Themis (Greek: Θέμις) is an ancient Greek Titan. She is
described as "of good counsel", and is the embodiment of
divine order, law, and custom. Themis means "law of nature"
rather than human ordinance, literally "that which is put in
place", from the verb τίθημι, títhēmi, "to put". To the
ancient Greeks she was originally the organizer of the
"communal affairs of humans, particularly assemblies".
Moses Finley remarked of themis, as the word was used by Homer
in the 8th century, to evoke the social order of the 10th- and
9th-century Greek Dark Ages:...
1. A daughter of Uranus (others say Helios, Tzetz. ad
Lycoph. 129) and Ge, was married to Zeus, by whom she became
the mother of the Horae, Eunomia, Dice (Astraea), Eirene,
and the Moerae. (Hes. Theog. 135, 901, &c.; Apollod. 1.3.1.)
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
(Od. 2.68, &c.), and as convening, by the command of Zeus,
the assembly of the gods. (Il. 20.4.) She dwells in Olympus,
and is on friendly terms with Hera. (15.87, &c.) This
character of Themis was recognised in the fact that at
Thebes she had a sanctuary in common with the Moerae and
Zeus Agoraeus (Paus. 9.25.4), and at Olympia in common with
the Horae. (Paus. 5.14.8, 17.1; comp. Diod. 5.67.) 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 Ge, and previous to Apollo. (Ov. Met.
1.321, 4.642; Apollon. 4.800; Serv. ad Aen. 4.246; Apollod.
1.4.1 ; Paus. 10.5.3; Aeschyl. Eum. init.) The worship of
Themis was established at Thebes, Olympia, Athens (Paus.
1.22.1), at Tanagra (9.22.1), and at Troezene, where an
altar was dedicated to the Themides. (2.31.8.) Nymphs
believed to be daughters of Zeus and Themis lived in a cave
on the river Eridanus (Apollod. 2.5.11 ; Schol. ad Apollon.
Rhod. 4.1396; Hesych. s. v. Θεμιστιάδες), and the Hesperides
also are called daughters of Zeus and Themis. (Schol. ad
Eur. Hipp. 737.) She is often represented on coins
resembling the figure of Athena with a cornucopia and a pair
of scales. (Gellius, 14.4; Hirt, Mythol. Bilderb. p. 112;
Müller, Anc. Art and its Rem. § 406.) - A Dictionary of
Greek and Roman biography and mythology, William Smith, Ed.