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In Greek mythology, Lachesis (also Lakhesis, Greek: Λάχεσις, English: "disposer of lots", Etymology: λαγχάνω - to obtain by lot, by fate, or by the will of the gods) was the second of the Three Fates, or Moirae. Her Roman equivalent was Decima.

Lachesis was the apportioner, deciding how much time for life was to be allowed for each person or being [1] . She measured the thread of life with her rod. She is also said to choose a person's destiny after a thread was measured. In mythology, it is said that she appears with her sisters within three days of a baby's birth to decide its fate.

Contents

Origin

According to Hesiod's Theogony, she and her sisters (Atropos and Clotho) are the daughters of Nyx (Night). In other accounts, they are said to be the daughters of Zeus and Themis as well as several other beings such as Chaos and Ananke. Lachesis is also mentioned in the tenth book of the Republic of Plato as the daughter of Necessity. She instructs the souls who are about to choose their next life, assign them lots, and presents them all of the kinds, human and animal, from which they may choose their next life.

Appearance

In paintings and stories, Lachesis is often portrayed as a matronly woman; however, also often depicted (along with her sisters) beautiful and powerful.

In popular culture

Lachesis, along with Clotho and Atropos, is one of the personifications of Fate in Piers Anthony's fantasy novel "With a Tangled Skein", part of his "Incarnations of Immortality" series.

The 3 fates also appear in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Percy sees three old ladies in a fruit stand, knitting a very large sock. Then one snips the yarn and Percy's destiny is decided.

References

  1. ^ Hamilton, Edith (1942). Mythology, p. 49. Little, Brown and Company, Boston. ISBN 978-0316341141
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