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Ancient Greek Stigma; History Fun Fact Vol. 30

Ancient Greek Stigma; History Fun Fact Vol. 30
May 27
14:10 2018

Ancient Greek Stigma; When It Hurts To Do Crime:

Ancient Greek Stigma, a darker part of Greece’s history with body art. Today, Greece is a country that like most others in the Mediterranean, loves tattoos and body-art. Some would even argue that the ancient Greeks might even have worn tattoos and other body-art, at least to some extent. But there is a darker part of their history with body-art/body-modification, which actually gave name to what we know as “stigma” today.

To the ancient Greeks, stigma was defined as a marking, deformation or other form of visual bodily modification. These markings were there, to prove to anyone who saw them, the wearers questionable morals. They would also show any spectators, if the wearer was a slave, a criminal or otherwise shunned from society. Sometimes even birthmarks and other birth given deformations, would be considered divine signs, that the person was unwanted or cursed.

But in many cases, the markings were performed by others, onto the wearer. They would be burned or cut into the skin. Often as punishment, but in every single case, to show that the wearer is not part of society. To show that they were not considered citizens. These signs were made as warnings to others. It is this practice, which made Stigma the perfect word, for how we discriminate people today. Often based on appearance as well.

Final Comment:

It is fun to thin about how Ancient Greek Stigma, was such a simple (horrible) concept. Which today has given its name to something much more complex, yet not much less horrible. But it indeed all started with the markings the Ancient Greeks, would put on slaves, criminals and other undesirables.

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About Author

Mads

Mads

Mads W. K. Masters of science in Sociology (Cand. Scient. Soc.), from the University of Copenhagen, who specializes in embodiment sociology, but especially in tattoos and tattoo culture etc.

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