7.01 Centurions


centurion (from the Latin “centuria”) was a professional officer of the Roman army or navy who was in charge of 100 legionaries (i.e., Roman soldiers). They could be elected, appointed by the Senate, or promoted "from the ranks" for a variety of reasons. Centurions were identified by the transverse horse-hair crest on top of their helmet, otherwise known as a galea. Centurions had important social status in Roman society and consequently held powerful positions. Upon retirement, centurions were eligible for employment as Lictors who were routinely tasked with carrying the Greco-Roman fasces in public. This is why a Roman centurion is depicted holding a fasces in the apex of the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. Because Roman centurions protected Roman Senators from harm, a centurion is depicted in the logo of the Ottawa Senators, a professional NHL hockey team in Canada. Lastly, the helmet of a Roman centurion is also depicted in the logo of the United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA), the highest military school in America. According to modern historical accounts, during the 11th century, Roman Vikings under Leif Ericson “reached North America and set up a short-lived settlement in present-day L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada”. Based on this fact alone, it would appear that the historical accounts of North American exploration by one Christopher Columbus (1492) and Lewis and Clark (1804-1806) were calculated historical deceptions which were created in an attempt to hide previous Roman exploration of the Americans and beyond. Consequently, a Roman centurion is depicted in the State Seal of California and the official Coat of Arms of Hawaii, further suggesting that the Roman Empire did in fact explore the both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Centurion Tributes in the Military

Tributes to the Roman centurion are found within various aspects of the military, including but not limited to: Centurion-class battleships
, a second-class pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy in the 1890s; Centurion Counter-RAM, land based version of the Phalanx Close-In Weapon System; Centurion tank, British battle tank; E-3 Sentry AWACS, airborne early warning aircraft; General Orders for Sentries, the official title of a set of rules governing sentry (guard or watch) duty in the United States Armed Forces; “HMS Centurion (1650) was a 34-gun ship of the Royal Navy; “HMS Centurion (1691) was a 48-gun fourth-rate of the Royal Navy; “HMS Centurion (1732) was a 60-gun fourth-rate of the Royal Navy; “HMS Centurion (1774) was a 50-gun fourth-rate of the Royal Navy; “HMS Centurion was a 74-gun third-rate of the Royal Navy who was originally called the HMS Clarence; “HMS Centurion (1844) was an 80-gun third-rate of the Royal Navy; “HMS Centurion (1892) was a Centurion-class battleship of the Royal Navy; “HMS Centurion (1911) was a King George V-class battleship of the Royal Navy; “HMS Centurion”, would have been a 9,000 ton cruiser of the Royal Navy but cancelled in 1946; HMS Centurion (shore establishment) was the central drafting depot established at Haslemere in 1956 by the Royal Navy; SENTRI (Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection) provides expedited U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing, at the U.S.-Mexico border, of pre-approved travelers, considered low-risk; and Sentry gun, a gun that automatically aims and fires at targets.

Other Centurion Tributes
Tributes to the Roman centurion are found throughout the modern world, including but not limited to: Buildings: Century City, a mixed-use development by Century Properties in Makati, Philippines; Century City Building, a 103 meter high-rise building in Perth, Western Australia; Century Tower, Beaumont, Texas, USA; Century Tower, Chicago, Illinois, USA; Century Tower, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; Century Tower, Tel Aviv, Israel; Century Tower, Tokyo, Japan; and Century Tower, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida; USA; Business: Centurion Card, American Express charge card; Century, an imprint of Random House publishers; Century FM, a group of UK radio stations; Century Radio, a defunct Irish radio station; Century Time Gems Ltd, a Swiss watch factory; Sentry Foods, a chain of grocery stores in Wisconsin, USA; Sentry Insurance, an insurance company in Wisconsin, USA; SentrySafe, a safe manufacturing company in Rochester, New York, USA; and The Century Company, a defunct publisher (1881 to 1933); Fonts: Century Gothic, a font; Century Type Family, a family of fonts; Century Schoolbook, a font; and Twentieth Century, a typeface font; Places: Centuries, Hythe, Kent, England; Centurion, Gauteng; Centurion, a metro station system in Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa; Centurion Bank, submerged atoll southeast of Chagos Archipelago, east of Africa; Century, Florida; USA; Century, West Virginia; USA; Century City, a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa; Century City, Los Angeles, California; USA; and Sentry Island, an island in Nunavut, Canada; Science: Centaury (“Centaurium”), a herb; Centurion (grape), a California wine grape; Centurion (tree), tallest eucalyptus in the world, 99.6 meters high; Century plant, a type of agave; Sentry (AUV), Autonomous underwater vehicle used to measure deep-ocean data; Sentry (monitoring system), an automatic near-Earth asteroid collision monitoring system; and Statgraphics Centurion XV, statistical software; Sport: Centurion Park, a South African cricket ground; Centurion, a racewalking competition over 100 miles to be completed within 24 hours; Centurions, a gridiron team from Canberra, ACT, Australia; Century, 100 runs in cricket; Century break, 100 points in one break in snooker; Century ride, a 100-mile recreational bicycle ride; and Leigh Centurions, an English rugby league club; and Transportation: Buick Centurion, a car built by General Motors; Buick Century, a car built by General Motors; Centurion, a brand of bicycles, manufactured in Japan; Centurion Air Cargo, an airline; Centurion Engines, German series of aircraft engines; “Century”, a cruise ship; Century, an electric vehicle made from 1911-1915; Century Series, a group of aircraft models; Cessna 210 Centurion, a private aircraft; Nissan Sentra, a compact car; “Storozhevoy”, a Soviet frigate whose name translates to “The Sentry”; and Toyota Century, a luxury car.

Centurions in Pop Culture

Tributes to the Roman centurion are found within various aspects of popular culture, including but not limited to: Comics: A zombie Sentry appears in the "Crossover" story arc of
Ultimate Fantastic Four (2004-2009); Century (1994-1996), a Marvel Comics character from “Force Works”; Earth Sentry (1999), a fictional character in the Marvel Universe; Nova-Prime (1979), a character appearing as a centurion in publications by Marvel Comics; Sentry (2000), the name of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s private version of the Hubble Space Telescope in Ultimate Marvel; Sentry-459 (1967), a fictional character in the Marvel Universe; Sentry (Curtis Elkins) (1993), a fictional character in the Marvel Universe; Sentry (Robert Reynolds) (2000), a fictional character in the Marvel Universe; Sentry (Stewart Ward) (1999), a fictional character in the Marvel Universe; Sentry (Val, the Galadorian) (2000), a fictional character in the Marvel Universe; and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume III: Century” (2009); Film:Centurion” (2010), a historical film directed by Neil Marshall; “Century” (1993), a British film directed by Stephen Poliakoff; and “The Centurion” (1961), a historical drama film; Literature:Centurion” (2007), a novel by Simon Scarrow; “Centurion” (2000-Present), an English-language quarterly magazine; “century”, a collection of 100 sonnets; “Century” (1981), a novel by Fred Mustard Stewart; “Century” (1999), a coffee table book documenting the 20th century; Century Dictionary” (1889), an English dictionary; Cornelius the Centurion, a Roman centurion who is considered by Christians to be the first Gentile to convert to the faith in the New Testament of the Holy Bible; The Centurion” (2004-2010), a defunct magazine focused on Rutgers University in New Jersey;The Centurion” (1989), a novel, by Jan de Hartog; “The Centurions” (1960), a novel by Jean Lartéguy; “The Centurions” (1981), a novel by Damion Hunter; and The Century Magazine” (1881-1930), a defunct American magazine; Music: "Beverly Hills, Century City" (1980), a song off the Circle Jerks; Centurian, a death metal band; “Centurian” (2000), an album by Idris Ackamoor; Century, a French rock band; "Century” (2008), a song by The Long Blondes; Century, an American metal band; "Century City" (1979), a song by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers; and The Centurions, an American surf rock band; Television: “Centurion” (1966-2009), a fictional officer in the Romulan Star Empire in the science fiction franchise Star Trek; Centurion Cylon (1978-2004), a fictional robotic warrior in Battlestar Galactica; “Century City” (2004-2005), an American television program; Sentri class medium fighter, fictional fighter craft of the Centauri Republic in the fictional universe of Babylon 5 (1993-1998); “The Centurions” (1986), an American science fiction animated television series; and “The Last Centurion”, a character known as Rory Williams from the British TV Show Doctor Who (1963); and Video Games:Centurion: Defender of Rome” (1990-1991), a computer game; “City Centurian” (1977), a game software for the Apple II; “Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World” (2008-2014), the Centurions are the servants of the summon spirit Ratatosk; “The Sentinel” (1986), a video game released in the US as “The Sentry"; and "Ryse: Sons of Rome" (2013).