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Maat, goddess of truth and justice

Maat: Ancient Egyptian Goddess of Truth, Justice and Morality

Maat, also known as Ma’at or Mayet, was a female goddess in the ancient Egyptian religion who represented truth, justice, balance and morality. The daughter of the Egyptian sun deity Ra and wife of...
Suspects in Ancient India Forced to Chew Rice to Determine Their Guilt.

Ordeal of Rice: Suspects in Ancient India Forced to Chew Rice to Determine Their Guilt

The ordeal of rice is a divine method of proof that was employed in ancient India. This ordeal involves suspects chewing on rice grains and then spitting them out. The condition of the grains is then...
Mesopotamian god

Utu - Shamash: Meospotamian God of the Sun, Justice and the Underworld

Utu was a solar deity and god of justice in the ancient Mesopotamian pantheon, and also served as a judge in the Underworld. Whilst Utu was the god’s name in Sumerian, he was known in Akkadian as...
Duk Duk dancers; the Duk Duk - secret society of men, 1913.

The Duk Duk: An Ancient Secret Society of Possessed Executioners

The Duk Duk is a secret society of the Tolai people in Papua New Guinea. This ancient secret sect has played an important social role for centuries and continues to operate today, although with a...
A 17th century engraving depicting an ordeal by water.

Trial by Ordeal: A Life or Death Method of Judgement

In the modern judicial system, the innocence or guilt of an accused may be established based on the evidence brought against him or her. In ancient and medieval societies, however, a different way of...
Tyr, Gleipnir and Fenrir.

Tyr: The Norse God of Law and War Breaks a Promise

The Norse god Tyr is not very well-known, at least when compared to such names as Odin and Thor. But he is also part of the Aesir tribe in the Norse pantheon and Tyr could be called the bravest of...
A cylinder seal impression, ca. 2100 BC, sometimes interpreted as Ur-Nammu (seated) bestowing governorship on Ḫašḫamer, ensi of Iškun-Sin.

The Code of Ur-Nammu: When Ancient Sumerians Laid Down the Law, Everyone Obeyed

The Code of Ur-Nammu is the oldest surviving law code. This text was written on clay tablets in the Sumerian language and is reckoned to have been produced towards the end of the 3rd millennium BC...
A Viking Warrior

Never Offend a Viking or ‘The Thing’ Might Just Decide Your Fate

BY THORNEWS If you offended a Viking, a normal reaction would be to kill you on the spot. If the murder took place in daylight with witnesses present and without trying to hide his act, the...
The Egyptian Judicial System: Robust Pillar of Empire

The Egyptian Judicial System: Robust Pillar of Empire

Down the millennia, right from the hoary Narmer Palette to the grand reliefs on the walls of the magnificent temples of Ramesses II and that of later rulers; Egyptian artistic canon depicted the...