Sarcophagus with Lambs, Crosses, and Wheel
3rd to 8th century
Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna
Inside the circle is a cross superimposed over an X, the first letter of the Greek word for Christ. This variant of the IX monogram representing Christ is similar to the
but less common. The lambs approaching the symbol represent "he that taketh up his cross and followeth me" (Matthew 10:38). The motif of creatures approaching Christ is echoed by the peacocks on the lid approaching an urn, an ancient symbol of immortality.
View full-resolution photographs of this frontal and the lid.
Read more about the Lamb of God and peacock symbols.
Photographed at the basilica by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.