Meet The Centurions

Knights of Rome

Centurions

A centurion, also hekatontarch in Greek sources, or, in middle Byzantine times, kentarch, was a professional officer of the Roman army after the Marian Forms of 107 B.C. Most centurions commanded 80 men but senior centurions commanded cohorts, or took senior staff roles in their legion. Centurions were also found in the Roman navy.

Seniority

Each century had a precedence within the cohort. Centurions' seniority within the cohort and legion depended on the position within the legion of the century they were in charge of, which often took their name from their centurion. Centurions began by leading junior centuries before being promoted to leading a more senior one. Promotion usually came with experience, or at least length of service, but many still never made it as far as leading a 1st cohort. Yet for centurions who showed, say, particularly conspicuous bravery during battle, there was the opportunity to be promoted several grades at once. For example, Julius Caesar's reward for a centurion who had greatly pleased him was to advance him eight grades.Promotion through the various grades often meant transferring to another legion.