Sarcophagus with Christian Symbols

5th to 8th century
Stone
Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna

Here Christ symbols (the chi-rho and the two crosses) alternate with emblems of abundance: the date palms and the peacocks drinking from a capacious urn surmounted by a hill with four "rivers." Peacocks are a conventional symbol of immortality. In another sarcophagus close by we see the hill and rivers paired with the Lamb of God (example), whose chi-rhi symbol is directly above. The composition thus links the abundance of the Paradise to come with the saving sacrifice of the Lamb.

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