The Primus Pilus, or First Spear, was the Senior Centurion of a Roman Legion.
“Centurions were the guardians of Rome. At the height of the Roman Republic there were over five thousand qualified Roman Centurions in the Legions. To be a Centurion required that, in a mostly illiterate society, one be able to read and write clearly, to be able to convey and create orders, to be capable of not only performing every skill of a Roman soldier but to teach every skill of a Roman soldier. Becoming a Centurion required intense physical ability, courage beyond the norm, years of sacrifice and a total devotion to the philosophy which was Rome.
When Rome fell to barbarian invaders, there were fewer than five hundred qualified Centurions. Not because Rome had fewer people but because it had fewer people willing to make sacrifices.
And the last Centurions left their shields in the heather and took a barbarian bride.....”