from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The three Fates , painting by Sodoma around 1525

The Parzen (Latin Parcae ) are the three goddesses of fate in Roman mythology , corresponding to the three moirs of Greek mythology . You can act together or individually; together they influence the thread of life .

The Parzen are called Nona (ninth), Decima (tenth) and Parca (midwife), instead of Parca the name Morta was also used in Roman literature . Their names indicate their original meaning as the goddesses of birth, with Nona and Decima referring to the months of a normal pregnancy. In the course of the Interpretatio Romana , they were adapted to the Greek Moiren and thus reinterpreted as goddesses of fate. Nona spins the thread of life, Decima decides on the fate of life, Morta cuts the thread of life.


Taken plate with image of the Three Parzen

In mythology there is the fata scribunda , i.e. fate, which is thought of in writing in the form of the Parzen. This letter can go so far that the Parzes become, as it were, Jupiter's secretaries . They also keep an archive in which Jupiter's will is recorded on ore tablets. Just like the Greek gods, the Roman gods were also subject to the fate personified by the Parzen .


In the literature

The Parzen motif has remained alive since ancient poetry. They are mentioned in almost all early, high and late medieval mythographies ( Fulgentius , Isidore of Seville , Hrabanus Maurus , Mythographus Vaticanus Primus , Mythographus Vaticanus Secundus , Mythographus Vaticanus Tertius ). But chapters are also dedicated to them in moral and educational works such as the Epistre L'Othéa by Christine de Pizan . There they become synonyms for death.

For the visual arts, the recasting of the Trionfi by Francesco Petrarch by the French poet Jean Robertet is important. Robertet introduces the Fates to the triumph of death , which Petrarch does not mention. It is through this detour that the Parzen found their way into the iconography of the Trionfi . Numerous tapestry series show the goddesses of fate as personifications of death.

In the poetry of the Classical and Early Romantic periods, the motif in German poetry is again being given increasing attention ( Friedrich Schiller : An die Parzen , Johann Wolfgang Goethe : Faust II , Friedrich Hölderlin : An die Parzen , Heinrich Heine : There are three women sitting at the crossroads ), in the literature of the 20th century, for example, from Albert Vigoleis Thelen : Holmgang , Hans Magnus Enzensberger : lachesis lapponica . In the drama The Alcestiad of Thornton Wilder they appear as The Drunken Sisters in the final part and bring along with Apollo the previous tragedy action in motion.

The Parzen can also be found in modern entertainment literature. Stephen King processed the motif in his book Insomnia - Schlaflos .

In music

In painting and sculpture


Individual evidence

  1. Author: Lukian von Samosata , title: Lucians von Samosata all works: Zweyter Theil, Volume 2 Editor: Weidmanns Erben und Reich, year of publication: 1788, page 449 ( online )
  2. Author: John Lemprière Title: A Classical Dictionary: Containing a Copious Account of All the Proper Names Mentioned in Ancient Authors; with the Value of Coins, Weights and Measures, Used Among the Greeks and Romans; and a Chronological Table Publisher: Collin & Company Year of publication: 1827 Page 580 (English)