Christ as Shepherd (?)

2nd or 3rd century
Crypt of the Church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome

Being in an ancient Christian church, this sculpture would seem to be an image of Christ as shepherd. However, in the early centuries shepherd images were popular among Christians and pagans alike. One gathers from the lifted left arm that the shepherd has a sheep on his shoulders. That detail, in combination with the sheep grazing at his feet, is found on this undoubtedly Christian sculpture. But it is also on this sarcophagus that may or may not be of Christian origin.

Read more about the sheep and shepherd symbols.

Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.