Monday, 4 July 2022

First Spear Centurion - Primus Pilus

The Primus pilus was the senior centurion of the first cohort in a Roman legion. The name Primus Pilus is translated to "first spear". He was a career soldier and advisor to the legate. While normal cohorts were composed of five to eight centuries, the one led by the primus pilus had ten centuries, 800 men. It also had 200 staff, such as cooks and clerks.
In modern terms the primus pilus would be considered a lieutenant colonel. The primus pilus was a well paid position. Only eight officers in a full legion outranked the primus pilus.

Altar by Marcus Aurelius Cocceius Florianus, who was Primus Pilus of the Legio X Gemina.