Toynbee "Cloto"
Clotho (greek, to spin), the spinning Fate, the youngest of the three Parcae, the daughters of Nox and Erebus, or of Jupiter and Themis; at the birth of every mortal she was supposed to hold the distaff on which Lachesis, the allotting Fate, placed a certain amount of wool, the duration of the individual's life being determined by the length of time it took to spin before Atropos cut off the thread with her scissors. The functions of the three powerful sisters are aptly expressed in the ancient verse: 'Clotho colum retinet, Lachesis net, et Atropos occat.' (Cf. {Ovid. Fasti vi. 757}, {Juvenal. Sat. ix. 135}, and {Statius. Theb. iii. 556}.) [Atropos.]

Clotho and Lachesis are mentioned by Virgil, who explains to Statius (in Purgatory) that D.'s life has not yet run its course, [Purg. xxi. 25-27]. [Lachesis.]

©Oxford University Press 1968. From A Dictionary of Proper Names and Notable Matters in the Works of Dante by Paget Toynbee (1968) by permission of Oxford University Press