Valor and Discipline; the watchwords of the Legions of Imperial Rome. In the vast bronze and steel ranks of the Legion none embodied these words more than the Centurion. The soul of the Legion, his scars were tattoos of Valor and the loud crack of his vine-stick kept the rhythm of Discipline.

A decorated Veteran, his great labor was to forge and hone the spirit of the Legion by being the physical embodiment of its values. He did so with his greatest tools; Respect and Fear. With carefully sharpened steel, a blood-red transverse crest upon his polished helmet and armor agleam with medals, the impressive Centurion marched at the front of his men and he made no hesitation to fight tooth to toe against the foe to show the lads how it was done. In a siege, many Centurions would endeavor to be the first of their men over the walls. Likely it would not have been his first time, for even surviving deeds such as this caused some men to be made Centurion in the first place. For this apparent selflessness and courage the Legionaries would respect him and be inspired by his example.

When discipline in the ranks became lax the Centurion would beat the Legion back into Roman Order with his vine-rod – the symbol of his authority and the gnarled cudgel by which harsh military punishments were dealt. For this they would fear the iced gaze of his disapproval.

It could be said that he represented the ideals of Rome. Born of war itself, Rome idolized martial discipline and feats of arms. Rome however, was always harsh to its transgressors, and the brutal discipline meted out by his gnarled arm and matching vine-rod reflected this reality. Tacitus related an anecdotal tale concerning one Centurion, nicknamed, Cedo Alteram meaning Gimme Another. He was so named after his most common phrase; said right after he shattered his vine-rod over the back of another lagging Legionary.

Though an officer of the Legion, the Centurion shared in the trials of the men beneath his charge. Most officers loftily rode on horseback, but the Centurion marched with the Legionaries on foot and his hob-nailed Roman Caligae boots were caked with the mud of the campaign road. He pitched his tent among their ranks in the camp and he fought with them in the thickest of the melee.

For his weighty tasks the Centurion was rewarded with excellent pay, varying from twice to possibly as high as 17 times that of the ordinary Legionary. His position was held in great prestige in society and the army supplied him with a good pension and sometimes land. Unfortunately, the dangerous, front-rank fighting duties often made casualties of Centurions in wartime.

This Gladius has the embellishments befitting a respected and decorated warrior such as the Centurion, though they come at no cost to its fighting purpose. The simple, carved wooden grip keeps the Centurion rooted in his humble, soldiery duties and austere origins. The blade is crafted from tempered, high carbon steel and is antiqued for a campaign-worn appearance. The all-metal guard and pommel have likewise been antiqued. Comes with a wood-core scabbard overlaid with burgundy leather and patinated brass accents. It has an integrated leather Roman sword baldric.