Keeping up with today’s contemporary styles can be expensive and uniform, leading one to spend more money for less individuality. People who choose to craft their own style are utilizing art and culture from their history to express their personality and inform their look.
In order to maintain our individuality, we must do our own research and find our own means of expression. By looking through the symbols contained in our history, we expand the options from which we create our style and are more individualistic because of it.
Modern fashion goes beyond the articles of clothing we purchase and into our very skin. The newest adult generation is choosing to invest more and more in tattoos, viewing them as a permanent expression of their past, their passions and artistic preferences.
Peloponnesian Greece and the Norse Viking era are two areas of history in which strength and discipline were valued and instilled in the culture and artwork of warrior society. The symbols created by our ancestors, in these times and others, are significant methods of expression and can convey meaning deeper than many images in modern art.
The Greek Symbol of Strength
The City-States of ancient Greece formed a unique cultural climate where citizens from similar geological backgrounds were separated politically and grew to be very diverse out of that isolation. The Spartan warrior state exemplifies the Greek symbol of strength, and the Theater of ancient Greece in Athens demonstrates the love for art that was also present in the Aegean culture.
The polytheistic religion of the Greeks largely informed the artwork and values of the time. Having multiple gods, they looked upon each for examples of different strengths and priorities in their lives. The goddess Andromeda is depicted as the embodiment of love and beauty, Ares is the god of strength and war and Athena the goddess of wisdom and the useful arts.
A lot of people today respect these same principles and choose to engrave artwork from Ancient Greece into their skin, often using the actual Greek symbol of strength. Other values, like ancient artwork, the scenic beauty of the country and national pride inspire still more beautiful and personal tattoos.
Like the Greeks, values of strength and expression permeate Norse Viking mythology and culture, but the knotted symbols of ancient Scandinavia are unique in their symmetry and intricacy. Often incorporating depictions of native animals like bears, boars and wolves into simple linework patterns, Viking artwork shapes well with the body and adapts nicely into tattoo design.
The Valknut is one of the more popular Viking symbols found in modern tattoo studios. Composed of one continuous line overlapping itself, the Valknut is in the shape of three equilateral triangles pointing upward. Most often associated with Odin, the Valknut represents a life lived in accordance with Norse warrior tradition and acceptance into Valhalla, the afterlife.
Viking pattern work also features their ships and bronze weapons smelted from imported metals, symbolizing their voyaging culture that thrived on exploration and conquest. Thor’s hammer is a popular representation of strength and judgment. Thor is depicted as the kindest and most powerful of the Viking gods and his weapon is a simple representation of his values.
Search for your Style
If you are looking for a unique and meaningful tattoo design, take the opportunity to look into the past. You might just find something in your research that resonates with your beliefs and artistic preferences.
Greek and Viking culture are just two examples of historical pools of creativity but there are thousands of years of expression and change to choose from. Diversifying the breadth of your search into history will give you more options in the end and may just lead to finding the perfect tattoo!