by Gina Danna
In today’s world, we see them all the time. They’re everywhere. No longer are they considered poor taste/foreign/military or for those types but instead, the majority of people I see have them. People tattoo their ankles, shoulders, biceps, legs, neck, back, stomach, even their fingers – as well as other unmentionable parts. Many people who wear them have more than one. It’s rather like an addiction. Get inked once and realize you want another design on another part of your body.
Tattoos go way far back in history, even to the time of Ancient Rome. In Love & Reckoning, it was the ‘inking’ on Ganius’ arm that drew Aurelia’s attention, one that never wavered. How did he get marked? Why?
Why do we do it today? Why carry symbols over our body and in many cases, have a need to show it?
Designs today cover a variety of styles – flowers, butterflies, floral designs, thorns, crosses, hearts, lightning bolts, animals to original requests. I have the gridiron to General Marmaduke’s flag on my ankle. He was a Confederate cavalryman, never beaten, in southern Missouri. It’s a quarter of the moon with an ‘M’ in the side and underneath is a teardrop and a cross below that. Unique to say the least.
Wearing a tattoo today is a personal expression. And it has changed the perception by people today, employers especially. There are some who still monitor what their employees wear in inking, such as the US military. Many WWII vets, Navy in particular, had an anchor insignia on their arms. That fits military regime as uniform sleeves covered these. Command really tries to keep their soldiers from tatting their face, ears, neck, hands and anywhere visible while in military uniform.
Now, all this is fascinating but tattoos should be thought of in a sobering moment. This is design that is literally on you for the rest of your life. Do you want to wear that design forever? Try to keep all scenarios in play – do you want it showing on the beach? In your wedding dress? And a basic rule should be a tattoo artist’s questioning who’s name is that you want inked in, because if its your significant other, what happens if you break up/divorce him? To have one marked on you, you must submit to the artist putting a needled ink gun to your flesh as he delves deep into your skin and injects a permanent die, taking up to a couple hours to complete the design. It is painful, excruciating even, depending on the spot. The one on my lower back hurt but I had to remain still or a jerk or swift move could ruin the figure I wanted.
Are tattoos new? No. They go back over the millennium. The Ancient World tattooed. Some tribes in the ‘New World’ utilized inking. And during the time of the Roman Empire, inking was available. Granted, it was not something a good Roman citizen did but more of a marking, ‘branding’ as it were, of what tribe you belonged to if you were Celt or Gaul or ‘East of the Rhine’, etc. And it was used on slaves, branding you to that house, that Roman, who owned you. Designs were unique yet simple – butterflies, sun motifs, etc.
But today, as stated, artists use a tattoo tool that looks like a gun and injector at the same time. Today we use sterilized needles, alcohol for cleaning and safe ink. Back then, the ink was of organic material but the method used to make the tattoo was more like an icepick that carried some of the ink as the point was tapped into the skin, deeper and deeper, by a hammer of sorts. Not sterilized because they had no idea about this. It was a long and tedious process to sit and have a pin prodded into your skin and leave you forever marked as a slave to the House of Caius.
Ganius’ marking of a sun-shaped design will open the world to a beaten, enslaved man who only wants is revenge. It is also the luring point for the Roman lady who owns him. This one branding will change his world, to the point of reckoning and to a woman he hates but can’t live without.
Welcome to Rome!
|Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0|
LOVE AND RECKONING
Rome 100 CE
Conquered, beaten, sentenced to die in the Colosseum, Ganius of Gaul escapes his execution only to find himself enslaved as a gladiator. His rise to champion ensures his life, but does nothing to lessen his desire for vengeance against the Roman soldiers who destroyed all he knew.
Locked into a repugnant betrothal, the beautiful Roman Aurelia turns to her brother’s champion gladiator for help. Promising him his freedom if he helps her escape, Aurelia soon discovers she wants not only Ganius’s help, but to capture his heart as he’s captured hers.
In love with his sworn enemy, Ganius realizes Aurelia is the key to his freedom. But to take her with him would risk both their lives, yet leaving her behind to be a pawn in her brother’s machinations is a wretched alternative. Ganius must choose - love of a Roman or freedom to make the Romans pay. This is a fight the champion gladiator might lose...
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Gina Danna has spent the better part of her life reading. History has been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, dreaming of writing one of her own. Years later, after receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, writing academic research papers and writing for museum programs and events, she finally found the time to write her own stories of historical romantic fiction.
Now, under the supervision of her three dogs and three cats, she writes amid a library of research books, with her only true break away is to spend time with her other life long dream – her Arabian horse – with him, her muse can play.