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Tekmor is a mythical primeval Ancient Greek goddess, related with the limit and end of life. In the cosmogony of Alcman (7th century BCE), she appears together with Poros (path) immediately after the creation. Tekmor may be related with the Homeric Moira and with Ananke, (necessity) the primeval goddess of inevitability in Orphic cosmogony. She is absent in later Greek cosmogonies and in Greek literature. It seems that she represented a universal principle of natural order. The Greek writers named this power Moira (Fate), or Ananke (necessity), and even the gods could not alter what was ordained.[1]


The Ancient Greek word tekmar (or tekmor: τέκμωρ, only in Homer) means fixed mark or boundary, goal, end or purpose. (τέκμαρ αἰῶνος, tekmar aionos: end, object, purpose of the century, ἵκετο τέκμωρ: hiketo tekmor: he reached the goal).[2] It also means sure sign, or token of some high and solemn kind,[3] sign in heavens, or of the moon.[4] In modern Greek the word is the root of the word tekmirion (τεκμήριον: proof, evidence, or conclusion from existing evidence.)

The word is related with the English word token meaning sign, evidence, which is derived from the Proto=Indo-European base *deik- to show. Old English tacen (sign, symbol, evidence), Old Norse teikn (zodiac sign, omen, token), Gothic taikn, (sign, token).[5] The relative Sanskrit word Iaksmlka meaning mark, sign or token, is the root of the name of the goddess Laksmi.[6]


In the cosmogony of Alcman (7th century BCE), first came Thetis (Disposer, Creation), and then simultaneously Poros (Path, Contriver) and Tekmor.

Tekmor came into being after Poros . . . thereupon . . . called him Poros (Contriver) since the beginning provided all things; for when the matter began to be set in order, a certain Poros came into being as a beginning. So Alcman represents the matter of all things as confused and unformed. Then he says that one came into being who set all things in order, then that Poros came into being, and that when Poros had passed by Tekmor followed.And Poros is as a beginning, Tekmor like an end. When Thetis (Creation) had come into being, a beginning and end of all things came into being simultaneously, and all things have their nature resembling the matter of bronze, while Thetis has hers resembling that of a craftsman, Poros and Tekmor resembling a beginning and the end.[7]

Later in the Orphic cosmogony, first came Thesis (Disposer), whose inefflable nature is unexpressed. Ananke (necessity) is the primeval goddess of inevitability who is entwined with the time-god Chronos, at the very beginning of time. They represented the cosmic forces of Fate and Time, and they were called sometimes to control the fates of the gods. The three Moirai are daughters of Ananke.[8]


In the Homeric poems the word usually means "end" (eureto tekmor, εὔρετο τέκμωρ: he found an end, i.e. devised a remedy),[9] or termination (oude ti tekmor euremenai dynasai, οὐδέ τι τέκμωρ εὑρέμεναι δύνασαι: you cannot find a termination).[10][2] It also means sure sign, or token of some high and solemn kind, as Zeus says that his nod is the highest, surest pledge he can give.[3]

The words moira, aisa, (destiny) mean portion, part. Originally they did not indicate a power which leaded destiny, and must be considered to include the "ascertainment" or "proof".[11] In |Mycenean religion Aisa or Moira was originally an abstract power related with the limit and end of life.[12]

See also


  1. Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound , 510–518 : "Not in this way is Moira (Fate) who brings all to fulfillment, destined to complete this course. Skill is weaker far than Ananke (necessity). Yes in that even he (Zeus) cannot escape what is foretold" . Theoi Project - Ananke
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lidell, Scott: A Greek English Lexicon τέκμαρ.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Iliad 1.526 ,Lidell, Scott: A Greek English Lexicon τέκμαρ
  4. Pindar, Nemean: Lidell, Scott: A Greek English Lexicon τέκμαρ.
  5. Douglas Harper : Online Etymology Dictionary token.
  6. Iaksmi, bad sign or misfortune, Laksmi related to Iaksmlka, mark, sign or token (Rigveda X, 71,2) : Monier Williams. Sanskrit-English Dictionary
  7. Alcman , frag 5, (from Scholia), Transl Cambell, Vol Greek Lyric II  : Theoi Project - Ananke.
  8. Orphica. Theogonies frag 54 (from Damascius). Greek hymns 3rd to 2nd centuries BC Theoi Project - Ananke.
  9. Iliad 13.20 Lidell, Scott: A Greek English Lexicon τέκμαρ.
  10. Odyssey 4.373f. Lidell, Scott: A Greek English Lexicon τέκμαρ
  11. Martin P. Nilsson (1967). Die Geschichte der Griechischen Religion, Vol I . C.F.Beck Verlag. Munchen. p.361-368
  12. "Not yet is thy fate (moira) to die and meet thy doom" (Iliad 7.52), "But thereafter he (Achilleus) shall suffer whatever Fate (Aisa) spun for him at his birth, when his mother bore him": (Iliad] 20.128 ): Martin P. Nilsson. (1967). Die Geschichte der Griechissche Religion’’ Vol I, C.F.Beck Verlag., Műnchen pp. 363-364
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Tekmor (mythology). The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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