He was a purely military man appointed by the emperor, usually a centurion whose term of service was completed.
Enamoured of the beautiful daughter of the plebeian centurion Virginius, Claudius attempted to seize her by an abuse of justice.
Of his early years nothing is directly known, and we first hear of him in middle life as serving during the Second Punic War, with the rank of centurion, in Sardinia, in the year 204, where he attracted the attention of Cato the elder, and was taken by him to Rome in the same year.
He was still but a centurion when chosen by the army of the Danube to lead it against Constantinople.
He went to sea at the age of ten, and had already five years of service to his credit when he was appointed to the "Centurion," and was sent with Anson round the world in 1740.
Nothing pleased him better than to take part with the centurion or the soldier in fencing or other military exercise, and he would applaud any shrewd blow which fell upon his own helmet.
These women watched His burial, which was performed by a Jewish councillor, to whom Pilate had granted the body after the centurion had certified the reality of the unexpectedly early death.
Catiline now resolved upon open war; preparations were set on foot throughout Italy, especially in Etruria, where the standard of revolt was raised by the centurion C. Manlius (or Mallius), one of Sulla's veterans.
And, further, this matter seems to belong to the same cycle of tradition as the story of Pilate's wife and his throwing the guilt of the Crucifixion of Jesus upon the Jews, and the testimony borne by the Roman guard (as well as the centurion) who kept watch by the cross (xxvii.
In 1737 he was appointed to the "Centurion," 60, on the eve of war with Spain, and when hostilities had begun he was chosen to command as commodore the squadron which was sent to attack her possessions in South America in 1740.