Themis (Temida) is the ancient Greek goddess of justice, law and order. She was the daughter of the heaven god Uranus and the goddess of the land of Gaia, the first wife of Zeus.
Ancient Greek myths claim that Zeus administered justice in the presence of Themis. She was his adviser and looked after that neither people nor gods violated the laws. Themis was called the savior and patroness of the dispossessed. It was believed that she alone brings the spirit of goodness and justice to the masses. Themis never contradicts Zeus and announces his decisions. Themis always stands on the right hand of Zeus.
Themis became the universally recognized symbol of justice. The goddess was depicted on emblems, and her statues were adorned with houses in which courts and other judicial bodies were located.
Themis as an ancient Greek goddess also had a “sister” – the ancient Roman goddess Justice, a cult of which existed in Rome from the time of the emperor Tiberius. Both goddesses were dressed in robes – ritual clothing for the performance of a certain ceremony, in this case – justice. The mantle concealed civilian clothing, which was suitable only for worldly affairs.
In the left hand, the goddess of justice holds a scales – an ancient symbol of justice. It is on the scales of justice that good and evil, wine and innocence compete. In the right hand of the goddess they hold a sword – a symbol of payment.
The goddess is depicted in different ways: with a sword raised upwards, and a sword lowered down.
The blade with the blade up means “the will of the heavens”, the higher justice, the constant readiness to apply it. Sword blade down – a symbol of eternal struggle. But in both cases, the sword is sharp on both sides, which symbolizes punishment and re-education.
The fact that the scales are closer to the heart, says that when making a decision, the goddess is guided by inner conviction. And the fact that the goddess holds the sword in her right hand means that justice is always on the side of the “legal matter”.
The ancient Roman Justice had a bandage in its eyes as a symbol of impartiality. Ancient Greek Themis did not have a bandage before her eyes: she opened her eyes to see that they did not offend the innocent. The Romans “tied” the eyes to the goddess – in their opinion, the blindfold underlined the fact that the court does not pay attention to material and social differences between the parties, but takes into account only the facts, having listened to both sides.
Justice does not see the difference between people, it recognizes only the truth.