People get Greek tattoos for a number of reasons; from pride in heritage, all the way down to a fascination in mythology.
Very popular in Greek tattoos are Greek phrases and words. Much like the oft seen Kanji style of writing, Greek letters are not only elegant and stylish, but meaningful and romantic. To stay with the general theme, many people will use quotes from well known Greek philosophers such as Socrates and Plato. Other people will choose to simply use one or two words that are especially relevant to them, such as ‘Life,’ ‘Love,’ and ‘Freedom.’
Another great option for Greek tattoos are mythological characters. Greek mythology is colorful and can be used in tattoo art to create remarkable scenes, tell stories and express a connection that a person might feel with a particular character. For instance, Zeus — one of the more popular figures — is the god of mercy and justice. Aphrodite, who is also quite popular, is the goddess of love.
People may use these figures to create fantastic images; Aphrodite rising from the sea; Zeus casting his thunderbolt, thus separating the lovers below; or Aries creating chaos and war. Some people like to use one, or all, of the Muses practicing her particular art.
The Greek key is also a very well known pattern. It was frequently used by the Ancient Greeks on carvings, pottery and even temples. Though it is not fully known what this design may symbolize, one theory is that Theseus — a legendary figure, and king of Athens — fought the Minotaur in a labyrinth with the same structure as the Greek key. What makes this such a marvelous design for a Greek tattoo is that it can be used in so many ways. It can be a border, a backdrop or placed all unto itself. Many people like to use this as a wrist band, around the leg or around the bicep.
The Greek cross is also a great option. The creation of it was meant to signify the four directions of the earth, and not the crucifixion. There are a few different variations such as the zodiac cross (the cross can be divided into thirteen squares, or the twelve signs of the zodiac), the cross within a square to signify earthly matters, and the letter cross with a special meaning in each corner. However, the classic and simple Greek cross is still the most widely used, and has even been adopted as the symbol of the Red Cross.
Though in ancient Greece, tattoos were a form of punishment, today they are used as a form of expression. How better to express ones heritage, fantasies or enthusiasm for the culture than in this form!