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Athenian Political Art from the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BCE: Images of Political Personifications 

Amy C. Smith, edition of January 18 2003

page 2 of 26

· Adikia and Dike (Injustice and Justice) ·

᾿Αδικία and Δίκη

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Thrace (in text as “Thracian”).

Discussion: A unique Archaic use of political abstractions in an explicitly political context is the scene of Dike attacking Adikia (“Justice” triumphing over “Injustice”), a scene that appears on two Attic vases dating to the end of the sixth century, as well as on the (lost) “Chest of Kypselos”. Adikia is shown as the uglier of the two, and is even spotted in one representation. Frel 1963 has convincingly argued that her spots are tattoos, meant to resemble those of Thracian (Barbarian) woman. This likening of Adikia to Barbarians is consistent with the Athenian view of the superiority of Athenian justice over Barbarian injustice.

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Despite Dike’s popularity in the literature of fifth century Athens, the pair is not known in Classical Athenian art.

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