Iustitia

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Justice (“Iustitia”) was a deity in Roman mythology personifying Justice.

She serves as an analogy for the moral authority in judicial systems. She occasionally wears a blindfold and carries a sword and scales. She shows up with Prudentia frequently.

The ancient Egyptian goddesses Maat and Isis are credited with creating the image of justice balancing the scales. Themis and Dike, two Greek gods, later became goddesses of justice. In her role as the personification of the divine rightness of law, Themis was the embodiment of divine order, law, and tradition.

Lady Justice takes her name from the Roman goddess of justice known as Iustitia or Justitia, who is comparable to the Greek goddess Dike. Emperor Augustus created Justitia, making her a relatively young divinity in the Roman pantheon. Emperor Augustus included justice as one of the virtues to be commemorated in his clipeus virtutis, while Emperor Tiberius built a temple to Iustitia in Rome. Every emperor sought to associate their rule with the virtue of justice, and Iustitia came to represent this ideal. Vespasian issued coins depicting the goddess seated on the Iustitia Augusta throne, and many emperors after him also used the goddess’ image to declare themselves to be defenders of justice.

Featured image: Lady Justice seated at the entrance of The Palace of Justice, Rome, Italy

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