The goddess of justice named Themis

A graceful strict woman in a mantle and blindfolded, with weights in one hand and a sword in the other, is a well-known symbol of justice. Who is she and what does such an extravagant look mean?


justice symbol

According to legend, Themis was born from the union of the god of heaven, Uranus, and the goddess of the earth, Gaia. In other words, she was a Titanide, that is, a second-generation deity, which were the children of Gaia and Uranus. Among his six sisters and six brothers, Themis holds a special place. Reaching maturity, smart Themis became the second wife of Zeus and predicted to him that he would be overthrown by her own son, born of the nymph Thetis. Cautious Zeus heeded the prediction and refrained from marriage with the seawoman.

The goddess Themis is also known for taking an active part in unleashing the Trojan War. To her husband, she was always in all support and support. Zeus Themis gave birth to three wonderful daughters - justice, goodness and peace (Dick, Evnomiya and Eyrenu).

The practice of divination and divine rites spread too thanks to Themis. This goddess was not only able to predict, she legitimized this ability.Themis led the thirteen-month cycle, divided into the season of summer and winter solstice. According to some mythological sources, she gave birth to Zeus and the goddesses of the seasons and fate.

justice goddess Themis

Why does she patronize the rule of law

Ancient Greek authors lift the veil over the mysteries of life, which led the goddess of justice Themis. Aeschylus, for example, tells us that she was the mother of the brave Prometheus, who gave people fire. Homer wrote that she, as the first and significant adviser to the great Zeus, convened the gods for counsel and revealed to them the will of the Olympic ruler. She is always ready to tell the will of the supreme deity and people, teaches them the correct standards and principles. It is not surprising that Themis was responsible for the foundations of the rule of law and became the one we call today the “goddess of justice”. You can often hear that the court building is called the “Temple of Themis”, and the judicial officials are called “The priests of Themis”. The Latin word “justice” refers to both the judiciary itself and the system of bodies involved in this activity.

Her unusual appearance

Why does the goddess of justice appear before us with a blindfold? This detail is the best demonstrates the impartiality with which, according to the ancients, it is necessary to make court decisions.The judge should not look at people, he should listen only to the facts. Not seeing the difference between the judges, he just blindly makes the right decisions. We will not argue with the fact that such an understanding is very preferable today.

Blind to truth or lie?

goddess of justice

The fact that the eyes of the patroness of the right court are tied up is often perceived with irony. It turns out that this detail can emphasize not only the objectivity and impartiality of the judicial tribe, but, on the contrary, can be perceived as bias and subjectivism, possessing people who are called to administer a righteous court and not be attracted to promises. In the event that the court made an unjust decision in favor of someone or out of fear, then, looking at the goddess's eyes hidden under a handkerchief, they say with a bitter smile that the goddess of justice is, alas, blind.

Scales, sword, mantle

The scales held by Themis, the goddess of justice in her left hand, mean that wine and righteousness are accurately weighed, justice prevails. The sword, on which the royal Themis lays his right hand, used to be a cornucopia, a symbol of retribution for the good done during his lifetime. Such it was with the Greeks.The blindfolds of her, by the way, were not yet there. Roman mythology, borrowing the image and attributes of the goddess, called her name Justice, covered the eyes of the beauty with a bandage, and instead of a cornucopia put a punishing sword into her hand: let the criminals and evil servants tremble! The fact that the goddess holds a sword in her right hand symbolizes the correctness of the decisions. The fact that the sword is sharpened on both sides indicates that the law not only punishes, but also warns against rash acts. The mantle is an ancient ritual attire, which is credited with the symbolism of a spiritual transition to a state corresponding to the ceremony of performing an action, in this case justice.

Who protects the Russian Themis?

When the building of the Supreme Court of Russia was reconstructed, a large sculpture of Themis was installed above the entrance, before whose eyes for some reason there was no bandage. In her right hand, contrary to tradition, the goddess of justice does not hold a horn or sword, but a shield. The public was discouraged.Themis GoddessThe authors of the reconstruction project explained that they decided not to adhere to the ancient Greek canons, because "our Themis sees everything and knows everything."And since there is no sword in her hands, she “doesn’t cut or beat anyone.” Such is the interpretation of a universally valid symbol. And here, involuntarily, I remember the old Russian story about Judge Shemyaka, who made his decisions, looking at the defendant’s sinew wrapped in a rag and taking this stone for a bribe or threat.

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