The legions of ancient Rome were instrumental in the expansion of Roman civilization into the ancient world. After a military victory over a conquered region, the legionaries set about building roads, bridges and aqueducts. Within the legions there was a unique military category of strategic value, the centurion. Roman Centurion
The Roman century and the chain of command
The centurion was the commanding officer of a century, a military unit that was not made up of a hundred soldiers but of eighty (military force adopted the word century that originally had to do with civil administration).
This officer had the support of three collaborators: the optio acted as the centurion’s direct lieutenant; the tesserarius was responsible for security and passwords, and the signifer was responsible for bearing the sign or standard of each century. Roman Centurion
Each Roman legion was divided into several tactical units known as cohorts. The legion set had a hierarchy of command with a very well-defined structure . At the apex of command was the emperor. The prime ministers were known as Praetorian Prefects and had the maximum military responsibility. On the next level was the general, who could be a Praetor or a Consul.
Another important figure was the Legacy, which equates to the rank of legion commander. At an intermediate level were the officers and centurions Roman Centurion
Specialist historians in the military world consider that the centurion had a fundamental role, as his function was to impose discipline and effectiveness on the troops, especially on the battlefield. Centurions had several categories: the highest ranking was the Primus Pilus, then the Princeps prior, the Hastatus prior, the Princeps later, and the Hastatus later.
As a general criterion, each legion had 59 centurions.
Access to centurion status
Those who managed to reach this category did so in three different ways: by internal promotion within the army, by being chosen by the members of the Senate, or else after the rise of the emperor’s own praetorian guard.
On the other hand, these warriors had to fulfill certain prerequisites: they had to know how to read and write; they had to be at least 30 years old, it was necessary to have courage and courage on the battlefield and, of course, to be a Roman citizen. Roman Centurion