In early Rome, citizens were branded as a type of punishment. The tattoo was used as a "stigma," the Latin word for "tattoo." It was used to mark the criminal or brand slaves for ownership. Tattoos today are done as body art and much pride is taken in their craftsmanship and artistic value. With a little creativity you can incorporate traditional Roman figures and symbols into a tattoo idea you can be proud of today.
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The Roman cross was a symbol used for religious purposes in ancient Rome, just as it is in Christianity today. Use a plain black cross as a tattoo and design a vine of thorns spiralling around it. Tattoo your initials on a name plate on the centre of the cross to hold your name or initials.
Use Roman numerals to convey a special date or number that has a significant meaning to you. Tattoo the birth date of a loved one in Roman numerals, or play it safe and display your own birthday or that of a child. Perhaps the date you graduated school or other anniversary can be made into a tattoo using the regal looking Roman numerals.
Roman Warrior Shield
The Roman warrior shields were designed to guard the soldier against harm when he went into battle. Many of the shields had intricate crests designed into them. Create your own design of a Roman shield to be used as a tattoo.
Design a four-section shield to tell the story of who you are. Put a symbol that represents different aspects of your life in the sections. Use one section to depict your occupation, another your family, pets, hobbies and the list goes on. Use symbols such as a hammer and a helmet if you are a construction worker, or ballet shoes if you are a ballerina, for example.
Display a Roman shield that symbolises warding off your enemies while telling the story of your life.
A Roman Godess
A Roman goddess in a long flowing toga is another choice of a Roman tattoo. Create the goddess with long flowing hair that is blowing in the wind while she is holding a sword to symbolise strength. Combine a special phrase or saying underneath the goddess that says something about the strength of the person getting this tattoo. "Never give up," "me against the world" and "I will face my fears" are just a few suggestions for its meaning.
The Roman Helmet was worn by brave soldiers and a tattoo of this helmet would symbolise bravery. Its original shape with the pointed top is easily recognised. Write your name on the helmet with ornate font, along with the Roman numerals for your date of birth.
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