If you are looking for a symbolic fighter image or something else ferocious, look no further than the soldier. These are as tough as tattoos can get and it resonates with the fighter in all of us. Like most other tattoos, the Soldier is symbolic and has meaning. Below are some of the meanings: Fighter, Courage, Bravery, Skill, Heart, Honour, Fearless, Strength, Authority, Power and Aggressiveness. A Roman soldier was always fierce and for this reason, Rome was a world power at a time and they enjoyed fights and pleasure.
A GLANCE AT THE FIGHTERS
There are many fighters to choose from for your design. Samurai, angelic warriors, Aztecs, Greek warriors, Roman centurions, Vikings, and Celts are just a few of the many different tattoos available. Each type may be designed with appropriate weapons, such as shields, spears, swords, and armour.
SOLDIER TATTOO DESIGNS AND IDEAS
There are many things to be done for Soldier tattoos. As fighters, they can represent those whomever give up because they believe in and stand up for themselves.
They can be designed in diverse ways and in various postures. Soldiers are portrayed with a variety of different weapons, such as swords, axes, chain spikes, or spears. They can be designed using or grabbing for their weapon. They may be portrayed fighting or just posing.
The Romans are famous for their gladiators. These are fighters, really good ones, who fight to the death. A Gladiator that does not cry out or beg for mercy while fighting is said to have died well. It is a seen as a noble and good death. This quote from the gladiator’s oath might put things in perspective as to why, “He vows to endure to be burned, to be bound, to be beaten, and to be killed by the sword.”
Surprisingly, some Emperors performed as gladiators too. Emperors such as Titus, Caracalla, and Didius Julianus among others participated although the risk for them was far less than for true gladiators.
Most common gladiators died around the tenth match or around the age of thirty. In the Amphitheatres like the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, these combatants were the epitome of martial ethics and celebrated with inspired admiration. In fact, as popular entertainers they were often depicted in renowned artworks and prime city sculptures.
Interestingly, some of these gladiators were volunteers. These set give a new definition to the word bravery. They were not just mere condemned criminals with no choice or battling wild animals.
the benefits for the volunteers ranged from improved legal or social standing because of the bravery to rewards in cash and kind depending on the Emperor. For Example, Tiberius offered $500,000 (100,000 sesterces); Nero awarded property to those who triumphed in the arena and Mark Anthony provided paid positions as personal guards.
ANCIENT ROME AND TATTOOS
Although tattoos were popular in Ancient Rome, the Christian Church opposed them on the grounds you were marking up God’s greatest creation, the Human body. That appears to not be the true reason, the real reason appears to be tied in with the expense of such tattoos and their permanence.
In early Greek and Roman times, it was used to mark slaves and criminals so they could be identified if they tried to escape. Therefore, Tattooing was only associated with barbarians. The Greeks learned tattooing from the Persians. The Romans in turn adopted the practice from the Greeks. In late antiquity when the Exercitus Romanus(The Roman Army)consisted largely of mercenaries, they also were tattooed so that deserters could be identified.
There is evidence that some Roman Soldiers were indeed tattooed largely to discourage desertion as tattoos were primarily used to mark slaves and as a form of punishment
The textual evidence suggests that a recruit to the Roman army is not tattooed as soon as he is selected until he has been tested it is established that he is fit. There is also some evidence that a tattoo was placed on a Legionary’s hand. As far as is concerned, an SPQR was as good a guess as an Aquila or any other appropriate symbol.
As to whether SPQR was what was tattooed on the Roman soldiers, it should be noted that while Roman tattoo artists were good such details require a machine not invented till the late 1800s and not used to tattoo till after 1900.Also, Romans appeared to have favoured things that showed others what they belonged to (religion, ethnic group, tribe or maybe which Legion) and may be who owned them, so it would not make sense for it to be SPQR, which only implies ownership by the state. Also, because of their illiteracy and inability to read, the tattoos would have been images and not words. Also, unique images could be used to identify people as opposed to words. Therefore, symbols were preferred to words, large symbols over small symbols, colourful symbols over complex symbols.
Tattoos became less popular after the fall of the Roman Empire, not only because of the Christian ban on them but because people realised that what was important to them as the years went on varied. However, the permanence of tattoos ensured that they could not be changed even when your values have changed or when they could be embarrassing. The coming of the Dark Age Cold period also contributed because during this period people had to cover up with long sleeves and pants. Thus, a tattoo on any part of the body would not be seen. Hence, Coat of arms, armour or just coats took over and had the added advantage that they could be changed as they were not permanent.
In ancient Rome just as today, tattoos were seen as both plain fashionable and a statement of values and growth. Adding ink to oneself is indisputably a form of artistic expression. Whatever the case may be, tattooing is no longer the only form of identifying deserters. Therefore, there is a common thread between Tattoos, Rome, pride and bravery.