Publius Lentulus

A Roman governor, Publius Lentulus, supposedly wrote a letter that gives a detailed physical description of Jesus Christ, from an eyewitness (himself.) However, Lentulus seems to be a fictitious character. The only Publius Lentulus found in Roman records states that he died AD 14, when Jesus would have been 14 years old. And the title that he gives himself in the letter never existed.

It is generally believed that the letter was written after the third or fourth century. And, the terms used in the letter suggest it was written by a pious Christian rather than a pagan Roman official. Even so, the description offered by Lentulus has had much influence on how Christ is portrayed in art. Here is the letter in translation:

"Lentulus, the Governor of the Jerusalemites to the Roman Senate and People, greetings. There has appeared in our times, and there still lives, a man of great power (virtue), called Jesus Christ. The people call him prophet of truth; his disciples, son of God. He raises the dead, and heals infirmities. He is a man of medium size (statura procerus, mediocris et spectabilis); he has a venerable aspect, and his beholders can both fear and love him. His hair is of the colour of the ripe hazel-nut, straight down to the ears, but below the ears wavy and curled, with a bluish and bright reflection, flowing over his shoulders. It is parted in two on the top of the head, after the pattern of the Nazarenes. His brow is smooth and very cheerful with a face without wrinkle or spot, embellished by a slightly reddish complexion. His nose and mouth are faultless. His beard is abundant, of the colour of his hair, not long, but divided at the chin. His aspect is simple and mature, his eyes are changeable and bright. He is terrible in his reprimands, sweet and amiable in his admonitions, cheerful without loss of gravity. He was never known to laugh, but often to weep. His stature is straight, his hands and arms beautiful to behold. His conversation is grave, infrequent, and modest. He is the most beautiful among the children of men."

Source: Wikipedia