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1. (in ancient Rome) a unit of foot soldiers, originally 100 strong, later consisting of 60 to 80 men
2. (in ancient Rome) a division of the people for purposes of voting



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.

References in periodicals archive ?
First of all, much of the mess we're in the massive indebtedness, the expiring asset bubbles, and the Big Government that is inevitably created to remedy such ills--can be ascribed to a centurylong diet of fiat money.
CAPTAIN James McPake hopes Hibernian win the William Hill Scottish Cup against rivals Hearts today so supporters can end their centurylong wait and revel in the triumph for the next 100 years.
Whyte decided to terminate a centurylong association with Arsenal when he sold shares that were gifted to Rangers by the London club.