Themis, goddess of divine law and order

themisThemis was a Titan goddess of divine law, order and costums. She was a daughter of Uranus and Gaea and was a messenger of the very first rules of conduct, established by the elder gods. Her place was at the Oracle of Delphi where she was one of the early prophets, second more precisely, according to Aeschylus. In a role of divine voice (themistes), she first instructed the primal laws of justice and morality to mankind. Some of these were precepts of piety, rules of hospitality, good governance, conduct of assembly and various offerings to gods. Themis was also known to be a counsellor of Zeus, advising the king of gods on the conduct of men. Alongside her daughter Dike(justice), she would have reported to Zeus, if the primal laws had been breached by anyone. She is also said to had, on Zeus` orders, gathered all the gods to the assembly on Olympus during Trojan war.

Prophecies of Themis

In her time, Themis proclaimed some of the most famous prophecies such as the fall of the Titans where she prophesied that the war will not be won by brute strength and violence but by respecting the counsels of craft and gaining the upper hand in war. This probably meant that Olympians gained the advantage when Zeus released the Cyclopes and Hekatoncheries from Tartarus. The Cyclopes built them the weapons while Hekatoncheries were at the scene itself, bombarding the titans with rocks. She also prophesied the death of Giants who would attempt to dethrone Zeus and the world after the flood where she, later, instructed Deucalion, a son of Prometheus, and Pyrrha, a daughter of Epimetheus, to repopulate the world with throwing "bones" of their "mother" behind their shoulders. According to some authors she also warned Zeus about marrying Tethis but some other authors are crediting Prometheus with this particular prophecy. According to Aeschylus` Prometheus Bound, Themis is credited to be the mother of Prometheus so their shared visions may not be so far-fetched.

Horae and Moirai

Themis was not only a counsellor of Zeus but was one of his earliest brides and together they gave birth to Hours and Fates who together represented the establishment of natural law and order. Despite being one of the favourites of Zeus, she was, according to Ovid`s Fasti, overlooked by Cronus and the titans and was relegated to the lowest place in pecking order.

Horae (seasons or hours)

- First Generation

Auxo or Auxesia - goddess of spring growth who increased growth and prosperity of fields.

Carpo or Karpo - goddess of the fruits of the earth. She represented Autumn and was worshiped alongside Auxo by ancient Greeks.

Thallo - goddess of spring buds and shots. She was representing summer and plant raising.

- Second Generation

Dike or Dice - goddess of fair judgements, based on rules, costums and moral order. She was the enemy of all falsehood and a protectress of wise administration of justice.

Eirene or Irene - goddess of peace and seasons of the spring. She is identified as Hora Thallo in Hesiod`s Theogony.

Eunomia - goddess of order and law. She was representing internal stability in society. The Greeks also identified her as a spring goddess of green pastures.

Moirai (fates)

Atropos or Aisa - goddess of inevitable. She was the oldest of three fates and determined the mechanism of death for all mortals.

Clotho - goddess of spinning the thread of lives. She had control over the decision of who was born and also decided whether the lives of mortals or gods were to be saved or to extinguish.

Lachesis - goddess of destiny. She was measuring life spun which was spinning by Clotho and therefore determined a life thread of all mortals and decided how much lifetime was to be allowed for each being.

Other myths

Themis is also said to had helped Leto, along with her sisters Theia and Rhea, with a birth of Apollo and later suckled him with heavenly nectar and ambrosia. According to Ovid`s Metamorphoses, Themis was the one who released Sphinx to Thebes to annoy travellers with its riddles. And once Oedipus solved the riddle and destroyed Sphinx, Themis was heartbroken and angered. Without delay she sent another savage beast, this time to ravage the city.