Sarcophagus with Lambs Eating Dates

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

The palms and crosses that frame the lambs suggest a setting in Paradise. The idea of lambs grazing on palms may be suggested by Isaiah 5:16-17, "And the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and the holy God shall be sanctified in justice. And the lambs shall feed according to their order, and strangers shall eat the deserts turned into fruitfulness."

Each end of the sarcophagus has an elegant composition of crosses, spiral columns, and scallop shells:




The frontal in full resolution
The left end in full resolution
More of the Lamb of God symbol

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