Themis – Titan Goddess of Law and Justice
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In our modern time, we look at the Greek myths and legends as only stories. However, to the Ancient Greeks, these were more than just tales that were told for entertainment. This was the religion that the people back then observed, and the stories were told to explain the world in which they lived. One thing that the Ancient Greeks understood is that you couldn’t function as a society without having a sense of law and order. The Titan goddess Themis was created to help explain how law and order was maintained in society. Themis was the personification of law, order, and justice. Here’s more information about who Themis was and what she represented:
Life of Themis
Not much is known about where Themis originally came from, but we do know from Hesiod that she was one of the six children who originated from Gaia and Uranus. Thus, she is considered to be one of the original six titans. However, she appears to be best known for being one of the brides of Zeus. Together, Zeus and Themis had six children – three Horai, or hours and three Morai, or fates. The three Horai children represented life and the three Morai children represented death. Each of her children had different functions and were important in their own ways.
What Themis Looks Like
Themis is usually depicted as a young woman with her hair either cut short or worn up off her face. She is shown wearing a long, flowing dress and is often depicted holding both a scepter or a sword and a scale. In some statues depicting her, she is wearing a pointed crown and her hair is barely visible. In some modern depictions, she is often shown wearing something across her eyes, similar to a blindfold.
What Themis Represented
Themis is considered to be the goddess of law, natural law, order, and justice. In Ancient Greek, the word themis literally means divine law and indicates that the law that this goddess personifies originates from the gods and goddesses themselves. There are two basic types of law, one that humans organize and the type of natural law that originates with the gods. However, she also had another role as a community organizer. She also had the ability to foretell the future so at one point, she was one of the Oracles of Delphi. Note that the goddess Nemesis also craved order and justice. However, unlike Themis, Nemesis was vengeful. Themis was known to be pleasant and lovely and was the total opposite of her counterpart.
It is interesting to note that the Ancient Greeks often personified abstract ideas by turning it into a deity. In this case, Themis did more than just represent law, order, and justice. She was law, order, and justice. She was also the mother of six children and all of her children had an important place in Greek mythology. She also had other roles in Greek mythology such as being one of the Oracles of Delphi.
Categorized in: Greek Mythology
This post was written by GreekBoston.com