In the Homeric poems, Themis is the personification of the order of things established by law, custom, and equity, whence she is described as reigning in the assemblies of men,3 and as convening, by the command of Zeus, the assembly of the gods.4 She dwells in Olympus, and is on friendly terms with Hera.5 This character of Themis was recognized in the fact that at Thebes she had a sanctuary in common with the Moirae and Zeus Agoraeus,6 and at Olympia in common with the Horae.7 Besides this she is also described as an ancient prophetic divinity, and is said to have been in possession of the Delphic oracle as the successor of Gaea, and previous to Apollo.8
The worship of Themis was established at Thebes, Olympia, Athens,9 at Tanagra,10 and at Troezene, where an altar was dedicated to the Themides.11 Nymphs believed to be daughters of Zeus and Themis lived in a cave on the river Eridanus,12 and the Hesperides also are called daughters of Zeus and Themis.13
Themis is often represented on coins resembling the figure of Athena with a cornucopia and a pair of scales.14 She is also frequently appears in Renaissance and baroque art.
- Tzetzes on Lycophron, 129.
- Hesiod. Theogony, 135, 901 ff.; Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 3.1.
- Odyssey ii, 68 ff.
- Iliad xx, 4.
- ibid. xv, 87 ff.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece ix, 25.4.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece v, 14.8, 17.1; comp. Diodorus Siculus. Historical Library v, 67.).
- Ovid. Metamorphoses i, 321, iv, 642; Apollonius Rhodius. Argonautica iv, 800; Servius on Virgil's Aeneid iv, 246; Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 4.1; Pausanias. Description of Greece x, 5.3; Aeschylus. Eumenides init.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece i, 22.1.
- ibid. ix, 22.1.
- ibid. ii, 31.8.
- Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library ii, 5.11; Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, iv, 1396; Hesychius, s.v. Themistiades.
- Scholiast on Euripides' Hippolytus, 737.
- Gellius, xiv, 4; Hirt, A. (1805). Bilderbuch für Mythologie p. 112; Müller. Ancient Art and its Remainst, p. 406.
- 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.