Caesar (title)
Caesar is a 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
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
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...


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.