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Century

Евсеенков А.С.

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Centuria (Latin centuria-hundred; from centum-hundred) — a military unit (formation) of the Roman legion. The commander of a century was called a centurion, literally "centurion".

In the Roman Legion , at first it was 60, and at the time of theEmpires of 59 centuries. According to most historians, the original century actually numbered 100 people, which roughly corresponds to a modern army company, although there are other points of view on this issue. Some authors refer to the fact that during the royal period in Rome, taking into account the reform of Servius Tullius, there simply would not have been enough military personnel for 193 centuries. Because of this, the size of the century turned out to be less than the required size. It is assumed that before the reform of Gaius Marius in the century could be about 60 people, and after it the number could reach 100. Centuries were divided into contubernia, consisting of 10 people. Two centuries formed a maniple, and several maniples formed a cohort. The century itself, in most cases, did not act in battle as an independent tactical unit. The centuries of the Legion's first cohort were twice as numerous as those of the other cohorts.

In addition, the electoral groups of the Romans were called centuries. They were introduced by the Roman king Servius Tullius (6th century BC), who divided all Roman citizens into 5 property classes (in addition to those who did not meet the qualification — the so-called proletarians). Each of these classes had to put in the army a specified number of centuries in a certain way armed, it is known that as a result of the reform, 193 centuries were collected. As a result, every Roman citizen, upon reaching the age of majority, was assigned to one of the centuries of his class. Also, these centuries were voted on at one of the types of people's assembly — centuriate comitia. Later this division became obsolete and was abolished, but nevertheless centuriate comitia continued to be held.

Related topics

Centurion, Legion, Cohort, Contuberny