Dike (Greek: Δικη, meaning "Justice, Law of Custom") is the Greek goddess of justice and is numbered among the Horae. Sometimes she is generally said to be the daughter of Zeus and Themis, while in a few stories she is the offspring of Astraeus and Eos.
She dwelled on earth in the times of the Golden Race and the Silver Age, and mankind prospered. But at the start of the Race of Bronze she left the earth and went to heaven, angry at the greed of mankind. Upon heading to the heavens, she became affiliated with the constellation Libra (based off of her scales). In other stories she is affiliated with Virgo.
Myths & Legends
Although both Dike and Themis were considered personifications of justice, Dike better represented human/mortal justice, while Themis represented divine justice. She was known to beat her counterpart, Adikia (Daimon of Inustice or wrongdoing), with a club.
"The Horai, as they are called, to each of them, according as her name indicates, was given the ordering and adornment of life, so as to serve to the greatest advantage of mankind; for there is nothing which is better to build a life of felicity than obedience to law (eunomia) and justice (dike) and peace (eirene)."
- Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 72. 5 (trans. Oldfather)
She was considered to be a young woman holding a balance scale; her Roman counterpart was depicted in the same way but also blindfolded.
Role of the Horae
The Horae are often considered handmaidens to certain gods, usally affiliated with Helios/Apollo. There is a story of Dike nursing and raising Dardanos until he was old enough. Dardanos was the son of Zeus and Electra, and was the ancestor of the Trojans after he founded a city named after himself.
Dike and her sisters also enacted their namesake upon mankind, and were seen as protectors of civilization, especially of cities.
|12 Horae of the Hours||Auge • Anatole • Mousica • Gymnastica • Nymphe • Mesembria • Sponde • Elete • Acte • Hesperis • Dysis • Arctus|
|Horae of the Seasons||Eiar of Spring • Theros of Summer • Phthinophoron of Fall • Cheimon of Winter|
|Horae of the Harvest-times||Auxo • Carpho • Damia • Orthosia • Pherusa • Thallo|
|Personficiation Horae||Dike of Justice • Eirene of Peace • Eunomia of Good Order|