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 chi-rho 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.