Even though every Western cultures represent righteousness in the same means — a female figure holding scales and a sword, occasionally wearing a blindfold — just the sword and also blindfold come from western sources. The scale of justice originated in a much more ancient civilization, and also today’s common representation the justice just came together slowly over centuries.

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A common representation of justice

The most recent enhancement is the blindfold. The did not attribute in the early Roman depiction of justice dubbed Iustitia, but appeared later to representimpartiality, together justice is claimed to it is in the exact same for everyone, nevertheless of appearance, gender, wide range or any other characteristic. The blindfold, however, is the one feature that is not always present, also in more recent representations.


F. W. Pomeroy, Lady Justice, 1880s, Old Bailey, London

Unlike the blindfold, the sword was a key attribute of roman inn Iustitia, which reduced through conflicts and punished the guilty. Ironically, the knife of righteousness was and also still is a double-edged sword in every representation.

The ancient Greek goddess of magnificent justice and also order, dubbed Themis, to be not plainly said to bring a sword, nor was her daughter Dikē, goddess of person justice, but modern-day statues the these 2 goddesses often incorporate one, possibly by association with Iustitia.

As for the pair of scales, it to represent the weighing that evidence, first recorded no in ancient Greece yet in the old Egyptian legend of the Weighing the the Heart.


Papyrus that Hunefer, detail, c.1285 BC, british Museum, London

In old Egyptian culture, Maat to be the goddess the truth, justice and order. As soon as someone died, it was believed that their heart to be weighed through the god Anubis versus the feather the Maat always wore in her hair, one ostrich feather representing truth and justice.


Statue of Maat, 6th-3rd century BC, Louvre Museum, Paris

If the person had actually committed a crime, your heart would certainly be heavier 보다 the feather and Ammit, the demon with the head of a crocodile, would certainly eat the heart, dooming the person’s spirit to stay forever in the underworld and also never find rest.

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Papyrus that Ani, detail from bowl 3, c.1200 BC, brother Museum, London

It is no clear come what extent Maat and also the Weighing the the Heart influenced Greek and Roman representations of justice, but the very first version of the scales is definitely Egyptian.