Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Atropos
ATROPOS (a priv., and [Greek], to turn), the eldest of the three Moirai, Parcas, or Fates. Her name, The Unalter able, indicates the part generally played by her, viz., that of rendering the decisions of her sisters irreversible or immut able. This is the function ascribed to her by Plato (JKep., x. 620), who also assigns to her supremacy over future events (617). Ancient authorities, however, are not unanimous in their distribution of the parts of the three sisters. 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. See PARCÆ.