Open main menu
This page has been validated.
684
CENTURION—CEPHALONIA

their power to make or unmake a citizen. They also decided questions concerning debt. Hence the plebs had an interest in securing their decisions against undue influence. They were never regarded as magistrates, but merely as judices, and as such would be appointed for a fixed term of service by the magistrate, probably by the praetor urbanus. But in Cicero’s time they were elected by the Comitia Tributa. They then numbered 105. Their original number is uncertain. It was probably increased by Augustus and in Pliny’s time had reached 180. The office was probably open in quite early times to both patricians and plebeians. The term is also applied in the inscriptions of Veii to the municipal senates and Cures, which numbered 100 members.

Authorities.—Tigerström, De Judicibus apud Romanos (Berlin, 1826); Greenidge, Legal Procedure of Cicero’s Time, pp. 40 ff., 58 ff., 182 ff., 264 (Oxford, 1901); Bethmann-Hollweg, Der romische Civilprozess, ii. 53 ff. (Bonn, 1864); Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopadie, iii. 1935 ff. (Wlassak).  (A. M. Cl.) 


CENTURION (Lat. centurio), in the ancient Roman army, an officer in command of a centuria, originally a body of a hundred infantry, later the sixtieth part of the normal legion. There were therefore in the legion sixty centurions, who, though theoretically subordinate to the six military tribunes, were the actual working officers of the legion. For the most part the centurions were promoted from the ranks: they were arranged in a complicated order of seniority; the senior centurion of the legion (primus pilus) was an officer of very high importance. Besides commanding the centuries of the legion, centurions were “seconded” for various kinds of special service, e.g. for staff employment, the command of auxiliaries. See further Roman Army.


CENTURIPE formerly Centorbi, anc. Κεντόριπα or Centuripae), a town of Sicily, in the province of Catania, situated 2380 ft. above sea-level in a commanding situation, 7 m. N. of the railway station of Catenanuova-Centuripe, which is 28 m. W. from Catania. Pop. (1901) 11,311. Thucydides mentions it as a city of the Sicels. It became an ally of the Athenians at the time of their expedition against Syracuse, and maintained its independence almost uninterruptedly (though it fell under the power of Agathocles) until the First Punic War. Cicero describes it, perhaps with some exaggeration, as being far the largest and richest city of Sicily, and as having a population of 10,000, engaged in the cultivation of an extensive territory. It was granted Latin rights before the rest of Sicily. It appears to have suffered much in the war against Sextus Pompeius, and not to have regained its former prosperity under the empire. Frederick II. entirely destroyed it in 1233, but it was soon rebuilt. Considerable remains of the ancient city walls and of buildings, mostly of the Roman period, still exist, and numerous antiquities, including some fine Hellenistic terra-cottas, have been discovered in casual excavations.

See F. Ansaldi, I Monumenti dell’ antica Centuripi (Catania, 1851); P. Orsi in Atti del Congresso Internazionale di Scienze Storiche (Rome, 1904), v. 177.  (T. As.) 


CENTURY (from Lat. centuria, a division of a hundred men), the name for a unit in the Roman army, originally amounting to one hundred men, and for one of the divisions into which the Roman people was separated for voting purposes (see Comitia). The word is applied to any group of one hundred, and more particularly to a period of a hundred years, and to the successive periods of a hundred years, dating before or after the birth of Christ. The “Century-plant” is a name given to the Agave (q.v.), or American aloe, from the supposition that it flowered once only in every hundred years.


CEOS (Gr. Κέως, mod. Zea or Tzia), an island in the Aegean Sea, belonging to the group of the Cyclades and the eparchy of Syra, 14 m. off the coast of Attica. Its greatest length is about 15 m. and its breadth about 8 m. It rises gradually towards the centre, where it culminates in Mount Elias, 1864 ft. high. Among its natural productions are lemons, citrons, olives, wine and honey; it also exports a considerable quantity of valonia. There were formerly four towns of some importance in the island:—Iulis, about 3 m. from the north-west shore; Coressia, the harbour of Iulis, with a temple of Apollo Smintheus in the neighbourhood; Carthaea, in the south-east, with a temple of Apollo; and Poieëssa, in the south-west. Of these Iulis is represented by the town of Zea, and Carthaea by the village of ’S tais Polais; traces of the other two can still be made out. Iulis was the birthplace of the lyric poets Simonides and Bacchylides, the philosophers Prodicus and Ariston, and the physician Erasistratus; the excellence of its laws was so generally recognized that the title of Cean Laws passed into a proverb. One of them forbade a citizen to protract his life beyond sixty years. The people of Ceos fought on the Greek side at Artemisium and Salamis; they joined the Delian League and also the later Athenian alliance in 377 B.C. They revolted in 363–362, but were reduced again, and the Athenians established a monopoly of the ruddle, or red earth, which was one of the most valuable products of the island. In A.D. 1207 it was divided between four Italian adventurers; after forming part of the duchy of Naxos in 1537, it passed under Turkish rule in 1566. Silver coins of Carthaea and Coressia have been found dating from the 6th century B.C. (see Numismatics: Greek, “Cyclades and Sporades”). The present population of the island is about 4000, of which the capital has about 2000.

See Pridik, De Cei Insulae rebus (1892).  (E. Gr.) 


CEPHALIC INDEX, the term in use by anthropologists to express the percentage of breadth to length in any skull. The principle employed by Retzius is to take the longer diameter of a skull, the antero-posterior diameter, as 100; if the shorter or transverse diameter falls below 80 the skull may be classed as long (dolichocephalic), while if it exceeds 80 the skull is broad (brachycephalic) (see Craniometry).


CEPHALONIA (Ital. Cefalonia, ancient and modern official Greek Cephallenia, Κεφαλληνία), an island belonging to the kingdom of Greece, and the largest of those known as the Ionian Islands, situated on the west side of the mainland, almost directly opposite the Gulf of Corinth. The name was traditionally derived from Cephalus, the Attic hero who was regarded as having colonized the island. The tradition, which is repeated by Aristotle, is probably due solely to the similarity of the names (see J. G. Frazer, Pausanias, i. 37, 6 note). Pop. (1907) 71,235. Its extreme length is 31 m., and its breadth varies from about 20 m. in the southern portion to 3 m. or less in the projecting part, which runs parallel with the island of Ithaca, at a distance of about 4 m. across the strait of Guiscardo or Viscaro. The whole island, with its area of 348 English sq. m., is covered with rocky hills of varying elevation, the main range running from north-west to south-east. The ancient Mount Aenos, now Elato, Monte Negro, or the Black Mountain (5315 ft.), frequently retains the snow for several months. It is not only the loftiest part of the sierra, but also the highest land in the whole Ionian group. The name “Black” was given from the darkness of the pine woods which still constitute the most striking feature in Cephalonian scenery, although their extent has been greatly curtailed by fire. The summit is called Megálo Sorós. The island is ill supplied with fresh water; there are few permanent streams except the Rakli, and springs are apt to fail in dry summers. In the western part of the island a gulf runs up from the south, a distance of about 7 m.; on its east side stands the chief town Argostoli, with about 10,000 inhabitants, and on its west side the rival city of Lixouri, with 6000. About a mile west of the town are the curious sea mills; a stream of sea water running down a chasm in the shore is made to turn the wheels. About 5 m. from Argostoli is the castle of St George, a building of Venetian origin, and the strongest fortification in the island. On an eminence east-south-east of Argostoli are the ruins of the ancient Cranii, and Lixouri is close to or upon those of Pale; while on the other side of the island are the remains of Samos on the bay of the same name, of Proni or Pronni, farther south above the vale of Rakli and its blossoming oleanders, and of an unknown city near the village of Scala. The ruins of this city include Roman baths, a brick-built temple, rock-cut tombs, and tessellated pavements; and Cranii, Proni and Samos are remarkable for stretches of Cyclopean and Hellenic walls, partly of the most irregular construction, and partly preserving almost unimpaired the results of the most perfect skill. The inhabitants