Yet amongst the Greeks and Romans, the use of tattoos or "stigmata" as they were then called, seems to have been largely used as a means to mark someone as "belonging" either to a religious sect or to an owner in the case of slaves or even as a punitive measure to mark them as criminals. It is therefore quite intriguing that during Ptolemaic times when a dynasty of Macedonian Greek monarchs ruled Egypt, the pharaoh himself, Ptolemy IV (221-205 B.C.), was said to have been tattooed with ivy leaves to symbolize his devotion to Dionysus, Greek god of wine and the patron deity of the royal house at that time. The fashion was also adopted by Roman soldiers and spread across the Roman Empire until the emergence of Christianity, when tattoos were felt to "disfigure that made in God's image" and so were banned by the Emperor Constantine (A.D. 306-373).
Getting a sleeve tattoo is a big investment in terms of both cost and hours spent a chair. For this reason a lot of guys go in to add one or two small tattoos from time to time while tying it all together with a matching background. Another approach is to take on the entire sleeve at once, which means more cash upfront and longer hours at a time. If you have the money and both you and your artist have the time, go for it. Otherwise, have patience knowing that eventually your sleeve will be complete and looking awesome.
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