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HINTON ST. MARY Dorset, England.

Roman villa 1.6 km N of Sturminster Newton, discovered in 1963 and excavated in 1964-65. The buildings, apparently grouped around a courtyard, were in general badly preserved, but two adjacent 4th c. mosaics were recovered almost intact and are now in the British Museum. The smaller (4.95 x 2.4 m) shows Bellerophon slaying the Chimera, while the central roundel of the larger (5.1 x 4.35 m overall) is a representation of Christ, backed by the Chi-Rho monogram and flanked by pomegranates. This association of Bellerophon with Christian symbolism recurs at Lullingstone and probably at Frampton, Dorset. The pavements are the work of the Durnovarian school of mosaicists.


K. S. Painter, Proc. Dorset Nat. Hist. and Arch. Field Club 85 (1964) 116-21; 87 (1966) 102-3; mosaics: J.M.C. Toynbee, JHS 54 (1964) 1-14; D. J. Smith in A.L.F. Rivet, ed., The Roman Villa in Britain (1969) 86-88, 109-13; Christian aspects: J.M.C. Toynbee in M. W. Barley & R.P.C. Hanson, eds., Christianity in Britain 300-700 (1968) 177-92.


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