maurtia = Morta and connected to the concept of fata.

One of the sources for the Parcae is Metamorphoses by Ovid, II 654, V 532, VIII 452, XV 781.