Sunday, February 12, 2017

Ancient Romans Worth Knowing: The Centurion Lucilius, AKA "Gimme Another!"

The historian Tacitus records that, in the year AD 14, there was a mutiny among the Roman soldiers in Pannonia (modern day Serbia).

The uprising fell especially hard upon a Centurion named Lucilius, whose previous excessive discipline made him a target of reprisal.

Tacitus (Annales 1.23) writes the following:

et centurio Lucilius interficitur cui militaribus facetiis vocabulum 'cedo alteram' indiderant, quia fracta vite in tergo militis alteram clara voce ac rursus aliam poscebat.

And the Centurion Lucilius is killed, to whom, with military humor, they had applied the nickname "Gimme another," since, having broken a vine-rod on the back of a soldier, he was demanding another (vine-rod) and yet another with a loud voice.

God forgive you, Lucili. You did what you believed was your duty, but you may have something to atone for. God forgive your assailants, they are also culpable in this catastrophe. Requiem aeternam dona eis omnibus, Domine...

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