What Themis Looks Like

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What Themis Looks Like
What Themis Looks Like

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Themis is the goddess of justice in ancient Greece. Themis personifies incorruptibility and all kinds of impartiality. In the modern world, her image is depicted on everything that is somehow connected with the judiciary.

Themis is the ancient Greek goddess of justice
Themis is the ancient Greek goddess of justice

Who is Themis and what does she look like?

Themis is considered a titanide, the organizer and guardian of the moral foundations on which a civilized society is based. Even the ancient Greeks understood this! In addition, Themis is the guardian of the entire system of life of the ancient Greeks. She is the daughter of Gaia and Uranus, as well as the second lawful wife of Zeus after the goddess Metis.

Since Themis is the goddess of justice, her image was presented by the ancient Greeks quite interestingly: the goddess is blindfolded, in one hand she holds a sword, and in the other - scales. Sword and scales are her most important attributes. They are used by modern law enforcement and judicial authorities on their own emblems.

The balance in the hand of Themis can be explained very simply: it is the personification of equality before the court. On one bowl lies the evil that a person managed to do before the moment of justice, and on the other - the good that he has ever done. If everything is clear with the scales, then there are several versions about the bandage on her eyes, but they all agree on a single essence - incorruptibility and impartiality. It is worth dwelling on this in more detail.

Why is Themis blindfolded?

Scientists explain this by the fact that the ancient Greeks "blindfolded" Themis in order to show all her impartiality and incorruptibility: the blindfold suggests that she is not interested in any external reasons. In principle, this is a fairly logical explanation: for Themis, all people are equal, she does not single out a specific person. It is worth noting that this interpretation of the impartiality of Themis was widespread in subsequent cultures and in the modern world.

There is another version why the goddess Themis is portrayed blindfolded. The fact is that with all its appearance, it is designed to personify incorruptibility, i.e. she does not see the riches that people who are dishonest can offer her. Themis does not care who and how is trying to bribe her. She is incorruptible and impartial! Such an interesting explanation for her blindfold was given by the Greeks themselves.

What do the goddesses Themis and Justice have in common?

Some experts are sure that the confusion of the images of the ancient Greek goddess Themis and the Roman goddess Justice has long confused society. According to them, it would be more correct to call a woman in a mantle with a sword, scales and a blindfold as Justicia, and not Themis, since the latter had not yet been blindfolded at the time Justice appeared. However, traditional ideas say that Justice is still an improved copy of Themis, and not vice versa.

The image of Themis in modern justice

Themis is a universally recognized symbol of justice and incorruptibility. She is depicted on everything related to justice: on court buildings, on emblems, on documents, etc. The name of the ancient Greek goddess became a household name and even grew into a metonymy: Russian courts are now called "Russian Themis".

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