The History of Lady Justice

The History of Lady Justice

The concept of Lady Justice is very old, dating back to ancient Greek and Egyptian times.

  • Themis was Greek goddess of justice, law, order, and good counsel. Themis uses the scales of justice to always remain balanced and pragmatic. 
  • Ancient Egyptians had Ma’at of the Old Kingdom, who represented order and justice carried with her a sword and the Feather of Truth. 
  • However, the modern concept of Lady Justice is most similar to the Roman goddess Justitia. Justitia has become the ultimate symbol of justice in Western civilization. In Roman art, Justitia is often depicted with the sword and scales alongside her sister Prudentia who holds a mirror and a snake.
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  • The Sword symbolizes enforcement and respect and means that justice stands by its decision and ruling, and is able to take action. The unsheathed sword means that justice is transparent and is not an implement of fear. A double-edged blade signifies that justice can rule against either of the parties once the evidence has been perused.
  • The Blindfold: This first appeared on a Lady Justice statue in the 16th century; its original significance was that the judicial system was tolerating abuse or ignorance of aspects of the law. In modern times, the blindfold represents the impartiality and objectivity of the law.
  • The Weighing Scale: signifies that Lady Justice can decide is through a thorough weighing of the evidence and claims presented before her, with no speculation.
  • The Toga: is used to signify the mantle of responsibility and high-level philosophy that accompanies those who practice law and enforce justice.

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