What is the fate of Moirai & Parcae (the Fates) in Roman & Greek mythologies? Are they mortal? If they are destined to die when & how it happens?

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    can you provide a little context? I've never heard of these two characters. What is or are their myth(s)? Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 13:32
  • 2
    They're the Greek/Roman fates.
    – cmw
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 19:21

2 Answers 2


No, the Moirai are immortal. In fact, contrary to to your comment in response to bleh, the gods are also immortal. Henrichs put this most succinctly with the opening of his section on the gods, "First and foremost, Greek gods are immortal (ἀθάνατοι or αἰὲν ἐόντες)", the Greek in which means "being undying or forever". He goes on to say,

"Immortality is the ultimate benchmark of their divinity. Subject to reproduction and birth but exempt from death, the gods worshipped by the Greeks are imperishable but not eternal, unlike the Judaeo-Christian creator god or the supreme being of later Platonists. Differently put, Greek gods have a beginning but no end. Hesiod explains their origins in his Theogony, which embeds the concept of the divine generation in its title. Gods who suffer and die, such as Dionysus Zagreus, are rare exceptions to the Homeric rule that immortality defined as exemption from death is a prerequisite for divinity. Typically, however, dying gods...come back to life and ultimately confirm the principle of divine immortality.

  • Albert Henrichs, "What is a Greek God?" in Bremmer & Erskine eds. The Gods of Ancient Greece: Identities and Transformations, p. 31. Edinburgh University Press, 2010.

This was not different for the Romans. The Latin expression used for gods is quite often di immortales (literally 'undying gods'), and in Greek likewise athanatoi theoi (same as the Latin). Furthermore, brotos is Greek for mortal, and it's no coincidence that the Gods drank ambrosia, which lexically also means "immortality".

The mere fact that they're goddesses (which is without question) means they are unable to die.

  • 1
    thanks for the quote that makes distinction between eternal vs immortal
    – Max
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 7:00
  • Excellent breakdown of undying!
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 22:20
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    Worth mentioning: there are plenty of examples of Greek myths where one god would have LOVED to kill another god, for example Kronus eating his children or the Olympians overthrowing the Titans. The fact that they never actually do kill each other, and invariably are forced to imprison, exile, consume, or otherwise incapacitate each other, implies that killing a god is not an option even for other gods.
    – Nerrolken
    Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 23:16

According to theoi

THE MOIRAI (or Moirae) were the goddesses of fate who personified the inescapable destiny of man. They assinged to every person his or her fate or share in the scheme of things. Their name means "Parts." "Shares" or "Alottted Portions." Zeus Moiragetes, the god of fate, was their leader. Klotho, whose name means "Spinner," spinned the thread of life. Lakhesis, whose name means "Apportioner of Lots"--being derived from a word meaning to receive by lot--, measured the thread of life. Atropos (or Aisa), whose name means "She who cannot be turned," cut the thread of life.

Well, if they were to die, then bad stuff would happen, and fate would end.

Parcae are just the same name, just in Roman form.

Notice that that name means "Parts." If only one was to die, then fate would still probably end.

  • as far as i understand, gods are mortal just as men (Moirai are controlling their life threads as well - only difference is life span, there will be "an end of times"). I can't find any info on mortality of Moirai themselves, if they are going to die at the end of times...
    – Max
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 14:11
  • @Max do you have a source for your claim (that Gods aren't mortal)?
    – user62
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 19:44
  • @Hamlet, you probably misspelt and meant "the claim that gods are mortal". not at my hand now. that was some article on concept of fate in indoeuropean cultures (like greeks, slavs) but written in non-academic popular style - hence, this imprecision in data. look at my accepted answer.
    – Max
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 7:08
  • The Greek gods are not mortal like men. They are not eternal, because they are created (i.e. to be eternal, you have to have always existed), but neither are they subject to death, as the Norse gods are.
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 22:18
  • @bleh I think this valid analysis would be improved if you were more clear about the answer. (i.e. there is no end of the universe story in Greek mythology, so the Fates will always be active.)
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 22:22

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