In ancient Greece, the oldest depiction of justice was the goddess Astraea. Astraea was a Titanide, a descendant of the Titans, a powerful race of gods that ruled the Earth in the so called Golden Age.
But Astraea, horrified by the evil and cruel human condition abandoned the Earth. It is said that she was the last immortal that lived amongst the humans.
Zeus granted her to go back to the Olympus and Astraea became the assistant of her father, being the carrier of his lightnings.
She was a loyal assistant, so Zeus gave her permission to keep her virginity, being the only virgin amongst all the Titanides. And as a reward, he placed her amongst the stars to become part of the constellation of Virgo (that means "the virgin"). The scales she was carrying in her hands became the constellation of Libra.
So Themis had to represent Justice in the Earth, appearing in the Iliad of Homer, and being depicted as a sweet goddess that gives wise advice to humans although other times she dictates the orders of her husband Zeus.
Photo by mira66
If humans didn't accept the punishments of Themis, Nemesis was sent, a vindictive goddess that gave punishments full of rage and fury.
The judicial sentences had the name of "Themistas" in honor of goddess Themis.
In Roman mythology, the goddess of Justice is depicted with a helmet, a scales, and a cornucopia (the Horn Of Abundance), and is in company of a lion that represents the strength and fear of facing Justice. She was called "Fas", that meant "what is just".
But since year 452, with pope Leo the Great, this depiction changed progressively. The lion was replaced by a sword, with the purpose to exert authority with firmness, and the scales was sometimes replaced by a papyrus or a book that represented the written law.
It was some centuries later and during the French Revolution when Justice started to appear blindfolded, wanting to depict a more objective and impartial justice.
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