THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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ATROPOS, in Greek mythology, the eldest of the three Fates (see Fate). Her name, the “Unalterable” (ἀ- privative, and τρέπειν, to turn), indicates her function, that of rendering the decisions of her sisters irreversible or immutable. Atropos is most frequently represented with scales, a sun-dial or a cutting instrument, the “abhorred shears,” with which she slits the thin-spun thread of life that has been placed on the spindle by Clotho and drawn off by Lachesis.
Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. Sections in Greek will yield a transliteration when the pointer is moved over them, and words using diacritic characters in the Latin Extended Additional block, which may not display in some fonts or browsers, will display an unaccented version.

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