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On this page: Centumviri – Centuria – Centauriata Comitia – Centuriones



emperor Theodosius II. Another instance is a poem known as the Christus pdtlens, or " the suffering Christ," consisting of 2,610 verses from Euripides. Instances of Vergilian centos are the sacred history of Proba Faltonla (towards the end of the 4th century a.d.), and a tragedy entitled Media by Hosidius Geta.

Centumvlri (" The hundred men "). This was the title of the single jury for the trial of civil causes at Rome. In the republican age it consisted of 105 members, chosen from the tribes (three from each of the thirty-five). Under the Empire its number was increased to 180. It was divided into four sections (consilfa), and exercised its jurisdiction in the name of the people, partly in sections, partly as a single collegium. It had to deal with questions of property, and particu­larly with those of inheritance. In the later years of the Republic it was presided over by men of qusestorian rank; but from the time of Augustus by a commission of ten (decem viri lltlbus iudicandls). The pleadings were oral, and the proceedings public. In earlier times they took place in the forum; under the Empire in a basi­lica. In the imperial age the centumviral courts were the only sphere in which an ambitious orator or lawyer could win dis­tinction. The last mention of them is in 395 a.d. The peculiar symbol of the cen­tumviral court was a hasta or spear (see hasta).

Centuria ("a hundred"). In the Roman army of the regal period the centuria was a division of 100 cavalry soldiers. In the half-military constitution of Servius Tullius the word was applied to one of the 193 divisions into which the king divided the patrician and plebeian populus according to their property, with the view of allotting to each citizen his due share of civil rights and duties. Of the 193 centuries 18 con­sisted of cavalry soldiers (100 each) belong­ing to the richest class of citizens. The next, 170, whose members were to serve as infantry, fell into five classes. The first 80 included those citizens whose property amounted to at least 100,000 asses. The second, third, and fourth, containing each 20 centuries, ; represented a minimum property of 75,000, 50,000, and 25,000 asses respectively. The fifth, with 30 centuries, represented a mini­mum of 12,500, 11,000 or 10,000 asses. These 170 centurise were again divided into 85 centuries of iumBres, or men from 18-45 years of age, who served in the field ; and 85 of sSniOrSs, citizens from 46 to 60 years

of age, who served on garrison duty in the city. Besides these there were 2 centuries of mechanics (fabrum), and 2 of musicians (cornicinum, and tubldnum).

The centuries fabrum were enrolled be­tween the first and second class: the centurice cornicinum and tubicinum between the fourth and fifth. The 193d centuria con­sisted of citizens whose income fell below the minimum standard of the rest, and who were called prSletdrii or capltl censi. These last had originally no function beyond that of voting at the assembly of the citizens in the comltla centuriata, and were not liable to military service. But in later times the richer among them were admitted to serve in the army. A fresh division of centurice was made at every census. The military equipment of each citizen, and his position in battle array, was determined 1 by the class to which his property entitled him to belong. (See legion.) On the poli­tical position of the different classes see comitia (2).

In military parlance centuria meant one of the 60 divisions of the legion, each of which was commanded by a centurio.

Centuriata Comltla. See comitia (2).

Centurlones. The captains of the 60 cen­turies of the Roman legion. They carried a staff of vinewood as their badge of office. In the republican age they were appointed, on the application of the legion, by the military tribunes on the commission of the consuls. There were various degrees of rank among the centurions according as they be­longed to the three divisions of the triarii, princlpSs, and hastati, and led the first or second centuria of one of the 30 manipuli.

The centurion of the first centuria of a j manipulus led his manipulus himself, and : as centurio prior ranked above the leader of the second centuria, or centurio posterior. The highest rank belonged to the first cen­turio of the first manipulus of the triarii, the prlmipllus or primus pllus, who was admitted to the council of war. The method of promotion was as follows: The cen-turiones had to work first through the 30 lower centuria: of the 30 manipuli of the hastati, principcs, and triarii, and then through "the 30 upper centuriai up to the primipilus.

After the end of the Republic and under the Empire the legion was visually divided into 10 cohorts ranked one above the other, each cohort consisting of three manipuli or six centuriai. The division into priares and posteriOres, and into triarii, principcs


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