The ancients were well aware of the many aspects of justice. Reading their texts, one is struck by the great richness and complexity of their perspectives.
The very root of the Greek word dikaiosynē (justice), dikē, refers to a multiplicity of operational meanings that concern, first of all, the relationship with God and the government of the self that are expressed in operational terms through directives, orders and dispositions. Dike was the mythological daughter of Jupiter and Themis, goddess of laws and courts. She was depicted with a sword and scales, the image by which justice is still represented today.
Justice is above all the characteristic proper to God, who is its foundation, an aspect that constantly returns in the classical and biblical tradition. In this sense, “justice,” more than the observance of a law, is above all a characteristic of being. Dikaiosynē allows us to assign to things their “right” and “true” place: it is the place that for the Bible belongs to every being in the harmony of Creation, respecting the sphere assigned to it and contributing to the Creator’s great design.