A professional officer in the ancient Roman military. Roman legions, usually numbering some 6,000 men, were divided into 60 centuries, or groups of about 100 soldiers, each commanded by a centurion.
These elite officers were the pillars of the legion and were much better paid than common soldiers. Some of these ‘army officers’ are favorably mentioned in the Scriptures. One was commended for his great faith. (Mt 8:5-10, 13) Another was named Cornelius. He and his relatives were the first uncircumcised Gentiles to convert to Christianity.—Mr 15:39; Ac 10:1, ftn.; 10:44, 45; 27:1, 43.