The idiom of the scales of justiceis commonly known and widely used. Iustitia can frequently be seen in different representations holding scales in her hand. The scales as a means or a symbol of justice (justness) or the administration of justice can be encountered in various places in Greek literature, one of its earliest instances being the Homeric Hermes' Hymn (Dikés talanta). According to these loci Zeus holds the scales of Diké, that is to say, the scales of justice in his hand. In the Iliad (23, 109-213) one may come across a scene presented in context, thus suitable for being more amply analysed, in which Zeus is pronouncing justice over the heroes using a pair of scales. In search of the meaning of Dikés talanta, this study tries to clarify the concept of law and justice (justness) in Homeric epic (I.), then by a structural (II.) and comparative analysis (III.) of certain lines of the weighing scene, decisive in the combat of Achilles and Hector, it formulates a few remarks on the origin and meaning of the concept of the scales of justice. One cannot claim that this idea of Egyptian religion had been transferred in its entirety into Greek thinking, but it is not surprising, as one can barely encounter an unaltered Egyptian borrowing in Greek mythological thinking. Nonetheless, some Egyptian influence, possibly with Cretan transmission, can be detected in the development of the Greek versions of psykhostasia and kerostasia. Pictorial as well as textual manifestations of such influence can be found on the one hand in vase-paintings, and on the other hand-undergoing a specific alteration of aspect in the form of kerostasia-in Homer, who paved the way for the scales of justice of Zeus and Iuppiter to become the symbol of Diké and Iustitia, and subsequently of the administration of justice itself.
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