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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 ?
Similarly, during the summer of 1996, a media campaign was launched in Varna against the construction of a Methodist church, a body with a centurylong presence in Bulgaria.
But Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett argue the case for the existence of a centurylong de facto cooperative arrangement between the Rockefeller empire and the most effective, ambitious and zealous of fundamentalist missionary groups.
Summary: If you want to understand events in Israel and Palestine among these two people who are locked in a centurylong battle, you have to understand the importance of generations.
The two protagonists were superbly played by Alan Humphreys and Neal McWilliams, below, whose character arc from unthinking Gulf War military automaton into a reflective and damaged human was brilliantly executed as his centurylong dead inquisitor forced him to confront the terrible error that saw him confined to purgatory.