that of one arm of a square, with the inner end cut to an angle of 45°, or one half of a right angle. The square was in Egypt an emblem of justice, because being a right angle it deviated in no respect from a true horizontal joined to a perfect perpendicular. The close analogy between justice and that which is perfectly upright is so obvious, in fact, as to have become universal. The terms "an upright man" and a "just man" are in nearly all languages synonymous, hence the Scriptural phrases: "The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just" (Isa. 26:7); "He that walketh uprightly" (Psalm 15:2); and the admonition "to walk uprightly before God and man." Besides this, the square was used in Egypt to redetermine the boundaries of each man's possessions when, as frequently happened, the landmarks were swept away by the inundation of the Nile, thus recovering to every man his just rights. The Egyptian land-measure itself was an aroura, or a square, containing one hundred cubits. (Wilkinson's "Egypt.")
The square, or right angle, represents 90°, or the fourth part of a circle, and has a direct allusion to division of the ecliptic and celestial equator into four equal parts, indicative of the solstitial and equinoctial points, and the division of the year into four seasons. By it we are also enabled to divide the circle of the horizon into quadrants, and by the aid of the sun in the south to correctly mark out the four cardinal points of the compass. In not only geometry, but astronomy also, the use of the right angle is indispensable; and, as its use was thus connected not only with the loftiest problems of science, but with religion also, it soon became universally adopted by the ancients as a sacred emblem, not only of justice, but of rectitude of conduct. As every perpendicular forms a right angle with its base, and is a straight line, so the primitive roots of the words right and wrong mean straight and crooked, or oblique.
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