It’s one the most well-known wonders of architecture on the planet… the Colosseum in Rome. With it’s rich history and renown, it’s no wonder that it’s made many an appearance in skin art, but what does it represent? In today’s, article, we’re going explore colosseum tattoos, their symbolism, meanings, and more!
Like any ancient symbol, there are few things under the surface that you should know about. Read on and we’ll tell you all about them!
What is the History of Colosseum Tattoos?
The Colosseum is positively ancient in every sense of the word. Designed and built over 1900 years ago, somewhere between 70 and 72 A.D., it’s the largest standing amphitheater in the world. While it wouldn’t be opened until the year 80 A.D., we have to say that its debut was grand – with 100 days of assorted games!
We all know that these included Gladiatorial combat, but there were also fights with wild and exotic animals, processions and parades, mock executions, and it’s even believed that the aqueducts were sometimes used to fill it with water, so that flat-bottomed boats could have mock naval battles as well You could always count on Rome to do things BIG.
The Colosseum would see pretty much regular use for the next 400 years before it started showing signs of serious neglect. In 1349 a massive earthquake severely damaged it, and this was the beginning of the end for this entertainment venue, and by the 18th century people were stealing bits of it to build what they liked locally.
It still stands, of course, although these days the cheering spectators are gone, replaced by 200 happy cats who hunt vermin such as mice and large beetles inside the might amphitheater. Reconstruction efforts have kept this giant standing, however, and it still inspires all who see it to recall the glories of ancient Rome.
What Do Colosseum Tattoos Symbolize?
The Colosseum is an ancient symbol that represents the power and glory of Rome and of human achievement in general. Brutality is present in this architectural marvel, with all the games which occurred there in its heyday, and the fact that it was an ever-present reminder of Rome’s glorious conquest.
To some it doesn’t symbolize glory, but rather Rome’s eventual fall, and while the tales tell us that Nero played his fiddle during the Great Fire as Rome burned, we know that now to be a myth – Rome didn’t have fiddles, and though Nero could have played a Roman Cithara, he was 35 miles away at his villa in Antium.
That legend is too appealing to resist, however, and some have even depicted the sad Emperor playing tunes in front of the mighty Colosseum and why not?
Powerful imagery has a definite place in art and the symbolism is just as correct as the facts — Man strives to reach the skies, only to fail at greatness by the machinations of their own species.
What Do Colosseum Tattoos Mean?
Colosseum tattoos can mean a lot of things to a lot of people.
A common reason to get this tattoo is the simplest – maybe you’ve seen the colosseum firsthand. While some travel tattoos require an explanation, if you have a tattoo of the Colosseum with ‘I was here’ and a year, no one will ask what it means – it’s obvious.
For other owners of this tattoo, the Colosseum is an ancient warning about the brutality, hubris, and self-sabotaging aspects of man. Rome was mighty indeed and to get an idea of how advanced they were, when it fell it then nobody rediscovered the secret of concrete until the Renaissance allowed for reading of Roman texts.
While it can represent the dangerous pitfalls of society or be an amazing travel memory, aside from political statements Colosseum tattoos are largely just selected for their beauty and instant recognition. It’s not often that you find historical images that are known everywhere on the planet.
With a little forethought in your design, you can engineer quite a few different meanings to fit whatever it is that you are trying to say, so be sure to take some time with it. Whatever you decide, it will be amazing, as the Colosseum is definitely one of the most recognizable of the world’s wonders.
Where Do Colosseum Tattoos Usually Go?
As far as placement, colosseum tattoos are definitely back piece material. After all, it’s colossal, and the opportunities for fine detailing are very hard to pass up. This is a tattoo that is going to take a lot of visits to your artist, but frankly it’s absolutely WORTH IT.
That’s not to say that you can’t put it on your outer arm or ankle, as there are many Colosseums in-miniature out there in the world of skin art, and you could even place one on your hip as a message to the world that you’ve definitely explored or even debauched with the very best of them.
It’s up to you, of course, but it’s nice to know that whatever size or placement you choose, everyone’s going to know exactly what you’re depicting. Say what you will about the Romans, but they were truly one of the world’s most powerful ‘brands’!
Characteristics and Styles of Colosseum Tattoos
Colosseum tattoos generally come in two basic flavors, with the first being the Colosseum as it is today, while others will depict it as complete whole like it was when Titus announced it’s opening in the year 80 A.D.
Photorealistic style is the most common, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t find any New School Colosseums out there, and this is a design that lends well to color. Despite how it looks today, the Colosseum had many red and black travertine stones involved in its construction, and it was believed to have been painted red!
That’s not all, however, as traces of Azurite within the vault indicate that it probably had a sea or a skyscape depicted there as well. As glorious as the ruins are, the Colosseum was once even grander, so you’ve got a chance at making quite the amazing tattoo with this ancient option.
Some closing comments on Colosseum tattoos
Whether you want to depict the Colosseum in its original glory or create a skin-art message to remind the world of what happens when we climb to high, Colosseum tattoos are a design choice with some serious weight behind them.
If you are looking for something instantly recognizable and rich in symbolism, then this mighty Roman amphitheater might just be a perfect fit for you! Don’t take our word on it, however, but just take a long, hard look at the Colosseum in pictures and see what it says to you.
Then design your tattoo and say the same thing back to the world with your skin art!