"Justice." The personification of justice, was, according to Hesiod,1 a daughter of Zeus and Themis, and the sister of Eunomia and Eirene. She was considered as one of the Horae; she watched the deeds of man, and approached the throne of Zeus with lamentations whenever a judge violated justice.2 She was the enemy of all falsehood, and the protectress of a wise administration of justice;3 and Hesychia, that is, tranquility of mind, was her daughter.4 She is frequently called the attendant or councilor (πάρεδρος or ξύννεδρος) of Zeus.5
In the tragedians, Dike appears as a divinity who severely punishes all wrong, watches over the maintenance of justice, and pierces the hearts of the unjust with the sword made for her by Aesa.6 In this capacity she is closely connected with the Erinyes,7 though her business is not only to punish injustice, but also to reward virtue.8 The idea of Dike as justice personified is most perfectly developed in the dramas of Sophocles and Euripides.
The Greek playwright Aeschylus shows the prosperous sinner coming to grief on the rock of Dike.
Dike was represented on the chest of Cypselus as a handsome goddess, dragging Adicia (Injustice) with one hand, while in the other she held a staff with which she beat her.9
- Theogony, 901.
- Hesiod. Works and Days239 ff.
- Orphic Hymn 42; 61.
- Pindar. Pythian Odes viii, 1; comp. Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 3.1; Hyginus. Fabulae, 183; Diodorus Siculus, v, 72.
- Sophocles. Oedipus Colonus, 1377; Plutarch. Alexander, 52; Arrian. Anabasis Alexandri, iv, 9; Orphic Hymn 61, 2.
- Aeschylus. Libation Bearers, 639 ff.
- Aeschylus. Eumenides, 510.
- Aeschylus. Agamemnon, 773.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece v, 18; comp. Euripides. Hippolytus, 1172.
- Aken, Dr. A.R.A. van. (1961). Elseviers Mythologische Encyclopedie. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
- Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.
This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.