Tonight a part of myself was reflected to me by a dear friend, who described the image of a staunch angry Centurion guarding the precious treasure.

A Centurion is “a professional officer of the Roman army after the Marian reforms of 107 BC. Most centurions commanded 83 men despite the commonly assumed 100, but senior centurions commanded cohorts, or took senior staff roles in their legion.”

A Centurion looks like this.

Which is curious, because earlier tonight from my car I saw a shadowy man on the side of the road, wearing a big fluffy white headdress exactly like a Centurion’s, taking a flash photo of a giant tree / church through the rainy dark. Huh, I said to myself. That’s not quite a trojan hat, but I wonder what it is?

Then, because it was to this same friend that I said, in a recent dream, “I can be a footsoldier too” — how is a Centurion different from a footsoldier?

Well, he’s an authority — an officer, he commands other soldiers. He is a professional soldier, probably unlike the footsoldier.

“Centuries, or Centuriae, means tribe or company. Theoretically, this word traces its roots to centum which is latin for one-hundred, but that connection is widely disputed or disregarded.”

So the Centurion commands the centuries, which means he represents a whole communal structure to itself. Also he presumes to order entire swaths of time.

“Centurions could be elected, appointed by the Senate, or promoted to the rank for a variety of reasons.

“Centurions often suffered heavy casualties in battle, generally fighting alongside the legionaries they commanded. They usually led from the front, occupying a position at the front right of the century formation. They led and inspired their men by example. They also sought to display the skill and courage that may have gotten them to their rank in the first place. It is for these reasons that they often suffered a disproportionate number of casualties. Centurions had a well deserved reputation for dealing out harsh punishment.

“The most senior centurion of the legion was the Primus Pilus.”

We’ll call my senior centurion by his name, the fiercesome “Palak Paneer.”


~ by Arrrow Marie on January 23, 2010.

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