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Document Details :
Title: Centurions in Early Rome
Author(s): TAYLOR, Michael J.
Journal: Ancient Society
Volume: 51 Date: 2021
This article examines the status and role of centurions in the early Roman Republic (c. 509-300 BCE), positing that they were elected plebeian officers with civic horizons in addition to military duties. Centurions played a role in the in the endemic social strife of the archaic city (the so-called ‘Struggle of the Orders’), where the rank itself could be a point of contention. The civic preeminence of centurions preceded their subsequent tactical prominence in the new manipular legion, but their civic status may have facilitated the development of novel tactics that required officers capable of initiative and autonomy.