The Lady Justice series explores the iconography depicted in modern representations of the Goddess Justice. Portrayed through sculptures, reliefs and paintings in courthouses, Lady Justice is a personification of the moral force of judicial systems.
Lady Justice has evolved from various goddesses of antiquity and is known by many names.
The earliest surviving examples of Lady Justice come from the Ancient Egyptian Goddess Maat, described in the Pyramid Texts of Unas (ca. 2375 BCE and 2345 BCE) as balancing scales.
The Greek deities Themis and Dike were goddesses of justice. Themis was the embodiment of divine rightness of law, while her daughter Dike, was portrayed balancing scales.
Ancient Rome adopted Lady Justice as their Goddess Iustitia. She was depicted carrying scales and a sword, and wearing a blindfold. The addition of the blindfold and sword blends the Roman Goddess Fortuna (fate) with the Greek deity Tyche (luck) and sword wielding Nemesis (vengeance).
Lady Justice holds the Scales of Justice in her right hand, measuring the strength of a case. In her left hand Justice holds a double-edged sword, wielding reason and justice. In the portrayal of Lady Justice, the blindfold symbolises objectivity.
The phrase Justice is Blind originating from the Ancient Egyptian practice of darkening courtrooms during trials to administer justice by avoiding prejudice.