We often hear about the Three Fates. The image of three women plotting the future of a hero can be seen in everything from children’s stories to myths to TV shows. But who are these Fates?
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The Three Fates
In Greek mythology, the three Fates, or Moirae or Moirai, are the personification of the destiny of man. The Fates assigned each person his or her time on earth. Clotho spun the thread at the begining of one’s life, Lachesis wove the thread into the fabric of one’s actions, and Atropos cut the thread at the end of one’s life. The process was unchangeable, and gods as well as humans had to submit to it. Despite this firmness of fate, there are a few instances in which destinies appeared to have been altered: Apollo persuaded the Fates to grant Admetus delivery from death, if at the hour of his death, his father, mother, or wife would die for him. The Fates also joined Eileithyia in trying to delay the birth of Hercules. Often described as ancient and frightening women, they were variously called daughters of Zeus, Nyx alone, Erebus and Nyx, Kronus and Nyx, Oceanus and Gæa, or Ananke (Necessity) alone. Depending on the identity of their parents, they were referred to as sisters of the Horai, the Keres, or Erinyes. As goddesses of fate, the Moirai knew the future and were regarded by the Ancient Greeks as prophetic deities. As such, the Fates had sanctuaries in many parts of Greece—Corinth, Sparta, Olympia, and Thebes.
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Know the difference between each sister and what they do!