Monday, August 17, 2009

The Fates


Phidelm was reminding me of famous classical trios such as the Fates. In Greek mythology they were called Clotho ("Spinner") who spun the thread of life, Lachesis ("Alloter") who alloted the length of the thread to each person and Atropos ("Unturning" ie "Inevitable") who cut the thread with her terrible shears, thereby causing death. The Romans changed their names to Nona ("Nine"), Decima ("Ten") and Morta ("Death") and by so doing changed the meaning. This was because a child born in the ninth month was by Roman calculation premature. The tenth month was on time and "morta" meant "still born." Therefore, the Romans used to pray to the Fates before a child was born.

3 Comments:

Blogger Phidelm said...

Interesting how each culture adapts this basic mythical premise, isn't it?
That tapesty is beautiful (early 16th c.? Flemish or French?). The spinner is represented as a virgin - and the sequence goes from right to left. Wonder what the hare in bottom rh corner signifies (she - usually female symbol - can be either benign or malign, depending on context).

7:07 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Hi Phidelm - yes, the hare is associated with the moon and therefore with fertility and women. It looks as if there's a small monkey in the bottom left corner.

7:51 am  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Very informative, WW.

11:05 pm  

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