M. Cente'nius Pe'nula
first centurion of the triarii (primi pili
), who had obtained his discharge after serving his full military time, and was distinguished for his bravery, obtained front the senate in B. C. 212 the command of 8000 men, half of whom were Roman citizens and half allies, by his assurance that his knowledge of the enemy and the country would enable him to gain some great advantage in a short time.
The number of men granted him by the senate was nearly doubled by volunteers; and with these he marched into Lucania, offered battle to Hannibal, and was, as a matter of course, defeated. (Liv. 25.19
; Oros. 4.16