Caesar (title)

Caesar (title)

Overview
Caesar is a title
Title
A title is a prefix or suffix added to someone's name to signify either veneration, an official position or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titles may even be inserted between a first and last name...

 of imperial
Emperor
An emperor is a monarch, usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife or a woman who rules in her own right...

 character. It derives from the cognomen of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

, the Roman dictator
Roman dictator
In the Roman Republic, the dictator , was an extraordinary magistrate with the absolute authority to perform tasks beyond the authority of the ordinary magistrate . The office of dictator was a legal innovation originally named Magister Populi , i.e...

. The change from being a familial name to a title adopted by the Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

s can be dated to about AD 68/69, the so-called "Year of the Four Emperors
Year of the Four Emperors
The Year of the Four Emperors was a year in the history of the Roman Empire, AD 69, in which four emperors ruled in a remarkable succession. These four emperors were Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian....

".

Although the etymology of the name of Julius Caesar
Etymology of the name of Julius Caesar
The name Caesar probably originated from a dialect of Latium which did not share the rhotacism of the Roman dialect. Using the Latin alphabet as it existed in the day of Julius Caesar , Caesar's name is properly rendered GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR The name Caesar probably originated from a dialect of...

 is not known with certainty, many scholars believe that it was simply a use of the Latin expression caesar meaning hairy. The Julii Caesares were a specific branch of the gens
Gens
In ancient Rome, a gens , plural gentes, referred to a family, consisting of all those individuals who shared the same nomen and claimed descent from a common ancestor. A branch of a gens was called a stirps . The gens was an important social structure at Rome and throughout Italy during the...

 Julia
.
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Timeline

69   Lucius Calpurnius Piso Licinianus is appointed by Galba to deputy Roman Emperor.

285   Diocletian appoints Maximian as Caesar and co-ruler.

285   Diocletian appoints Maximian as Caesar, co-ruler.

286   Roman Emperor Diocletian raises Maximian to the rank of ''Caesar''.

293   Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian appoint Constantius Chlorus and Galerius as ''Caesares'', thus beginning the Tetrarchy.

317   Crispus and Constantine II, sons of Roman Emperor Constantine I, and Licinius Iunior, son of Emperor Licinius, are made ''Caesares''

335   Dalmatius is raised to the rank of Caesar by his uncle Constantine I.

351   Constantius II elevates his cousin Gallus to Caesar, and puts him in charge of the Eastern part of the Roman Empire.

355   Roman Emperor Constantius II promotes his cousin Julian to the rank of Caesar, entrusting him with the government of the Prefecture of the Gauls.

 
Encyclopedia
Caesar is a title
Title
A title is a prefix or suffix added to someone's name to signify either veneration, an official position or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titles may even be inserted between a first and last name...

 of imperial
Emperor
An emperor is a monarch, usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife or a woman who rules in her own right...

 character. It derives from the cognomen of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

, the Roman dictator
Roman dictator
In the Roman Republic, the dictator , was an extraordinary magistrate with the absolute authority to perform tasks beyond the authority of the ordinary magistrate . The office of dictator was a legal innovation originally named Magister Populi , i.e...

. The change from being a familial name to a title adopted by the Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

s can be dated to about AD 68/69, the so-called "Year of the Four Emperors
Year of the Four Emperors
The Year of the Four Emperors was a year in the history of the Roman Empire, AD 69, in which four emperors ruled in a remarkable succession. These four emperors were Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian....

".

Onomastic root


Although the etymology of the name of Julius Caesar
Etymology of the name of Julius Caesar
The name Caesar probably originated from a dialect of Latium which did not share the rhotacism of the Roman dialect. Using the Latin alphabet as it existed in the day of Julius Caesar , Caesar's name is properly rendered GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR The name Caesar probably originated from a dialect of...

 is not known with certainty, many scholars believe that it was simply a use of the Latin expression caesar meaning hairy. The Julii Caesares were a specific branch of the gens
Gens
In ancient Rome, a gens , plural gentes, referred to a family, consisting of all those individuals who shared the same nomen and claimed descent from a common ancestor. A branch of a gens was called a stirps . The gens was an important social structure at Rome and throughout Italy during the...

 Julia
. The first known bearer of the name was one Numerius Julius Caesar (born before 300 BC
300 BC
Year 300 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Corvus and Pansa...

), who might have been conspicuous for having a fine head of hair (alternatively, given the Roman sense of humour and Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

's own receding hairline, it could be that the family branch was conspicuous for going bald). It is probably not related to the root "to cut", a hypothesized etymology for Caesarian section.

The first Emperor, Caesar Augustus, bore the name as a matter of course; born Gaius Octavius, he was posthumously adopted by Caesar in his will, and per Roman naming conventions
Roman naming conventions
By the Republican era and throughout the Imperial era, a name in ancient Rome for a male citizen consisted of three parts : praenomen , nomen and cognomen...

 was renamed "Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus" (usually called "Octavian" in English when referring to this stage of his life).

Sole Roman Emperor


For political and personal reasons Octavian chose to emphasise his relationship with Caesar by styling himself simply "Imperator
Imperator
The Latin word Imperator was originally a title roughly equivalent to commander under the Roman Republic. Later it became a part of the titulature of the Roman Emperors as part of their cognomen. The English word emperor derives from imperator via Old French Empreur...

 Caesar" (whereto the Roman Senate
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

 added the honorific Augustus
Augustus (honorific)
Augustus , Latin for "majestic," "the increaser," or "venerable", was an Ancient Roman title, which was first held by Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus , and subsequently came to be considered one of the titles of what are now known as the Roman Emperors...

, "Majestic" or "Venerable", in 27 BC
27 BC
Year 27 BC was either a common year starting on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday or a leap year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar and a common year starting on Sunday of the Proleptic Julian calendar...

), without any of the other elements of his full name. His successor as emperor, his stepson Tiberius
Tiberius
Tiberius , was Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Augustus in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian...

, also bore the name as a matter of course; born Tiberius Claudius Nero, he was adopted by Caesar Augustus on June 26, 4 AD, as "Tiberius Iulius Caesar". The precedent was set: the Emperor designated his successor by adopting him and giving him the name "Caesar".

The fourth Emperor, Claudius
Claudius
Claudius , was Roman Emperor from 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul and was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy...

, was the first to assume the name "Caesar" upon accession, without having been adopted by the previous emperor; however, he was at least a member by blood of the Julio-Claudian dynasty
Julio-Claudian Dynasty
The Julio-Claudian dynasty normally refers to the first five Roman Emperors: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula , Claudius, and Nero, or the family to which they belonged; they ruled the Roman Empire from its formation, in the second half of the 1st century BC, until AD 68, when the last of the line,...

, being the nephew of Tiberius
Tiberius
Tiberius , was Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Augustus in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian...

 and the uncle of Caligula
Caligula
Caligula , also known as Gaius, was Roman Emperor from 37 AD to 41 AD. Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Caligula's father Germanicus, the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius, was a very successful general and one of Rome's most...

. Claudius in turn adopted his stepson and grand-nephew Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, giving him the name "Caesar" in the traditional way; his stepson would rule as the Emperor Nero
Nero
Nero , was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death....

. The first emperor to assume the position and the name simultaneously without any real claim to either was the usurper
Roman usurper
Usurpers are individuals or groups of individuals who obtain and maintain the power or rights of another by force and without legal authority. Usurpation was endemic during roman imperial era, especially from the crisis of the third century onwards, when political instability became the rule.The...

 Servius Sulpicius Galba
Galba
Galba , was Roman Emperor for seven months from 68 to 69. Galba was the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, and made a bid for the throne during the rebellion of Julius Vindex...

, who took the imperial throne under the name "Servius Galba Imperator Caesar" following the death of the last of the Julio-Claudians, Nero, in 68
68
Year 68 was a leap year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Asconius and Thraculus...

. Galba helped solidify "Caesar" as the title of the designated heir by giving it to his own adopted heir, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus.

Galba's reign did not last long and he was soon deposed by Marcus Otho
Otho
Otho , was Roman Emperor for three months, from 15 January to 16 April 69. He was the second emperor of the Year of the four emperors.- Birth and lineage :...

. Otho did not use the title "Caesar", but occasionally used the title "Nero" as emperor. Otho was then defeated by Aulus Vitellius
Vitellius
Vitellius , was Roman Emperor for eight months, from 16 April to 22 December 69. Vitellius was acclaimed Emperor following the quick succession of the previous emperors Galba and Otho, in a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors...

 who acceded with the name "Aulus Vitellius Germanicus Imperator Augustus." Vitellius did not at first adopt the cognomen "Caesar" as part of his name, and may have intended to replace it with "Germanicus" (he bestowed the name "Germanicus" upon his own son that year).

Nevertheless, Caesar had become such an integral part of the imperial dignity that its place was immediately restored by Titus Flavius Vespasian
Vespasian
Vespasian , was Roman Emperor from 69 AD to 79 AD. Vespasian was the founder of the Flavian dynasty, which ruled the Empire for a quarter century. Vespasian was descended from a family of equestrians, who rose into the senatorial rank under the Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty...

us ("Vespasian"), whose defeat of Vitellius in 69
69
Year 69 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Augustus and Rufinus...

 put an end to the period of instability and began the Flavian dynasty
Flavian dynasty
The Flavian dynasty was a Roman Imperial Dynasty, which ruled the Roman Empire between 69 and 96 AD, encompassing the reigns of Vespasian , and his two sons Titus and Domitian . The Flavians rose to power during the civil war of 69, known as the Year of the Four Emperors...

. Vespasian's son, Titus
Titus
Titus , was Roman Emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death, thus becoming the first Roman Emperor to come to the throne after his own father....

 Flavius Vespasianus became "Titus Caesar Vespasianus".

Minor dynastic title


By this point the status of "Caesar" had been regularised into that of a title given to the Emperor-designate (occasionally also with the honorific title Princeps Iuventutis, "Prince of Youth") and retained by him upon accession to the throne (e.g., Marcus Ulpius Traianus
Trajan
Trajan , was Roman Emperor from 98 to 117 AD. Born into a non-patrician family in the province of Hispania Baetica, in Spain Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in Spain, in 89 Trajan supported the emperor against...

 became Marcus Cocceius Nerva
Nerva
Nerva , was Roman Emperor from 96 to 98. Nerva became Emperor at the age of sixty-five, after a lifetime of imperial service under Nero and the rulers of the Flavian dynasty. Under Nero, he was a member of the imperial entourage and played a vital part in exposing the Pisonian conspiracy of 65...

's designated heir as Caesar Nerva Traianus in October 97
97
Year 97 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Augustus and Rufus...

 and acceded on January 28, 98 as "Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus"). After some variation among the earliest Emperors, the style of the Emperor-designate was NN. Caesar before accession and Imperator Caesar NN. Augustus after accession; starting with Publius Septimius Geta
Publius Septimius Geta
Geta , was a Roman Emperor co-ruling with his father Septimius Severus and his older brother Caracalla from 209 to his death.-Early life:Geta was the younger son of Septimius Severus by his second wife Julia Domna...

, it became customary to style the Emperor-designate as NN. Nobilissimus
Nobilissimus
Nobilissimus , in Byzantine Greek nōbelissimos was one of the highest imperial titles in the late Roman and Byzantine empires...

 Caesar
("NN. Most Noble Caesar") rather than simply NN. Caesar.

Late Empire


The use of Caesar for the junior partner in a consortium imperii
Consortium imperii
Consortium imperii is a Latin term dating from the Roman Dominate, denoting the sharing of imperial authority between two or more emperors, each hence designated as consors imperii, i.e. "partner in imperium", either as formal equals or in subordination; the junior is then often the senior's...

 naturally occurred also in break-away 'empires', eager to copy the Rome-proper original; e.g. the last Gallic emperor, Tetricus I
Tetricus I
Gaius Pius Esuvius Tetricus was Emperor of the Gallic Empire from 271 to 274, following the murder of Victorinus. Tetricus, who ruled with his son, Tetricus II, was the last of the Gallic emperors following his surrender to the Roman emperor Aurelian.-Reign:Tetricus was a senator born to a noble...

, granted the title to his son, Tetricus II
Tetricus II
Caius Pius Esuvius Tetricus was the son of Tetricus I, Emperor of the Gallic Empire ....

.

Tetrarchy


On March 1, 293, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletian
Diocletian
Diocletian |latinized]] upon his accession to Diocletian . c. 22 December 244  – 3 December 311), was a Roman Emperor from 284 to 305....

us established the Tetrarchy
Tetrarchy
The term Tetrarchy describes any system of government where power is divided among four individuals, but usually refers to the tetrarchy instituted by Roman Emperor Diocletian in 293, marking the end of the Crisis of the Third Century and the recovery of the Roman Empire...

, a system of rule by two senior Emperors and two junior sub-Emperors. The two coequal senior emperors were styled identically to previous Emperors, as Imperator Caesar NN. Pius Felix Invictus Augustus ("Elagabalus
Elagabalus
Elagabalus , also known as Heliogabalus, was Roman Emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan Dynasty, he was Syrian on his mother's side, the son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. Early in his youth he served as a priest of the god El-Gabal at his hometown, Emesa...

" had introduced the use of Pius Felix, "the Pious and Blessed", while Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus "Thrax"
Maximinus Thrax
Maximinus Thrax , also known as Maximinus I, was Roman Emperor from 235 to 238.Maximinus is described by several ancient sources, though none are contemporary except Herodian's Roman History. Maximinus was the first emperor never to set foot in Rome...

 introduced the use of Invictus, "the Unconquered"), and were called the Augusti
Augustus (honorific)
Augustus , Latin for "majestic," "the increaser," or "venerable", was an Ancient Roman title, which was first held by Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus , and subsequently came to be considered one of the titles of what are now known as the Roman Emperors...

, while the two junior sub-Emperors were styled identically to previous Emperors-designate, as NN. Nobilissimus Caesar. Likewise, the junior sub-Emperors retained the title "Caesar" upon accession to the senior position.

The Tetrarchy was quickly abandoned as a system (though the four quarters of the empire survived as praetorian prefecture
Praetorian prefecture
The praetorian prefecture was the largest administrative division of the late Roman Empire, above the mid-level dioceses and the low-level provinces. Praetorian prefectures originated in the reign of Constantine I The praetorian prefecture was the largest administrative division of the late Roman...

s) in favour of two equal, territorial emperors, and the previous system of Emperors and Emperors-designate was restored, both in the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

-speaking West and the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

-speaking East.

Byzantine Empire


In the Eastern Roman Empire (called "Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

" by later historians), Caesar continued in existence as a title marking out the heir-apparent, although since the time of Theodosius I
Theodosius I
Theodosius I , also known as Theodosius the Great, was Roman Emperor from 379 to 395. Theodosius was the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire. During his reign, the Goths secured control of Illyricum after the Gothic War, establishing their homeland...

, most emperors chose to solidify the succession of their intended heirs by raising them to co-emperors. Hence the title was more frequently awarded to second- and third-born sons, or to close and influential relatives of the Emperor: thus for example Alexios Mosele
Alexios Mosele (Caesar)
Alexios Mosele or Musele/Mousele was a Byzantine aristocrat and general, chosen by Emperor Theophilos for a time as his heir, betrothed to his daughter Maria and raised to the supreme dignity of Caesar. He campaigned in the Balkans, recovering territory from the Slavs, and fought with some...

 was the son-in-law of Theophilos
Theophilos (emperor)
Theophilos was the Byzantine emperor from 829 until his death in 842. He was the second emperor of the Phrygian dynasty, and the last emperor supporting iconoclasm...

, Bardas
Bardas
Bardas was a Byzantine noble and high-ranking minister. As the brother of Empress Theodora, he rose to high office under Theophilos . Although sidelined after Theophilos' death by Theodora and Theoktistos, in 856 he engineered Theoktistos' fall and became the regent for his nephew, Michael III...

 was the uncle and chief minister of Michael III
Michael III
Michael III , , Byzantine Emperor from 842 to 867. Michael III was the third and traditionally last member of the Amorian-Phrygian Dynasty...

, while Nikephoros II
Nikephoros II
Nikephoros II Phokas was a Byzantine Emperor whose brilliant military exploits contributed to the resurgence of Byzantine Empire in the tenth century.-Early exploits:...

 awarded the title to his father, Bardas Phokas. An exceptional case was the conferment of the dignity and its insignia to the Bulgarian
First Bulgarian Empire
The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state founded in the north-eastern Balkans in c. 680 by the Bulgars, uniting with seven South Slavic tribes...

 khan Tervel
Tervel of Bulgaria
Khan Tervel also called Tarvel, or Terval, or Terbelis in some Byzantine sources, was the Emperor of the Bulgarians at the beginning of the 8th century. In 705 he received the title Caesar which was a precedent in history. He was probably a Christian like his grandfather Khan Kubrat...

 by Justinian II
Justinian II
Justinian II , surnamed the Rhinotmetos or Rhinotmetus , was the last Byzantine Emperor of the Heraclian Dynasty, reigning from 685 to 695 and again from 705 to 711...

, who had helped him regain his throne in 705. The title was awarded to the nephew of Empress Maria of Alania, George II of Georgia
George II of Georgia
George II , of the Bagrationi Dynasty, was a king of Georgia from 1072 to 1089. He was a son and successor of Bagrat IV and his wife Borena of Alania...

 in 1081.

According to the Klētorologion
Kletorologion
The Klētorologion of Philotheos , is the longest and most important of the Byzantine lists of offices and court precedence . It was published in September of 899 during the reign of Emperor Leo VI the Wise by the otherwise unknown prōtospatharios and atriklinēs Philotheos...

of 899, the Byzantine Caesar's insignia were a crown without a cross, and the ceremony of a Caesar's creation (in this case dating to Constantine V
Constantine V
Constantine V was Byzantine emperor from 741 to 775; ); .-Early life:...

), is included in De Ceremoniis
De Ceremoniis
De Ceremoniis is the Latin title of a description of ceremonial protocol at the court of the Eastern Roman emperor in Constantinople. It is sometimes called De ceremoniis aulae byzantinae...

I.43. The title remained the highest in the imperial hierarchy until the introduction of the sebastokratōr
Sebastokrator
Sebastokratōr was a senior court title in the late Byzantine Empire. It was also used by other rulers whose states bordered the Empire or were within its sphere of influence. The word is a compound of "sebastos" Sebastokratōr was a senior court title in the late Byzantine Empire. It was also used...

(a portmanteau word meaning "majestic ruler" derived from sebastos
Sebastos
Sebastos was an honorific used by the ancient Greeks to render the Roman imperial title of Augustus. From the late 11th century on, during the Komnenian period, it and variants derived from it formed the basis of a new system of court titles for the Byzantine Empire. The female form of the title...

and autokratōr
Autokrator
Autokratōr is a Greek epithet applied to an individual who exercises absolute power, unrestrained by superiors. In a historical context, it has been applied to military commanders-in-chief, and to Roman and Byzantine emperors as the translation of the Latin title imperator. Its connection with...

, the Greek equivalents of Augustus
Augustus (honorific)
Augustus , Latin for "majestic," "the increaser," or "venerable", was an Ancient Roman title, which was first held by Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus , and subsequently came to be considered one of the titles of what are now known as the Roman Emperors...

and imperator
Imperator
The Latin word Imperator was originally a title roughly equivalent to commander under the Roman Republic. Later it became a part of the titulature of the Roman Emperors as part of their cognomen. The English word emperor derives from imperator via Old French Empreur...

) by Alexios I Komnenos
Alexios I Komnenos
Alexios I Komnenos, Latinized as Alexius I Comnenus , was Byzantine emperor from 1081 to 1118, and although he was not the founder of the Komnenian dynasty, it was during his reign that the Komnenos family came to full power. The title 'Nobilissimus' was given to senior army commanders,...

 and later of despotēs
Despotes
Despot , was a senior Byzantine court title that was bestowed on the sons or sons-in-law of reigning emperors, and initially denoted the heir-apparent...

by Manuel I Komnenos
Manuel I Komnenos
Manuel I Komnenos was a Byzantine Emperor of the 12th century who reigned over a crucial turning point in the history of Byzantium and the Mediterranean....

. The title remained in existence through the last centuries of the Empire. In the Palaiologan period, it was held by prominent nobles like Alexios Strategopoulos
Alexios Strategopoulos
Alexios Strategopoulos was a Byzantine general during the reign of Michael VIII Palaiologos, rising to the rank of megas domestikos and Caesar. He is most notable for leading the reconquest of Constantinople from the Latins in 1261.- Early life :...

, but from the 14th century, it was mostly awarded to foreign rulers of the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

 such as the princes of Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

, Serbia and Thessaly
Thessaly
Thessaly is a traditional geographical region and an administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears thus in Homer's Odyssey....

. In the mid-14th century Book of Offices of pseudo-Kodinos, the rank comes between the sebastokratōr and the megas domestikos.

Ottoman Empire


In the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, the Persians and later the Arabs continued to refer to the Roman and Byzantine emperors as "Caesar" (in Persian قیصر روم Qaisar-e-Rūm). Thus, following the conquest of Constantinople
Fall of Constantinople
The Fall of Constantinople was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire, which occurred after a siege by the Ottoman Empire, under the command of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, against the defending army commanded by Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI...

 in 1453, the victorious Ottoman sultan Mehmed II
Mehmed II
Mehmed II , was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire for a short time from 1444 to September 1446, and later from...

 was the first of the rulers of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 to assume the title "Caesar of the Roman Empire" (Ottoman Turkish
Ottoman Turkish language
The Ottoman Turkish language or Ottoman language is the variety of the Turkish language that was used for administrative and literary purposes in the Ottoman Empire. It borrows extensively from Arabic and Persian, and was written in a variant of the Perso-Arabic script...

 Kayser-i-Rûm). Here, the Caesar title should not be understood as the minor title it had become, but as the glorious title of the emperors of the past, a connotation that had been preserved in Persian and Arabic. The adoption of the title also implied that the Ottoman state considered itself the continuation, by absorption, of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, a view not shared in the West. Acting in his capacity as Caesar of the Roman Empire, Mehmed reinstated the defunct Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople , part of the wider Orthodox Church, is one of the fourteen autocephalous churches within the communion of Orthodox Christianity...

.

Name


The history of "Caesar" as an imperial title is reflected by the following monarchic titles, usually reserved for "Emperor" and "Empress" in many languages (note that the name Caesar, pronounced see-zer in English, was pronounced kai-sahr in Classical Latin):

Germanic languages
Germanic languages
The Germanic languages constitute a sub-branch of the Indo-European language family. The common ancestor of all of the languages in this branch is called Proto-Germanic , which was spoken in approximately the mid-1st millennium BC in Iron Age northern Europe...

:
  • Danish
    Danish language
    Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

    : Kejser & Kejserinde;
  • Dutch
    Dutch language
    Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

    : Keizer & Keizerin;
  • German
    German language
    German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

    : Kaiser & Kaiserin;
  • Icelandic
    Icelandic language
    Icelandic is a North Germanic language, the main language of Iceland. Its closest relative is Faroese.Icelandic is an Indo-European language belonging to the North Germanic or Nordic branch of the Germanic languages. Historically, it was the westernmost of the Indo-European languages prior to the...

    : Keisari & Keisaraynja;
  • Faroese
    Faroese language
    Faroese , is an Insular Nordic language spoken by 48,000 people in the Faroe Islands and about 25,000 Faroese people in Denmark and elsewhere...

    : Keisari & Keisarinna;
  • Norwegian
    Norwegian language
    Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

    : Keiser & Keiserinne;
  • Swedish
    Swedish language
    Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

    : Kejsare & Kejsarinna
  • Old English
    Old English language
    Old English or Anglo-Saxon is an early form of the English language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons and their descendants in parts of what are now England and southeastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century...

    : cāsere

Slavic
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

 and Baltic languages
Baltic languages
The Baltic languages are a group of related languages belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family and spoken mainly in areas extending east and southeast of the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe...

:
  • Belarusian
    Belarusian language
    The Belarusian language , sometimes referred to as White Russian or White Ruthenian, is the language of the Belarusian people...

    : Tsar
    Tsar
    Tsar is a title used to designate certain European Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism...

     & Tsarytsa
  • Bulgarian
    Bulgarian language
    Bulgarian is an Indo-European language, a member of the Slavic linguistic group.Bulgarian, along with the closely related Macedonian language, demonstrates several linguistic characteristics that set it apart from all other Slavic languages such as the elimination of case declension, the...

    : Цар & Царица (Tsar & Tsaritsa);
  • Croatian
    Croatian language
    Croatian is the collective name for the standard language and dialects spoken by Croats, principally in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian province of Vojvodina and other neighbouring countries...

    : Car & Carica (c is read ts);
  • Czech
    Czech language
    Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide. The language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century...

    : Císař & Císařovna;
  • Latvian
    Latvian language
    Latvian is the official state language of Latvia. It is also sometimes referred to as Lettish. There are about 1.4 million native Latvian speakers in Latvia and about 150,000 abroad. The Latvian language has a relatively large number of non-native speakers, atypical for a small language...

    : Ķeizars & Ķeizariene;
  • Macedonian
    Macedonian language
    Macedonian is a South Slavic language spoken as a first language by approximately 2–3 million people principally in the region of Macedonia but also in the Macedonian diaspora...

    : Кајсар & Кајсарица (Kajsar & Kajsarica c is read ts)
  • Polish
    Polish language
    Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

    : Cesarz & Cesarzowa;
  • Russian
    Russian language
    Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

    : Царь & Царица, Czar & Czaritsa (archaic transliteration), Tsar & Tsaritsa (modern transliteration); however in the Russian empire (also reflected in some of its other languages), which aimed to be the "third Rome
    Third Rome
    The term Third Rome describes the idea that some European city, state, or country is the successor to the legacy of the Roman Empire and its successor state, the Byzantine Empire ....

    " as successor to the Byzantine empire, it was abandoned (not in the foreign language renderings though) as imperial style -in favor of Imperator and Autocrator- and used as a lower, royal style as within the empire in chief of some of its parts, e.g. Georgia
    Georgia (country)
    Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

     and Siberia
    Siberia
    Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

    • In the United States and, more recently, Britain, the title "czar" (from the Russian title) is a slang term for certain high-level civil servants, such as the "drug czar" for the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and "terrorism czar" for a Presidential advisor on terrorism policy. More specifically, a czar refers to a sub-cabinet level advisor within the executive branch of the U.S. government.
  • Serbian
    Serbian language
    Serbian is a form of Serbo-Croatian, a South Slavic language, spoken by Serbs in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and neighbouring countries....

    : Цар & Царица (Tsar & Tsaritsa)
  • Slovak
    Slovak language
    Slovak , is an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages .Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by 5 million people...

    : Cisár & Cisárovná;
  • Slovene: Cesar & Cesarica;


Afro-Asiatic languages
Afro-Asiatic languages
The Afroasiatic languages , also known as Hamito-Semitic, constitute one of the world's largest language families, with about 375 living languages...

:
  • Arabic
    Arabic language
    Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

    : Qaysar قيصر
  • Hebrew
    Hebrew language
    Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

    : Keisár קיסר & Keisarít קיסרית;


Indo-Iranian languages
Indo-Iranian languages
The Indo-Iranian language group constitutes the easternmost extant branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It consists of three language groups: the Indo-Aryan, Iranian and Nuristani...

:
  • Persian
    Persian language
    Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

    : Ghaysar قيصر
  • Urdu
    Urdu
    Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

    : Qaysar قيصر used in the title "Kaiser-i-Hind
    Kaiser-i-Hind (disambiguation)
    Kaiser-i-Hind may mean different things, including the following:* Kaisar-i-Hind , meaning "Emperor of India". Originally derived from German title Kaiser, or Qaisar in some other oriental languages , or Kaisar in Urdu. Based upon this, the title Kaisar-i-Hind was coined in 1876 by the orientalist...

    " ("Emperor of India") during the British Raj
    British Raj
    British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...


Kartvelian languages
  • Georgian
    Georgian language
    Georgian is the native language of the Georgians and the official language of Georgia, a country in the Caucasus.Georgian is the primary language of about 4 million people in Georgia itself, and of another 500,000 abroad...

    : Keisari

Turkic languages
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

:
  • Turkish
    Turkish language
    Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

    : Kayser (historical), Sezar (modern). Kayser-i-Rûm "Caesar of [Constantinople, the second] Rome", one of many subsidiary titles proclaiming the Ottoman Great Sultan
    Great Sultan
    Great Sultan is one of various informal titles, such as Grand Turk, used to refer to the Ottoman Sultan, known in Ottoman Turkish as Padishah, Hünkar or Hakan, the sovereign of the Ottoman dynasty....

     (main imperial title Padishah) as (Muslim) successor to "Rum" as the Turks called the (Christian) Roman Empire (as Byzantium had continued to call itself), continuing to use the name for part of formerly Byzantine territory (compare the Seljuk Rum-sultanate)


Uralic languages
Uralic languages
The Uralic languages constitute a language family of some three dozen languages spoken by approximately 25 million people. The healthiest Uralic languages in terms of the number of native speakers are Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, Mari and Udmurt...

:
  • Estonian
    Estonian language
    Estonian is the official language of Estonia, spoken by about 1.1 million people in Estonia and tens of thousands in various émigré communities...

    : Keiser & Keisrinna;
  • Finnish
    Finnish language
    Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

    : Keisari & Keisarinna or Keisaritar;
  • Hungarian
    Hungarian language
    Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

    : Császár & Császárnő;


Austronesian languages
Austronesian languages
The Austronesian languages are a language family widely dispersed throughout the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, with a few members spoken on continental Asia that are spoken by about 386 million people. It is on par with Indo-European, Niger-Congo, Afroasiatic and Uralic as one of the...

:
  • Bahasa Indonesia
    Indonesian language
    Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

    : Kaisar;


Albanian
Albanian language
Albanian is an Indo-European language spoken by approximately 7.6 million people, primarily in Albania and Kosovo but also in other areas of the Balkans in which there is an Albanian population, including western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, southern Serbia and northwestern Greece...

:
  • Albanian
    Albanian language
    Albanian is an Indo-European language spoken by approximately 7.6 million people, primarily in Albania and Kosovo but also in other areas of the Balkans in which there is an Albanian population, including western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, southern Serbia and northwestern Greece...

    : Çezar & Qesarinë;


Armenian
Armenian language
The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian people. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia as well as in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The language is also widely spoken by Armenian communities in the Armenian diaspora...

:
  • Armenian
    Armenian language
    The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian people. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia as well as in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The language is also widely spoken by Armenian communities in the Armenian diaspora...

    : կայսր Kaysr, and կայսրություն Kaysrutiun meaning empire;


In various Romance and other languages, the imperial title was rather based on the Latin Imperator
Imperator
The Latin word Imperator was originally a title roughly equivalent to commander under the Roman Republic. Later it became a part of the titulature of the Roman Emperors as part of their cognomen. The English word emperor derives from imperator via Old French Empreur...

 (in fact a military mandate or a victory title
Victory title
A victory title is an honorific title adopted by a successful military commander to commemorate his defeat of an enemy nation. This practice was first used by Ancient Rome and is still most commonly associated with the Romans, but it has also been adopted as a practice by many modern empires,...

), but Caesar or a derivation is then still used for both the name and the minor ranks (still perceived as Latin)

There have been other cases of a noun proper being turned into a title, such as Charlemagne's Latin name, including the epithet, Carolus (magnus) becoming Slavonic titles rendered as King: Kralj
Kralj
Kralj is a South Slavic surname and title. It literally means "king" and is derived from Charles the Great in the same sense as Tsar is to Caesar...

 (Serbo-Croat), Král
Král
Kráľ is a village and municipality in the Rimavská Sobota District of the Banská Bystrica Region of southern Slovakia.-External links:*http://www.statistics.sk/mosmis/eng/run.html...

 (Czech) and Król
Krol
Krol is a surname and may refer to:* George A. Krol, American ambassador to Belarus* Henk Krol , Dutch journalist* Jack Krol , American baseball coach and manager* Joe Krol , Canadian Football League player...

 (Polish), etc.

However certain languages, especially Romance languages, also commonly use a 'modernized' word (e.g. César in French) for the name, both referring to the Roman cognomen and modern use as a first name, and even to render the title Caesar, sometimes again extended to the derived imperial titles above.

Historiography


Oswald Spengler
Oswald Spengler
Oswald Manuel Arnold Gottfried Spengler was a German historian and philosopher whose interests also included mathematics, science, and art. He is best known for his book The Decline of the West , published in 1918, which puts forth a cyclical theory of the rise and decline of civilizations...

 used the term, Caesarism, in his book, The Decline of the West
The Decline of the West
The Decline of the West , or The Downfall of the Occident, is a two-volume work by Oswald Spengler, the first volume of which was published in the summer of 1918...

.