A triple pantheon of goddesses governing fate appears in a variety of European (and perhaps other) mythologies. The Greek Moirai, the Roman Fatae, the Norse Norns. Often they are associated with weaving a tapestry of fate. For example, of the Norns:

Mightily wove they | the web of fate,

While Bralund's towns | were trembling all;

And there the golden | threads they wove,

And in the moon's hall | fast they made them.

What is the earliest example of this group of goddesses?


1 Answer 1


Wikipedia gives us the four "3-fate pantheons."


As you list, the Moirai.

Their name means "Parts." "Shares" or "Alottted Portions." The individuals were Klotho (Clotho), the "the Spinner," who spun the thread of life, Lakhesis (Lachesis), "the Apportioner of Lots", who measured it, and Atropos (or Aisa), "She who cannot be turned," who cut it short. Zeus Moiragetes, the god of fate, was their leader.

3 Moirai, whose names were Klotho, Lakhesis, and Atropos.

Parcae/Fatae no doubt where we get the word FATE from

The names of the three Parcae were:

  • Nona (Greek equivalent Clotho), who spun the thread of life from her distaff onto her spindle;
  • Decima (Greek Lachesis), who measured the thread of life with her rod;
  • Morta (Greek Atropos), who cut the thread of life and chose the manner of a person's death.

Literally the same as the greek Moirai.

The Sudice, a lesser known trio

Also known as: Sudicky, Suđaje; Rodzanice, Narecznice, Sudiczki (Polish Mythology)

As Slavic mythology tells, the Sudice are spirits of fate and judgement. A common story tells of three elder women spinners who approach babies' cradles and read their fates. One woman has an enlarged bottom lip from continuously salivating thread, the second woman has an inch-wide thumb for holding the thread's knots, and the third has a massive foot for pedaling the spinning wheels.

Note that there are little to no sources on Slavic mythology, so I could be incorrect.

The Norns as you list

A beautiful hall stands there under the ash tree by the well, and out of that hall come three maidens, those who are thus named: Urd, Verdandi, Skuld. These maidens shape lives for people; we call them norns.

They are Urd, Verdandi, and Skul, as stated in bold.

Gee, bleh, how do you know which one is the oldest?

Greek: c. 900–800 BC onward. Roman:AD 98–117 Slavic lands in 862 Norse: primarily in the 13th century.

  • For those not familiar with the academic field, what @bleh is referring to regarding the date ranges is the time period the stories were put into written form.
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 0:25

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