Greek tattoos and designs have been gaining a lot of steam, not only because of the mythology behind them, but also because of how interesting and vibrant they can be.
History of Greek Tattoos
When tattoos first made their way into Greece they were associated with barbarians. Later they came to be associated with criminals. Plato, the Greek philosopher, thought that a person who robbed the temple should have his crime inked on his hand and face. A slave who was freed in Greece was marked on his face to show that he was once a slave and to represent his current freedom.
Greek Biblical Tattoos
Greek tattoos often have meanings, as do most tattoos. The Bible was written in Hebrew and the first translation was into Greek. If one has a verse or saying written in Greek, it indicates a deeply rooted religious background. Religion is very strong among Greek people.
Dove tattoos are quite popular among Greek and non Greek people. The meaning behind them remains the same whether religious or not. The dove represents peace, calmness and serenity. If a dove is holding a green leaf while flying it represents hope. The same hope God wanted his people to keep while waiting for dry land to appear after the flood.
Greek Mythology Tattoos
The Greek warrior Achilles, is another popular tattoo. He was the hero of the Trojan War and this symbol represents courage, strength and test of patience. Angels play a very large role in Greek mythology. The word “Angel” actually comes from the Greek word “Agellos” which means messenger. This tattoo also is representation of a guardian. It is a sign of truth over evil.
Medusa was a monster in Greek mythology. She was said to have a hideous face and snakes as hair on her head. Getting such a tattoo has been said to keep evil from inflicting “black magic” upon you. The eyes on any Medusa tattoo, that reflects true heritage, is drawn with the eyes facing down. It’s been believed that if you looked into her eyes that you would turn instantly into stone.
The golden apple plays a strong importance in Greece. The apple was said to be left for the fairest. Athena tattoos often come with an owl. She was the goddess of wisdom. When the two elements are put together it represents cleverness, freedom and spirits.
Centaurs are half man and half horse. They are the last of the most popular Greek tattoos. They have the body of a horse and the chest, arms and head of a man. These are often warriors. Those who get the tattoos are said to be strong, fierce and persistent.
Tattoos of different nationalities have different meanings. There is a common thread between them all and that’s the cultural history behind them. Sometimes it can be easy to forget that and go with the most popular, trending idea. When you decide to get your next tattoo take some time and think about the culture that it stands for. The people that came before you, so you can represent what they did and who they were.