On the verge of 30, I’ve taken it upon myself to do one important thing this year: Learn my roman numerals. Well, important may be a bit of a stretch but it’s still one of those things in life I feel silly not knowing. Yes I can tell the time on a watch but anything past that is a slow head shaker.
Sure roman numerals look cool, which is why they are still used on occasion, but if you were to ask a random passerby to write down the current date in roman numerals you’d probably get a look of bewilderment followed by an awkward laugh in return. And for good reason. Besides the annual super bowl logo and a few expensive watch faces, roman numerals are about as foreign as moon rocks or recalling someone’s phone number from memory.
Unfortunately, knowing the meaning behind a particular tattoo design isn’t usually too important. We’ve all heard the stories of people getting Chinese characters tattooed on their arms only to find out later that “tranquility” actually turned out to be “chicken poop.” I guess it’s a good thing that roman numerals are a little easier to look up than Chinese characters.
As far as roman numeral tattoos go, they sure do look a lot snazzier than natural numbers. Commonly used to ink an important date, roman numeral tattoos are some of the classiest tattoos in existence. If you’re trying to decide which way to go, here are a few examples to consider.
This chest date.
A close shave indeed. Or perhaps a proper waxing? (Photo: Amilcar)
Roman numerals are a combination of letters from the Latin language. (Photo: Cameron)
These connected crossbars.
Usually seen only on watches, connected crossbars have a classic and elegant feel to them that their counterparts lack. On this particular piece a soft white outline puts the finishing touch on an already awesome design. (Photo: Aquiles Reyes)
These matching wedding dates.
Epic. (Photo: Ryan Patton)
These smooth gradient numerals.
The subject’s bronze skin really makes this design pop. (Photo: Scorpdaboy)
These forearm numerals.
This date is unique in that it’s missing dashes or any type of separating symbol between each number. (Photo: ShockStar)
This fun little flower.
A small watercolor flower decorates the end of this date. (Photo: Aaron Lee)
This trap tattoo.
Hey. If you got the traps for it. (Photo: Simon Silfverberg)
This stylish side tat.
Beautiful. (Photo: Enoc)
This circular date.
Frighteningly uniform numbers arranged in a circular pattern make you go WoW.(Photo: Luke Smith)
This achilles tattoo.
Fresh ink. (Photo: Jade Dolan)
This stenciled roman numeral tattoo.
This roman numeral tattoo utilizes a sunken stencil-esque font that would be right at home on any Roman monument. (Photo: Nina)