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Legionaries, monks and a centaur by BricksandStones Legionaries, monks and a centaur by BricksandStones

This is the medieval, 12th C. Augustinian priory in the corner of the Antique Roman fort in Portchester, England. Dating from the 3rd Century AD, the fort in Porthester is the best preserved Roman fortification in Britain. Regularly planned, it overlooks the waters of the English channel – legionaries stationed here were given the task to protect the coasts of Britain from barbarian raids and pirates. Together with other similar outposts, Portchester was meant to keep shipping routes connecting Britain with Gaul and the rest of the empire open. It fulfilled that role for approximately 100 years when, after periods of revolts and invasions, Rome lost its authority over Britain. The fort, however, does not seem to have ever been abandoned. Instead, it found new masters and eventually, its walls were made to serve a prestigious, Anglo-Saxon residence. When that power waned as well, Portchester was taken by the Normans who converted the ancient fort into a castle. A powerful keep was built in one of the corners of the fort (that’s from where the photo was taken) and Augustinian monks were given the land opposite to it.

After more than 800 years since the fort was built, it may seem that there was nothing Roman left about the site – just an empty shell of walls used by different warlords or knights. However, if one would look closely at the Romanesque portal of Augustinian priory today, one would discern barely visible outline of a centaur holding a bow and a pair of fish swirling one behind the other. These are the ancient symbols of the zodiac used in calendars ever since the time of ancient Greece and Rome. The centaur a creature of the Antique, remained part of medieval imagination just as numerous Antique texts of Aristotle, Boetius, Cicero, Augustine and others were still kept and read in monastic libraries. Though Roman empire fell in the West, its culture survived and, together with the centaur, returned to Portchester.

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:iconanasofiajc:
anasofiajc Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2019  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Interresting story! Wonderful photo!
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner 2 days ago
It is so nice to see that someone took the time to read the story - thank you very much! It is always a pleasure to hear from you :) Thank you again and all the best!
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:iconanasofiajc:
anasofiajc Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You are very welcome!I always read ☺All the best to you too 😃
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:iconmedievaljunkie:
MedievalJunkie Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2019
This one is a lovely one. I love the way the medieval building is squeezed into a much older structure... and both have survived the ages. 
Thank you so much for sharing these photos. I learn about so many wonderful medieval places thanks to you!
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:icongequibren:
Gequibren Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2019  Student General Artist
Cute place! :) but it would be interesting to see the outline of the centaur too. Maybe if you put it in the corner of this image with a zoom
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2019
I added the centaur in the first comment but now it has moved down the line and you have to go all the way to the begining of comments to see it. Here is is again - thank you very much for showing interest, I really appreciate it! Cheers and all the best from Warsaw! DSC07796 po BMP by BricksandStones  
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:icongequibren:
Gequibren Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2019  Student General Artist
Oh! a bit hard to see a centaur over there, but probably the centuries have wreaked havoc on the definition
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2019
Yes, especially close to the sea, all the salt in the wind damages the stone even more. This carving once depicted a centaur with a bow - you can just discern the legs and torso of the horse together with human upper part holding the bow. Thank you very much once again, it is always a pleasure to  hear from you!
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:icongequibren:
Gequibren Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2019  Student General Artist
:happybounce:
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:iconcalimer00:
calimer00 Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2019
Amazing history of this impressive place!
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:iconeldr-fire:
Eldr-Fire Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2019  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
All right, you had me at the title! :D Nice photo though, and interesting history as always. :)
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner 4 days ago
Admittedly - it was a bit of a clickbait :) I am sorry if it was a bit dissapointing! I visited Portchester when I was teching first year archeology students - it was an awesome fieldtrip. Thank you, as always, for visiting my gallery and taking the time to read the description - I really appreciate it! All the best from Warsaw!
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:iconpatrickbrandy:
patrickbrandy Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2019
Excellente photo
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2019
I am very glad you think so - thank you very much for taking the time to view it!
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:iconmiirex:
miirex Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2019  Hobbyist Photographer
Interesująca praca.
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2019
Dziękuję - jak zawsze miło mi, że zajrzał Pan do mojej galerii :) dzięki jeszcze raz i pozdrawiam!
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:iconroxidraw:
roxidraw Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2019
Jakoś te nakropi zwracają moją uwagę. Ładne zdjęcie i spokojne miejsce :)
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2019
To prawda, wyobrażam sobie, że bardzo miło byłoby wybrać się tam na spacer z psem - jest woda, jest trawa, przestrzeń i cisza - wszystko czego piesek (przynajmniej mój) pragnie od spaceru :) Dziękuję za komentarz!
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:iconroxidraw:
roxidraw Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2019
Wszystkie psy takie coś lubią . Mój też byłby zachwycony 
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:iconsupersnappz16:
supersnappz16 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2019  Hobbyist Photographer
Beautiful church and viewpoint
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2019
I am always glad to get some positive feedback :) Thank you very much for visiting my gallery again - I appreciate it :) Cheers and all the best!
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:iconsupersnappz16:
supersnappz16 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2019  Hobbyist Photographer
Your very welcome :)
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:iconlooking4work:
Looking4Work Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2019
Excellent photo and historic notes! Fascinating stuff! Thanks for posting!
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2019
It is my pleasure - thank you very much for viewing and taking the time to read the description! I appreciate it :) All the best from central Europe :) !
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:iconuniversumnewhorizont:
Universumnewhorizont Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2019  Hobbyist Filmographer
very cool
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2019
:) I am glad you think so - thank you for viewing :) !
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:iconsegura2112:
segura2112 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2019  Student Digital Artist
Beautiful shot and Thanks for the info.
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2019
It is my pleasure -  thank you very much for taking the time to view this :)  Cheers and all the best!
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:iconanastasiy:
Anastasiy Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2019  Professional Digital Artist
Beautiful piece of art! I like the colors
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2019
I am very glad you say so! I am an amateur photographer so it is a great pleasure for me to get some positive feedback :) Thank you again and all the best!
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:iconakphotographystudio:
akphotographystudio Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2019  Professional Photographer
Nice! Greetings from Austria :D
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2019
Thank you for viewing this :) Cheers, all the best from Warsaw (where we finally have some sun :) )
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:iconalberichpotter:
AlberichPotter Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2019  Hobbyist Photographer
I've never been here either but will definitely correct the oversight if I'm ever in that part of the country again. Good shot and, as always, a very interesting description. Wink/Razz 
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2019
Portchester is really worth visiting (especially in a good weather :) ) Thank you very much for viewing and even commenting on the description! I am always especially glad to see that someone took time to read it - thank you very much once again, I hope that if you will decided to go to Portchester the fort / castle will not disappoint you! All the best!
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:icondavidmnr:
DavidMnr Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2019  Hobbyist Photographer
Always interesting!
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2019
You are very kind - thank you very much for still visiting my gallery - cheers!
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:iconcoshipi:
coshipi Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2019
Nice shot! A spot I've never visited, although it's definitely on my patch, as it were.
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2019
I think it is worth visiting - it is one of the more interesting places I have been to in the south. Naturally, Britain has numerous awesome places so competition is really high :) Thank you very much for viewing - I appreciate it!
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:iconzhaneaugustine:
ZhaneAugustine Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2019
Awesome shoot ant cool info
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2019
:) I am very glad you think so! Thank you - it is a pleasure to know that someone too the time to read the description :) Thank you again and all the best!
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:iconzhaneaugustine:
ZhaneAugustine Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2019
You are most very welcome.
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:icondashinvaine:
dashinvaine Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2019
Went there a few years back. Very nice and interesting place to visit. 
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2019
I was there on a field trip when I was teaching BA archeology students in Reading (aw, I miss those times :) ). Indeed, it is a very interesting place, I actually enjoyed it more than Vindolanda and housesteads up north (the setting is more beautiful there but sadly, very little of actual Roman structures is visible above the ground...). Thank you for the comment - it is always a pleasure to hear from you!
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:iconjezmiller:
JezMiller Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2019
Oh my word! I only live a few miles away from PortchesterIt's ironic that Carausius probably used it as a military bastion of his attempts to break away from Rome, and Henry V used it as a staging post for his invasion of France, considering that it was built to _support_ a European empire :)
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2019
I imagine Portchester must be a wonderful destination for short, weekend trips :) I would love to live near such a picturesque site that is so full of history! Also, with so much grass all around, I think it must a great location to take dog for walk / swim! Your point about irony is very true! History can be tricky in such ways - bridges built to conquer given lands can also be used by invaders from the other side! To avoid such situations, some of the frontiers in the medieval world were deliberately left empty - sort of long streches of no mans lands that could not be claimed by anyone because there was nothing there (for example the border between the Teutonic Order and Lithuania....). Anyway, thank you very much, as always, for your support - it is always a pleasure to hear from you!
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:iconahappierlife:
ahappierlife Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2019
Impressively detailed history and excellent photo too. You add so much to DA!
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:iconkaraknornclansman:
KarakNornClansman Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2019
Wonderful photographs and history. This is beautiful stuff, sir. Keep it coming. :)
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:iconkaraknornclansman:
KarakNornClansman Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2019
Agreed to the letter!
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2019
Thank you Clansman :) It is, obviously, a great pleasure to get some positive feedback! Also, it is good to see that people find history interesting - cheers! Thank you again and all the best!
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2019
I wish I would be more discipline to be more active here... Whenever I am back on DA, it is a great pleasure for me to get some positive feedback from you :) Thank you once again, I really appreciate it! Also, I wish you all the best from Warsaw (where we finally have some sun :) ) Cheers!
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