Greek Mythology Tattoo Ideas For Tattoo Lovers (With Examples!)

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If you are looking to get a multifaceted tattoo, that can serve as a personal story as well as a generally recognized symbol of a specific human characteristic or journey, a Greek mythology tattoo is for you.

Also commonly discussed as a Greek god tattoo, they feature scenes and characters from the ancient Greek mythology in beautiful tattoo styles.

These well-known myths are almost a shared cultural language, and a network of stories that bring in our collective understanding of the nature of the world, of human and divine life.

Let’s dive into this magnificent world of mythology tattoos!

Every Tattoo Has A Story – Greek Mythology Tattoos

For the ancient Greeks, the word muthos meant a traditional tale.

So, how have these traditional tales survived hundreds of years and continue to resonate with people?

Greek myths remain true for us because they excavate the very extremes of human experience:

  • sudden, inexplicable catastrophe;
  • radical reversals of fortune;
  • seemingly arbitrary events that transform lives.

Ancient Greek myths deal, in short, in the hard basic facts of the human condition.

In their core, what we call the Greek mythology, actually served as a religious framework and belief system of the ancient Greeks, just like for the Celtic tribes.

For people who had less education, knew less about the ins and about of the world, these stories were used to explain the world, its origins, and the forces that governed it.

The myths were passed down orally through generations, capturing the imagination and offering insight into human nature, the divine, and the cosmos.

Here are some of the major Greek myths

  • The myth of Hades and Persephone
  • The myth of Aphrodite and Adonis
  • The myth of Pandora’s box
  • The myth of Eros and Psyche
  • The myth of Perseus and Medusa

Most Common Greek Gods In Tattoos

There were twelve principal deities in the Greek pantheon, also called the Olympic gods or the old gods.

  1. Zeus, the sky god and father of the gods,
  2. Hades, the god the Underworld,
  3. Poseidon, god of the sea,
  4. Hera, Zeus’s sister and wife, was queen of the gods,
  5. Athena, the goddess of wisdom,
  6. Apollo, the god of music and prophecy,
  7. Artemis, Apollo’s twin sister, the patroness of hunting,
  8. Hermes, the messenger god,
  9. Aphrodite, the goddess of love,
  10. Dionysos, the god of wine and theater,
  11. Ares, the god of war,
  12. Hephaistos, the god of metalworking.

Apart from the gods, in Greek mythology tattoo designs you can also often find many Greek heroes, such as Hercules, Prometheus, and Achilles.

Best Greek God Tattoo Placements

With Greek mythology tattoos, a medium size tattoo is the best bet to have enough space for all the details, basically starting at 4×3 inches.

That means, a forearm tattoo with one or more ancient Greek gods would be a great start. An inner forearm tattoo or an outer forearm tattoo could very well feature a scene that tells a story and makes it meaningful.

A full tattoo sleeve would make the best choice for tattoo lovers choosing to feature multiple gods, a full myth or scenes from different myths.

Another option, is the full back tattoo that can work as well as a sleeve to tell one or multiple stories, or it can be used as a canvas for one Gods portrait surrounded by elements from their respective myths, like for example a Zeus full back tattoo.

Greek Mythology Tattoo Ideas

To help you with your research for your next tattoo design, we went on a hunt through Instagram to find the best Greek mythology tattoo ideas.

Take a look below to check them out all:

Athena Tattoo

Athena is a Greek goddess known as both Pallas and Athene.

In ancient Greek mythology, they often associated her with both warfare and wisdom as well as handicraft, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, strategic warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, and skill.

Athena tattoos are very versatile – from micro realism, dotwork, traditional all the way to realistic portrayal of a female face as Athena.

Ares tattoo

Ares was the Greek god of war, a true wild child who personified the spirit of battle and warfare. Son of Zeus and Hera, Ares was reckless, bloodthirsty and brutal, representing all the worst and most terrifying aspects of battle.

The Greek version of Mars, Ares tattoo can be used as personal relationship to aggression, ambition and how to use the strong initiative and drive inside of you to succeed.

Achilles Tattoo

The warrior Achilles is one of the great heroes of Greek mythology. According to legend, Achilles was extraordinarily strong, courageous and loyal, but he had one vulnerability–his “Achilles heel.”

The hero of Homer’s Illiad is inspiration to many man getting an Achilles tattoo in any specific tattoo style.

Hercules Tattoo

Heracles, the son of Zeus and Alcmene (a mortal woman), was a Greek hero and demigod.

Being born out of Zeus’ affair, Heracles had a hard life as Hera (Zeus’ wife) hated and hounded him throughout.

He became champion of civilization and a slayer of monsters, and one of his heroic deeds were the mythic Twelve Labors.

Hercules tattoo is a direct inspiration by this hero’s virtues such as courage, wisdom, ambition, and strength.

Aphrodite Tattoo

Aphrodite is the ancient Greek goddess of sexual love and beauty, identified with Venus by the Romans. She was known primarily as a goddess of love and fertility and occasionally presided over marriage.

Her effeminate and luscious imagery is oftentimes used for the Aphrodite tattoo, but also her stoic depiction in statues of her.

Hermes Tattoo

Hermes was the great messenger of the gods in Greek mythology who famously wore winged sandals so he could fly between the heavens, the earth and the underworld.

The Roman version is Mercury, and he is considered a trickster, traveler, thief, and troublemaker.

Hermes is one of the twelve gods of Mount Olympus, and his mysteries and mischiefs have inspired people to get a tattoo to represent their fun past.

Zeus Tattoo

Zeus is the Olympian god of the sky and the thunder, the king of all other gods and men, and, consequently, the chief figure in Greek mythology.

He is one of the oldest gods, whose strong stoic statue is commonly used in his depictions.

Alternatively, Zeus is portrayed with a scepter in one hand and a thunderbolt in the other – both symbols of his authority.

Many get a Zeus tattoo as a tribute to their love to Greek mythology.

Spartan Tattoo

The Spartan heroes that fought in the Battle of Thermopylae have long been inspiration to many for bravery and fighting for your beliefs.

The warriors were from the the city-state Sparta, and considered themselves to be direct descendents of the Greek hero Hercules.

Leonidas (c. 530-480 B.C.) was a king of the city-state of Sparta from about 490 B.C. until his death at the Battle of Thermopylae against the Persian army in 480 B.C. Although Leonidas lost the battle, his death was seen as a heroic sacrifice because he sent most of his army away when he realized that the Persians had outmaneuvered him. Three hundred of his fellow Spartans stayed with him to fight and die.

Getting a tattoo inspired by the Spartans is an ode to this legend that still lives on.

Atlas Tattoo

Atlas was known as the god of endurance, “bearer of the heavens”, and teacher of astronomy to mankind.

In every Atlas tattoo you will see the most important visual portrayal of Atlas – when he receives his punishment from Zeus for leading Titans (old gods) into a war against the Olympians (new gods).

He held the skies for centuries, by the end of it getting almost crushed, on his knees, holding this immense weight.

Poseidon Tattoo

Poseidon was the Olympian god of the sea, earthquakes, floods, drought and horses.

The Poseidon mythology starts at his birth with him being swallowed whole by his father Cronus out of fear of Poseidon overthrowing him.

He got set free through Zeus’ scheme, so he could participate in the War of The Titans.

During that war, Cyclopes crafted a magical trident for Poseidon, three-pronged fisherman’s spear which represents the staple in his imagery nowadays.

A Poseidon tattoo usually depicts this stoic god as a mature man with a sturdy build and strong beard holding a trident. It can also contain some animals, such as an octopuses tentacles.

Greek Mythology Tattoo Sleeve

When it comes to Greek mythology tattoo sleeve ideas, there are endless opportunities.

Depending on which stories and myths you relate to the most, you can use different gods and scenes as visual story telling.

Many use 2-4 gods portraits that are strategically placed on shoulder, outer forearm, inner forearm and inner upper arm, to build a scene from their favorite myth.

As tattoo fillers you can use Greek columns, patterns and different natural elements like olive leaves.

Are you looking for a custom Greek mythology tattoo design? We got you.

Our expert tattoo artists will provide a quick initial draft to get you going.
Happy inking ❤

Milena Petrovic

Milena Petrovic

Co-founder of Tattoo Stylist

About the author

Milena has decided to start an organization that will create a safe environment for everybody to get their first, second or third tattoo and to encourage young people to transform their ideas into tattoos safely, with talent and vision.

You can find her writing about tattoos on Quora or updating our Pinterest profile with awesome tattoo ideas!

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