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In Greek mythology, Ananke, Anangke, or Anagke (Ancient Greek: Ἀνάγκη, from the common noun ἀνάγκη, "force, constraint, necessity"), was the personification of destiny, necessity and fate, depicted as holding a spindle. She marks the beginning of the cosmos, along with Chronos. She was seen as the most powerful dictator of all fate and circumstance which meant that mortals, as well as the Gods, respected her and paid homage. She was also the mother of the Moirae, the three fates who were fathered by Zeus.

According to the ancient Greek traveller Pausanias, there was a temple in ancient Corinth where the goddesses Ananke and Bia (meaning violence or violent haste) were worshipped together in the same shrine.

She was worshipped until the creation of the Orphic mystery religion. Through the long process of the Orphic mysteries cult, it transpires that Ananke, symbolizing destiny and the inevitable, fell gradually into oblivion, until finally, she was replaced by the god Eros (the god of love), the force opposing fate and death.

In Roman mythology, she was called Necessitas ("necessity").

Ananke in literature

The word "Ananke" is found in Victor Hugo's novel Notre-Dame de Paris, written upon a wall of Notre Dame cathedral by the hand of Dom Claude Frollo. In his Toute La Lyre, Hugo also mentions Ananke as a symbol of love.

"Ananke" is the title of a science fiction short story by Stanislav Lem, in the series of the Tales of Pirx the Pilot. Ananke is the key to the solution of a disastrous spaceship accident. Ananke is used in the meaning of force and obsession.

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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Ananke (mythology). The list of authors can be seen in the page history.