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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 ?
The cause of sarcoidosis: the centurial enigma solved.
Goldsmith (1972) suggested that the spit was periodically breached at an updrift location and a new inlet migrated southerly at some multi-decadal to centurial time scale.
People can help construct the Wall on a 40ft screen by adding their own virtual stone bearing their name or initials - just as the Romans did with centurial stones which told who had built which stretch.