century(redirected from centurial)
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in ancient Rome, a military and political division of the citizenry. According to classical tradition, the Roman cavalry was divided into centuries in the regal period (eighth-sixth centuries B.C.). The reform by which the century became a general military and electoral unit is attributed to King Servius Tullius (sixth century B.C.). It divided all citizens into five property classifications; each classification supplied a fixed number of centuries and received a corresponding number of votes in the comitia centuriata (Centuriate Assembly). The initial total of 193 centuries was increased to 373 between the First and Second Punic wars. The century retained its importance as a military subdivision under the empire, when it was part of a cohort in a legion.