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centurion

cen·tu·ri·on / senˈt(y)oŏrēən/ • n. the commander of a century in the ancient Roman army.

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centurion

centurion the commander of a century (a company, originally of a hundred men) in the ancient Roman army.

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centurion

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Centurion

CENTURION

Roman military officer in command of a "century," nominally 100 foot soldiers; ten centuries constituted a cohort; and 60, a legion. The centurion's duties consisted in training, inspecting, and disciplining the troops in his charge (cf. Mt 8.9) and leading them in battle. At times he was the highest-ranking official in a particular area, especially in the provinces. The NT mentions five centurions. Three remain unnamed: one at Capharnaum (Mt 8.51.3; Lk 7.210), one in charge of Jesus' execution (Mt 27.54; Mk 15.39, 45; Lk 23.47), and another in Jerusalem at the time of Paul's arrest (Acts 22.2526; 23.17,23). The names of the other two are Cornelius, whom Peter received into the Church (Acts 10.1), and Julius, who brought Paul safely to Rome (Acts 27.1, 11, 43).

Bibliography: Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible, tr. and adap. by l. hartman (New York 1963), from a. van den born, Bijbels Woordenboek, 338339. f. d. gealy, g. a. buttrick, ed., The Interpreters' Dictionary of the Bible, 4 v. (Nashville 1962) 1:547548. j. hastings and j. a. selbia, eds., Dictionary of the Bible, 5 v. (Edinburgh 194250) 1:366367.

[r. mercurio]

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