You won’t want to miss this essay in Forbes by our own Sarah Bond-
Whether the medieval Picts or Mike Tyson, the body has always served as a public canvas. Upon it, identities are advertised–ones chosen for us and ones of our choosing. In Roman antiquity, slaves who fled from their masters could be forcibly branded or tattooed on their foreheads if recaptured and returned, as were some criminals sentenced to the mines. These facial marks visualized their crimes to others and were incredibly difficult to cover up. Alternately, many medieval pilgrims visiting the Holy Land on pilgrimage chose to adorn their bodies with tattoos–and still do today.
The use of tattoos in order to identify with a certain religious sect has been used for millenia, yet many myths and misconceptions persist surrounding faith-inspired ink.
Go read it all. You’ll be happy you have.