Fates in Roman mythology

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

Les Parques ("The Parcae," ca. 1885) by Alfred Agache

The names of the three Parcae were:

The earliest known documents about these deities are three small stelae (cippi). They were found near ancient Lavinium shortly after World War II.[5] 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.[6]

The Three Parcae Spinning the Fate of Marie de' Medici (1622-1625) by Peter Paul Rubens

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

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  1. 1.0 1.1 John Day, God's Conflict With the Dragon and the Sea: Echoes of a Canaanite Myth in the Old Testament, CUP Archive, 1985, p. 308.
  2. L. L. Tels de Jong Sur quelques divinites romaines de la naissance et de la prophetie 1959, pp. 70–77; 83–85.
  3. P. Ramat "Morta" in Archivio glottologico italiano 40, 1960, pp. 61–67.
  4. J. H. Waszinsk Gnomon 34, 1962, p. 445.
  5. G. Dumezil La religion romaine archaique Paris, 1974, part 4, chapt.
  6. L. L. Tels De Jong Sur quelques divinites romaines de la naissance et de la prophetie 1959 pp. 67–130.