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Good day to you all,

Let me start off by saying that I love horses! We, my family, have had all kinds of horses (Quarter horses, thoroughbred race horses, ponies) for the major part of my life. I am also presently putting together a mid 1st century AD Centurion's kit. Therefore my interest in this subject - Riding Centurions. My question is...
I came across a picture on page 61 of Graham Sumner's book entitled Roman Army Wars of The Empire. The picture was titled "The Centurion Timokles on a sculpture from Epidaurus complete with his horse and servant". I was wondering did centurions ride horses? I know that they didn't ride all the time, but possibly sometimes? And if so, when? In battle, on parade, on the march? Or is it possible that this is just a sculpture the Centurion Timokles with his own personal horse? Like a pet. Would love to know the answer. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Thomas Guenther
The Penelope U of Chicago Lacus Curtius website is down at the moment so I can't find the exact sourcing, but when Sulla was in the east warring against Mithridates of Pontus, during one of the battles a Roman centurion stealthily rode into the party of Mithridates before attempting to kill the king, only giving him a serious wound to the leg, before the centurion was cut down.

By the Late Republic, many equestrians were serving as centurions, so many of them would have a "public horse." Whether they brought it on campaign and kept it is a different story.
Here's a debate from a few years ago on that exact point:

Centurion and His Horse Questions

It gets a little tetchy in places... Essentially, there still seems little evidence for centurions riding 'on the march', although many of them clearly owned horses and could ride them when required.
Already during the mid-republic centurions were used as military advisors of allied troops, e.g. the numidian cavalry riding with Scipio at Zama.

During the early principate centurions could be promoted to praefectus alae. We also know of promotions from decurio alae to centurio legionis and vice versa.

And the equites legionis had no decurions, We know of an optio equitis. So it is a good guess that the commander of the equites legionis was a centurio, even if there is no evidence at all about the commander of this unit.

And finally the german equites singulares augusti were organized in centuries, iirc. I am not sure about the equites consularis of a governor.

So there is no doubt that there have been riding centurions. But that does not answer the question, if the ordinary legionary centurion had a horse.
Enjoying the information guys! And Mr. Ross I read the link you provided. There's a lot of for and against this idea. In my opinion I believe that some centurions were mounted at times for whatever the reasons. I hope there is further evidence discovered in the future in regards to this topic.
Cheers for now,
Thomas Guenther