Friday, July 30, 2010

Latin Tattoos...

Rogue Classicism has posted a fair bit recently about Latin tattoos (following a news report that tattoos were spurring some kind of renaissance of the Latin language) and as a person who loves tattoos (I have several) I felt like saying something about it!

First off, I'm not necessarily a fan of boneheads emblazoning Latin across their bodies in the hope of seeming erudite, when indeed the classical spirit has seemingly avoided them (although who am I to be the keeper and arbiter of who may have and what indeed really is "classical spirit"), but in some ways it's good to see people respect Latin in some way enough to tattoo themselves with it.

Rogue Classicism has recently posted a bit about classicists with classical tattoos, and I sort of fit into that category. I'm a classics graduate and I'm a bit of an amateur classicist (I don't get paid to "classicise" but I just adore it and it's one of my major hobbies). I've had a classical tattoo in the works for ages, and should be getting it inked later this year.

I've attached an image for the interested:


Essentially it's inspired by Lucan's Bellum Civile, insomuch as he characterises Pompey as an old oak tree and Caesar as a kind of storm, and in my planned tattoo the storm is striking the oak tree with lightning with the Rubicon dividing the two. The plan is for the tattoo to take up the whole of my upper right arm.

I think using an image such as this which is deeply classical in some respects to me but not instantly recognisable is the most classical I would go with a tattoo. I'd hate to get some Latin text just in case someone mistook me for being genuinely erudite or indeed faking it!

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