Clotho: Wikis


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Clotho was one of the Three Fates, or Moirae, in ancient Greek mythology. Her Roman equivalent was Nona. Clotho was responsible for spinning the thread of human life she also made major decisions such as when you were born and all things related to that. This made her responsible for birth, which in effect controlled men's lives. This control she had over men's lives didn't only enable her to choose who was born, but she also decided when certain gods or mortals were to be saved or put to death. An example being the story of Pelops after Hermes boiled him in a cauldron. Then Hermes was able to save his life although the circumstances were not looking in his favor.

As one of the three fates her contribution to mythology was immense. Clotho, along with her sisters and Hermes were given credit for creating the alphabet for their people. Even though Clotho and her sister were real goddesses their representation of fate is what is more focused on in Greek mythology. Thread represented human life and her decisions represented the fate of the all men in society.



Clotho was the daughter of Zeus and Themis and sister to Lachesis and Atropos according to Greek mythology, although in Roman mythology it was believed that she was daughter of Urano and Ge.

The Ivory Shoulder

As one of the Three Fates, Clotho has participated in the assistance to Hermes in creating the alphabet, forcing the goddess Aphrodite into making love with other gods, killing the god Typhon with a poison fruit, persuading Zeus to kill Asclepius with a bolt of lightning, and aiding the gods in their war with the Giants by killing Agrius and Thoas with bronze clubs. Clotho also played a major role by using her life-giving powers in the myth of Tantalus, the god who had slain and prepared his son Pelops for a dinner party with other gods. When the other gods had found out what Tantalus had done, they put the remaining pieces of Pelops in a Cauldron, and Clotho brought him back to life, with the exemption of his eaten shoulder, which was replaced by a chunk of ivory. Tantalus was then thrust into Hades for what he had done to his own kin. Clotho was worshipped in many places in Greece as one of the Three Fates and is sometimes associated with the Keres and Erinyes, which are other deity groups in Greek mythology. Ariadne, the Greek goddess of fertility, is similar to Clotho in that she carries a ball of thread, much like Clotho’s spindle. The English word “cloth” comes from Clothos’ name, for reasons of significance to her duties as one of the Three Fates.

The Fooling of the Fates

Clotho, along with the other two Fates, is tricked by being intoxicated by Alcestis. Alcestis who had two children with Admetus, had her whole life turned upside down when Admetus became very sick and eventually died. By taking advantage of the intoxication of the fates, Alcestis begins her trick so that she could get her husband back. The three fates explained that if they were to find a replacement for Admetus then he could be released from the Underworld. A substitute was not found so Alcestis offered herself up to be the replacement in order to bring her husband back to life. She was a very devoted wife. As the agreement had been met, Alcestis quickly began to grow sick and sank into her grave as Admetus came back to life. There was no turning back now that the process had started. At the last instant, Hercules arrived at the home of Admetus in the midst of the predicament. When Death came to take Alcestis away, Hercules wrestled him and forced him to return Alcestis, allowing Admetus and Alecetis to be reunited. Greek and Roman mythology states that the fates are three goddesses who were the deciders when it came to human destinies in the case of a person’s lifetime or his assigned misery and suffering.

The Calydonian Boar Hunt

Although there does not seem to be an epic tale in Greek mythology that places the Fates on center stage, they have played critical roles in the lives of gods and mortals. An engaging tale in which the Fates played an integral part was that of Meleagros and the Brand, which WHD Rouse succinctly describes in Gods, Heroes and Men of Ancient Greece. Meleagros led a hunting party to slay the Calydonian Boar, which was set loose upon Calydon by Artemis, who was displeased at the Calydonian king for neglecting to make a proper sacrifice to her. After slaying the boar, Meleagros presented the skin to a female member of the party, Atalanta, whom he was smitten by. His uncles were also part of the adventurous group, and they were upset by the gift of Meleagros to Atalanta, as they believed a female should not have the skin of the boar. As a result of this disagreement, Meleagros slayed his uncles, the siblings of his mother Althaia. She was so enraged at her son for killing her brothers that she decided to take vengeance upon him, and so recalled a visit that the Fates had made a week after Meleagros was born. A Fate told Althaia that her son’s life would expire when the burning log in the fireplace ceased to flame, so she promptly extinguished the flames, preserved it and hid it safely. In her rage over the loss of her brothers, she lit the log to punish Meleagros. As the log was consumed in flame, Meleagros burned to death.

Popular culture

  • In Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger (the series that Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was based on), Clotho was depicted as a young girl dressed entirely in white robes. She was an entity with the power of life and was also the one that gave the Lapseless Room, Zyusouken (Beast Play Sword), and Dragon Caesar to Burai (The Dragon Ranger). It is rumored that after Burai's death, many kids wrote to TV Asahi (the TV station that Zyurangers was on) asking for the writers to have Clotho resurrect Burai.
  • In Stephen King's Insomnia, Clotho is depicted as a small male doctor alongside Lachesis and Atropos. He served the Purpose, along with Lachesis, while Atropos served the Random.
  • In the video game God of War II, Clotho acts as a boss. Here, she is seen as a massive, grotesque, maggot-like creature with a woman's torso and head, who uses her many arms to thread the silken threads of the loom. She is suspended in a tower-like structure inside the loom chamber, and is immobile.
  • In Raphael Sabatini's Captain Blood, Peter Blood captured three ships from the Spaniards and renamed them Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos. This was a "grimly jocular manner of conveying to the world that he made them the arbiters of the fate of any Spaniards he should henceforth encounter upon the seas."[1]
  • "Clotho", "Lachesis" and "Atropos" are also the names of the selectable background music in the Sega Mega Drive game Columns.
  • In Piers Anthony's book series, the Incarnations of Immortality, Clotho is the youngest aspect of Fate. She is consistently described as being quite young, shapely and attractive.
  • Tony and Emmy Award winner Amanda Plummer provided the voice for the muse Clotho in Walt Disney Pictures film Hercules (1997 film).
  • In Golden Sun: The Lost Age, a rare weapon called Clotho's Distaff can be found in Mars Lighthouse.
  • "Clotho", "Lachesis", and "Atropos" are also personas that the main character of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne.
  • "Clotho", "Lachesis", and "Atropos" are also personas that the main character of Persona 3 may summon. They are of fortune arcana and when all three are combined they create the persona known as Norn.


  1. ^ (Chapter XVIII)


  1. Bulfinch, Thomas. Bulfinch's Mythology. Ed. Richard Martin. New York: HarperCollins, 1991.
  2. Dixon-Kennedy, Mike. "Clotho". Encyclopedia of Greek-Roman Mythology. ABC-CLIO. 1998.
  3. Dixon-Kennedy, Mike. "Fates". Encyclopedia of Greek-Roman Mythology. ABC-CLIO. 1998.
  4. Evslin, Bernard. Heroes, Gods, and Monsters of the Greek Myths. New York: Laurel-Leaf Books, 1996.
  5. Grimal, Pierre. The Dictionary of Classical Mythology. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 1996.
  6. Harris, Stephen L. and Gloria Platzner. Classical Mythology Images and Insights. Ed. Emily Barrosse. 5th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008.
  7. McLeish, Kenneth. Myth: Myths and Legends of the World Explored. New York: Facts On File, 1996.
  8. Mercatante, Anthony S. "Meleager". The Facts on File Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend. New York: Facts On File, 1988.
  9. Rouse, W.H.D. Gods, Heroes and Men of Ancient Greece. New York: Penguin Putnam Inc., 1957.
  10. Schwab, Gustav. Gods and Heroes of Ancient Greece. New York: Pantheon Books, 1946.
  11. Turner, Patricia and Charles Russell Coulter. Dictionary of Ancient Deities. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
  12. Piers Anthony. With A Tangled Skein. New York: Ballantine Books/Del Rey, 1985.

External links



Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




From the Greek κλώθω (klotho), to spin.

Proper noun


Wikipedia has an article on:


  1. (Greek mythology) The youngest of the three Fates, or Moirae, daughter of Zeus and Themis; the spinner of the thread of life

See also


Simple English

Redirecting to Moirae


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