Tsar

Tsar

Overview

Tsar is a title used to designate certain European Slavic monarch
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

s or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia
Tsardom of Russia
The Tsardom of Russia was the name of the centralized Russian state from Ivan IV's assumption of the title of Tsar in 1547 till Peter the Great's foundation of the Russian Empire in 1721.From 1550 to 1700, Russia grew 35,000 km2 a year...

 and Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, it is known as Tsarist autocracy
Tsarist autocracy
The Tsarist autocracy |transcr.]] tsarskoye samoderzhaviye) refers to a form of autocracy specific to the Grand Duchy of Muscovy . In a tsarist autocracy, all power and wealth is controlled by the tsar...

, or Tsarism. The term is derived from 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...

 word Caesar
Caesar (title)
Caesar is a title of imperial character. It derives from the cognomen of Julius Caesar, the Roman dictator...

, which meant "Emperor
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...

" in the European medieval sense of the term - a ruler who claims the same rank as a Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 emperor, with the approval of another emperor or a supreme ecclesiastical official (the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 or the Ecumenical Patriarch).

Occasionally, the word could be used to designate other, secular, supreme rulers.
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Timeline

1547   Ivan IV of Russia aka Ivan the Terrible becomes Tsar of Russia.

1613   Mikhail I is elected unanimously as Tsar by a national assembly, beginning the Romanov dynasty of Imperial Russia.

1676   Feodor III becomes Tsar of Russia.

1698   In an effort to Westernize his nobility, Tsar Peter I of Russia imposes a tax on beards for all men except the clergy and peasantry.

1703   Tsar Peter the Great founds the city of Saint Petersburg.

1727   Peter II becomes Tsar of Russia.

1762   Catherine II becomes tsar of Russia upon the murder of Peter III of Russia.

1801   Tsar Paul I of Russia is struck with a sword, then strangled, and finally trampled to death in his bedroom at St. Michael's Castle.

1855   Alexander II becomes Tsar of Russia.

1861   Emancipation reform of 1861 in Russia: Tsar Alexander II signs the emancipation reform into law, abolishing Russian serfdom.

 
Encyclopedia

Tsar is a title used to designate certain European Slavic monarch
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

s or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia
Tsardom of Russia
The Tsardom of Russia was the name of the centralized Russian state from Ivan IV's assumption of the title of Tsar in 1547 till Peter the Great's foundation of the Russian Empire in 1721.From 1550 to 1700, Russia grew 35,000 km2 a year...

 and Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, it is known as Tsarist autocracy
Tsarist autocracy
The Tsarist autocracy |transcr.]] tsarskoye samoderzhaviye) refers to a form of autocracy specific to the Grand Duchy of Muscovy . In a tsarist autocracy, all power and wealth is controlled by the tsar...

, or Tsarism. The term is derived from 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...

 word Caesar
Caesar (title)
Caesar is a title of imperial character. It derives from the cognomen of Julius Caesar, the Roman dictator...

, which meant "Emperor
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...

" in the European medieval sense of the term - a ruler who claims the same rank as a Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 emperor, with the approval of another emperor or a supreme ecclesiastical official (the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 or the Ecumenical Patriarch).

Occasionally, the word could be used to designate other, secular, supreme rulers. In Russia and Bulgaria the imperial connotations of the term were blurred with time, due to the medieval translations of the Bible, and, by the 19th century, it had come to be viewed as an equivalent of King
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

..

"Tsar" was the official title of the supreme and great ruler in the following states:
  • First Bulgarian Empire
    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...

    , in 913–1018
  • Second Bulgarian Empire
    Second Bulgarian Empire
    The Second Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state which existed between 1185 and 1396 . A successor of the First Bulgarian Empire, it reached the peak of its power under Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II before gradually being conquered by the Ottomans in the late 14th-early 15th century...

    , in 1185–1422
  • Serbian Empire
    Serbian Empire
    The Serbian Empire was a short-lived medieval empire in the Balkans that emerged from the Serbian Kingdom. Stephen Uroš IV Dušan was crowned Emperor of Serbs and Greeks on 16 April, 1346, a title signifying a successorship to the Eastern Roman Empire...

    , in 1346–1371
  • Tsardom of Russia
    Tsardom of Russia
    The Tsardom of Russia was the name of the centralized Russian state from Ivan IV's assumption of the title of Tsar in 1547 till Peter the Great's foundation of the Russian Empire in 1721.From 1550 to 1700, Russia grew 35,000 km2 a year...

    , in 1547–1721 (replaced in 1721 by 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...

    , but remained in common usage until 1917)
  • Tsardom of Bulgaria, in 1908–1946


The first ruler to adopt the title tsar was Simeon I of Bulgaria
Simeon I of Bulgaria
Simeon I the Great ruled over Bulgaria from 893 to 927, during the First Bulgarian Empire. Simeon's successful campaigns against the Byzantines, Magyars and Serbs led Bulgaria to its greatest territorial expansion ever, making it the most powerful state in contemporary Eastern Europe...

. Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Simeon Borisov of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Tsar Simeon II or Simeon II of Bulgaria is an important political and royal figure in Bulgaria...

, the last Tsar of Bulgaria, is the last person to have borne the title Tsar as well as being the last surviving person to do so.

Meaning in Slavic languages



The title Tsar is derived from the Latin word for emperor, Caesar. In comparison to the corresponding Latin word "imperator", the Byzantine Greek term basileus
Basileus
Basileus is a Greek term and title that has signified various types of monarchs in history. It is perhaps best known in English as a title used by the Byzantine Emperors, but also has a longer history of use for persons of authority and sovereigns in ancient Greece, as well as for the kings of...

was used differently depending on whether it was in a contemporary political context and in a historical or Biblical context. In the history of the Greek language, the word had originally meant something like "potentate", it had gradually approached the meaning of "king" in the Hellenistic Period
Hellenistic civilization
Hellenistic civilization represents the zenith of Greek influence in the ancient world from 323 BCE to about 146 BCE...

, and it came to designate "emperor" after the inception in 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....

. As a consequence, Byzantine sources continued to call the Biblical and ancient kings "basileus", even when that word had come to mean "emperor" when referring to contemporary monarchs (while it was never applied to Western European kings, whose title was transliterated from Latin "rex" as , or to other monarchs, for whom designations such as "leader", "chieftain" were used.)

As the Greek "basileus" was consistently rendered as "tsar" in Slavonic translations of Greek texts, the dual meaning was transferred into Church Slavonic. Thus, "tsar" was not only used as an equivalent of Latin "imperator" (in reference to the rulers of the Byzantine Empire, the Holy Roman Empire and to native rulers) but was also used to refer to Biblical rulers and ancient kings.

From this ambiguity, the development has moved in different directions in the different Slavic languages. Thus, the Bulgarian language
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...

 and Russian language
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...

 no longer use tsar as an equivalent of the term emperor/imperator as it exists in the West European (Latin) tradition. Currently, the term tsar refers to native sovereigns, ancient and Biblical rulers, as well as monarchs in fairy tales and the like. The title of king (Russian korol' , Bulgarian kral) is perceived as alien and is reserved for (West) European royalty (and, by extension, for those modern monarchs outside of Europe whose titles are translated as king in English, roi in French etc.). Foreign monarchs of imperial status, both inside and outside of Europe, ancient as well as modern, are generally called imperator (император), rather than tsar.

In contrast, the 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....

, (along with the closely related Croatian language
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...

 and Bosnian language
Bosnian language
Bosnian is a South Slavic language, spoken by Bosniaks. As a standardized form of the Shtokavian dialect, it is one of the three official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina....

) and Ukrainian language
Ukrainian language
Ukrainian is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. It is the official state language of Ukraine. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet....

 translates "emperor" (Latin imperator) as tsar (car, цар) and not as imperator, whereas the equivalent of king (kralj, краљ, король) is used to designate monarchs of non-imperial status, Serbian as well as foreign ancient rulers - just like Latin "rex". Biblical rulers in Serbian are called цар and in Croatian kralj.

In the West Slavic languages and Slovene language, the use of the terms is identical to the one in English and German: a king is designated with one term (Czech král, Slovak kráľ, Polish król, Slovene kralj), an emperor is designated with another, derived from Caesar as in German (Czech císař, Slovak cisár, Polish cesarz, Slovene cesar; Croat cesar and Montenegrin ćesar fall into disuse in the last century), while the exotic term "tsar" (Czech, Slovene and Polish car, Slovak cár) is reserved for the Russian and Bulgarian rulers.

Bulgaria


The sainted Boris I is sometimes retrospectively referred to as tsar, because at his time Bulgaria was converted to Christianity
Christianization of Bulgaria
The Christianization of Bulgaria was the process by which 9th-century medieval Bulgaria converted to Christianity. It was influenced by the khan's shifting political alliances with the kingdom of the East Franks and the Byzantine Empire, as well as his reception by the Pope of the Roman Catholic...

. However, the title "tsar" (and its Byzantine Greek equivalent "basileus
Basileus
Basileus is a Greek term and title that has signified various types of monarchs in history. It is perhaps best known in English as a title used by the Byzantine Emperors, but also has a longer history of use for persons of authority and sovereigns in ancient Greece, as well as for the kings of...

") was actually adopted and used for the first time by his son Simeon I
Simeon I of Bulgaria
Simeon I the Great ruled over Bulgaria from 893 to 927, during the First Bulgarian Empire. Simeon's successful campaigns against the Byzantines, Magyars and Serbs led Bulgaria to its greatest territorial expansion ever, making it the most powerful state in contemporary Eastern Europe...

, following a makeshift imperial coronation performed by the Patriarch of Constantinople
Patriarch of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarch is the Archbishop of Constantinople – New Rome – ranking as primus inter pares in the Eastern Orthodox communion, which is seen by followers as the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church....

 in 913. After an attempt by the 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...

 to revoke this major diplomatic concession and a decade of intensive warfare, the imperial title of the Bulgarian ruler was recognized by the Byzantine government in 924 and again at the formal conclusion of peace in 927. Since in Byzantine political theory there was place for only two emperors, Eastern and Western (as in the Late 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....

), the Bulgarian ruler was crowned basileus as "a spiritual son" of the Byzantian basileus.

Some of the earliest attested occurrences of the contraction "tsar" (car' ) from "tsesar" (cěsar' ) are found in the grave inscription of the chărgubilja (ichirgu-boil
Ichirgu-boil
The Ichirgu-boil or Chargobilya was a high-ranking official in the First Bulgarian Empire. He was the commander of the garrison of the capital and was the third most important person in the state after the ruler and the Kavkhan. In peace-time the ichirgu-boil had diplomatic functions...

) Mostich
Mostich
Mostich was a high-ranking official in the 10th-century First Bulgarian Empire, during the rule of Simeon I and Peter I. He bore the title of Ichirgu-boil and was most likely the commander of the state capital Preslav's garrison....

, a contemporary of Simeon I and Peter I, from Preslav.

It has been hypothesized that Simeon's title was also recognized by a papal mission to Bulgaria in or shortly after 925, as a concession in exchange for a settlement in the Bulgarian-Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

n conflict or a possible attempt to return Bulgaria to union with Rome. Thus, in the later diplomatic correspondence conducted in 1199–1204 between the Bulgarian ruler Kaloyan and Pope Innocent III, Kaloyan — whose self-assumed Latin title was "imperator Bulgarorum et Blachorum" — claims that the imperial crowns of Simeon I
Simeon I of Bulgaria
Simeon I the Great ruled over Bulgaria from 893 to 927, during the First Bulgarian Empire. Simeon's successful campaigns against the Byzantines, Magyars and Serbs led Bulgaria to its greatest territorial expansion ever, making it the most powerful state in contemporary Eastern Europe...

, his son Peter I
Peter I of Bulgaria
Peter I was emperor of Bulgaria from 27 May 927 to 969.-Early reign:Peter I was the son of Simeon I of Bulgaria by his second marriage to Maria Sursuvul, the sister of George Sursuvul. Peter had been born early in the 10th century, but it appears that his maternal uncle was very influential at...

, and of Samuel
Samuil of Bulgaria
Samuel was the Emperor of the First Bulgarian Empire from 997 to 6 October 1014. From 980 to 997, he was a general under Roman I of Bulgaria, the second surviving son of Emperor Peter I of Bulgaria, and co-ruled with him, as Roman bestowed upon him the command of the army and the effective royal...

 were somehow derived from the Papacy. The Pope, however, only speaks of reges, kings of Bulgaria in his replies, and eventually grants only that lesser title to Kaloyan, who nevertheless proceeds to thank the Pope for the "imperial title" conferred upon him.

The title, later augmented with epithets and titles such as autocrat
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...

to reflect current Byzantine practice, was used by all of Simeon's successors until the complete conquest of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 by 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...

 in 1422. In Latin sources the Emperor of Bulgaria is sometimes designated "Emperor of Zagora" (with variant spellings). Various additional epithets and descriptions apart, the official style read "Emperor and autocrat of all Bulgarians and Greeks".


During the five-century period of Ottoman rule in Bulgaria
History of early Ottoman Bulgaria
The history of Ottoman Bulgaria spans nearly 500 years, from the conquest of the Second Bulgarian Empire by the Ottoman Empire in 1396, to its liberation in 1878. Bulgarian territories were administrated as the Rumelia Eyalet. The Ottoman rule was a period marked by oppression and misgovernment and...

, the sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

 was frequently referred to as "tsar". This may be related to the fact that he had claimed the legacy of the Byzantine Empire or to the fact that the sultan was called "Basileus" in medieval Greek.

After Bulgaria's liberation from the Ottomans in 1878, its new monarchs were at first autonomous prince (knjaz). With the declaration of full independence, Ferdinand I of Bulgaria
Ferdinand I of Bulgaria
Ferdinand , born Ferdinand Maximilian Karl Leopold Maria of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha-Koháry, was the ruler of Bulgaria from 1887 to 1918, first as knyaz and later as tsar...

 adopted the traditional title "tsar" in 1908 and it was used until the abolition of the monarchy in 1946. However, these titles were not generally perceived as equivalents of "Emperor" any longer. In the Bulgarian as in the Greek vernacular, the meaning of the title had shifted (although Paisius
Paisius
Paisius may refer to:* Paisius I, the Patriarch of Jerusalem* Saint Paisius of Hilendar , an 18th century Bulgarian National Revival figure* Paisius Velichkovsky, the founder of modern Eastern Orthodox staretsdom...

' Slavonic-Bulgarian History
Istoriya Slavyanobolgarskaya
Istoriya Slavyanobolgarskaya is a book by Bulgarian scholar and clergyman Saint Paisius of Hilendar...

 (1760–1762) had still distinguished between the two concepts). Accordingly, Ferdinand and his successors, Boris III
Boris III of Bulgaria
Boris III the Unifier, Tsar of Bulgaria , originally Boris Klemens Robert Maria Pius Ludwig Stanislaus Xaver , son of Ferdinand I, came to the throne in 1918 upon the abdication of his father, following the defeat of the Kingdom of Bulgaria during World War I...

 and Simeon II
Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Simeon Borisov of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Tsar Simeon II or Simeon II of Bulgaria is an important political and royal figure in Bulgaria...

, used the title of "king" in English. In the same fashion, the modern rulers of Greece used the traditional title of basileus
Basileus
Basileus is a Greek term and title that has signified various types of monarchs in history. It is perhaps best known in English as a title used by the Byzantine Emperors, but also has a longer history of use for persons of authority and sovereigns in ancient Greece, as well as for the kings of...

in Greek and the title of "king" or "roi" in English and French.

Kievan Rus'


The term "czar" was used once by Church officials of Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus was a medieval polity in Eastern Europe, from the late 9th to the mid 13th century, when it disintegrated under the pressure of the Mongol invasion of 1237–1240....

 in the naming of Yaroslav the Wise of Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

. This may be connected to Yaroslav's war against Byzantium and to his efforts to distance himself from Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

. However, other princes of Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus was a medieval polity in Eastern Europe, from the late 9th to the mid 13th century, when it disintegrated under the pressure of the Mongol invasion of 1237–1240....

 never styled themselves as "czars". After the fall of Constantinople to the Crusaders and the Mongol invasion of Rus' (1237–1240), the term "tsar" was applied by some people of Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus was a medieval polity in Eastern Europe, from the late 9th to the mid 13th century, when it disintegrated under the pressure of the Mongol invasion of 1237–1240....

 to the Mongol (Tatar
Tatars
Tatars are a Turkic speaking ethnic group , numbering roughly 7 million.The majority of Tatars live in the Russian Federation, with a population of around 5.5 million, about 2 million of which in the republic of Tatarstan.Significant minority populations are found in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,...

) overlords of the Rus' principalities.

Serbia



The title Tsar was also used in Serbia, but only by two monarchs — Stefan Uroš IV Dušan and Stefan Uroš V between 1345 and 1371. Earlier Serbian monarchs had used the royal title Kralj/Краљ (King
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

) since 1077, which had been granted by the Papacy during an early union with the Western Church. In 1345, Stefan Uroš IV Dušan began to style himself "Emperor of Serbians and Greeks" (the Greek renderings read "basileus and autokrator
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...

of Serbians and Romans"), and was crowned as such in Skopje
Skopje
Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre...

 on Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

 (April 16) 1346 by the newly created Serbian patriarch, alongside with the patriarch and the autocephalous archbishop of Ohrid. On the same occasion, he had his wife Helena of Bulgaria
Helena of Bulgaria
Jelena or Helena of Bulgaria was the daughter of Sratsimir of Kran and Keratsa Petritsa and the sister of Tsar Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria....

 crowned as empress and his son associated in power as king. When Dušan died in 1355, his son Stefan Uroš V became the next "emperor of Serbians and Greeks". The new emperor's uncle Simeon Uroš
Simeon Uroš
Simeon Uroš Nemanjić, nicknamed Siniša , also known in Greek as Symeōn Ouresēs Palaiologos , was the Despot of Epirus from 1359 to 1366, and of Thessaly from 1359 until his death in 1370. He governed Epirus and Acarnania under his half-brother Emperor Dušan the Mighty Simeon Uroš Nemanjić,...

 (Siniša) contested the succession and claimed the same titles as a dynast in Thessaly. After his death around 1370, he was succeeded in his claims by his son John Uroš
John Uroš
Jovan Uroš or John Ouresis Doukas Palaiologos was the ruler of Thessaly from c. 1370 to c. 1373, died 1422/3.John Uroš was the son of Emperor Simeon Uroš Palaiologos by Thomais Orsini. His maternal grandparents were John II Orsini and Anna Palaiologina Angelina.Between 1369 and 1372 he succeeded...

, who retired to a monastery in about 1373.

With the extinction of Nemanjić dynasty in Serbia in 1371, the imperial title became obsolete (though it was retained by Stefan Uroš IV's widow Elena of Bulgaria until her death in 1376/1377). The royal title was preserved by Vukašin Mrnjavčević
Vukašin Mrnjavcevic
Vukašin Mrnjavčević was a Serbian ruler in modern-day central and northwestern Macedonia, who ruled from 1365 to 1371. According to 17th-century Ragusan historian Mavro Orbin, his father was a minor noble named Mrnjava from Zachlumia, whose sons Vukašin and Uglješa were born in Livno in western...

, a Serbian ruler in Macedonia
Macedonia (region)
Macedonia is a geographical and historical region of the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe. Its boundaries have changed considerably over time, but nowadays the region is considered to include parts of five Balkan countries: Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, as...

, who had been associated by Stefan Uroš
Several other Serbian rulers are known traditionally as tsars, although they realistically cannot be called so. They include Tsar Lazar, Tsar Jovan Nenad and Tsar Stephen the Little.

During the five-century period of Ottoman rule in Serbia
History of Ottoman Serbia
The territory of what is now the Republic of Serbia was part of the Ottoman Empire throughout the Early Modern period.Ottoman culture significantly influenced the region, in architecture, cuisine, linguistics, and dress, especially in arts, and Islam....

, the sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

 was frequently referred to as "car", for instance in South Slavic
South Slavic
South Slavic can refer to:* South Slavic languages* South Slavic peoples...

 oral tradition
Oral tradition
Oral tradition and oral lore is cultural material and traditions transmitted orally from one generation to another. The messages or testimony are verbally transmitted in speech or song and may take the form, for example, of folktales, sayings, ballads, songs, or chants...

.

When Serbia, which had emerged as an autonomous principality after a long period of Ottoman domination, became an independent kingdom, its prince, knjaz, adopted the traditional title of king, kralj. The King's full style was, between 6 March 1882 and 1 December 1918 (New Style): По милости Божијој и вољи народној краљ Србије "By the grace of God
By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God is an introductory part of the full styles of a monarch taken to be ruling by divine right, not a title in its own right....

 and the will of the people, King of Serbia".

Russia



The first Russian ruler to openly break with the khan of the Golden Horde
Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire...

, Mikhail of Tver, assumed the title of "Basileus of Rus" and "czar".

Following his assertion of independence from the khan and perhaps also his marriage to an heiress of the 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...

, "Veliki Kniaz
Grand Duke
The title grand duke is used in Western Europe and particularly in Germanic countries for provincial sovereigns. Grand duke is of a protocolary rank below a king but higher than a sovereign duke. Grand duke is also the usual and established translation of grand prince in languages which do not...

" Ivan III
Ivan III of Russia
Ivan III Vasilyevich , also known as Ivan the Great, was a Grand Prince of Moscow and "Grand Prince of all Rus"...

 of Muscovy started to use the title of tsar regularly in diplomatic relations with the West. From about 1480, he is designated as "imperator" in his Latin correspondence, as "keyser" in his correspondence with the Swedish regent, as "kejser" in his correspondence with the Danish king, Teutonic Knights, and the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

. Ivan's son Vasily III
Vasili III of Russia
Vasili III Ivanovich was the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1505 to 1533. He was the son of Ivan III Vasiliyevich and Sophia Paleologue and was christened with the name Gavriil...

 continued using these titles, as his Latin letters to Clement VII testify: "Magnus Dux Basilius, Dei gratia Imperator et Dominator totius Russiae, nec non Magnus Dux Woldomeriae", etc. (In the Russian version of the letter, "imperator" corresponds to "tsar"). Herberstein correctly observed that the titles of "kaiser" and "imperator" were attempts to render the Russian term "tsar" into German and Latin, respectively.
This was related to Russia's growing ambitions to become an Orthodox "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 ....

", after Constantinople had fallen
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...

. The Muscovite ruler was recognized as an emperor by Maximilian I
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I , the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and Eleanor of Portugal, was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky...

, the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 in 1514. However, the first Russian ruler to be formally crowned as "tsar of all Russia" was Ivan IV
Ivan IV of Russia
Ivan IV Vasilyevich , known in English as Ivan the Terrible , was Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 until his death. His long reign saw the conquest of the Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan, and Siberia, transforming Russia into a multiethnic and multiconfessional state spanning almost one billion acres,...

, until then known as Grand Prince of all Russia (1547). Some foreign ambassadors — namely, Herberstein (in 1516 and 1525), Daniel Printz a Buchau (in 1576 and 1578) and Just Juel (in 1709) — indicated that the word "tsar" should not be translated as "emperor", because it is applied by Russians to David, Solomon and other Biblical kings, which are simple "reges". On the other hand, Jacques Margeret
Jacques Margeret
Jacques Margeret was a French mercenary captain who, in 1607, wrote the first printed French travel account of Muscovy, entitled, "Estate de l’Empire de Russie et de Grand Duché de Moscovie".-Birth and early life in France:...

, a bodyguard of False Demetrius I, argues that the title of "tsar" is more honorable for Muscovites than "kaiser" or "king" exactly because it was God and not some earthly potentate who ordained to apply it to David, Solomon, and other kings of Israel. Samuel Collins, a court physician to Tsar Alexis in 1659-66, styled the latter "Great Emperour", commenting that "as for the word Czar, it has so near relation to Cesar... that it may well be granted to signifie Emperour. The Russians would have it to be an higher Title than King, and yet they call David Czar, and our kings, Kirrols, probably from Carolus Quintus, whose history they have among them".

In short, the Westerners were at a loss as to how the term "tsar" should be translated properly. In 1670, Pope Clement X expressed doubts that it would be appropriate for him to address Alexis as "tsar", because the word is "barbarian" and because it stands for an "emperor", whereas there is only one emperor in the Christian world and he does not reside in Moscow. Reviewing the matter, abbot Scarlati opined that the term is not translatable and therefore may be used by the Pope without any harm. Paul Menesius
Paul Menesius
Paul Menesius was a Scottish soldier and diplomat, who spent most of his life in the service of the Russian Tsar Alexei.-Life:...

, the Russian envoy in Vatican, seconded Scarlati's opinion by saying that there is no adequate Latin translation for "tsar", as there is no translation for "shah" or "sultan". In order to avoid such difficulties of translation and to assert his imperial ambitions more clearly, an edict of Peter I the Great
Peter I of Russia
Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov Dates indicated by the letters "O.S." are Old Style. All other dates in this article are New Style. ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother, Ivan V...

 decreed that the Latin-based title imperator should be used instead of "tsar" (1721).

The title tsar remained in common usage, and also officially as the designator of various titles signifying rule over various states absorbed by the Muscovite monarchy (such as the former Tatar khanates and the Georgian Orthodox kingdom). In the 18th century, it was increasingly viewed as inferior to "emperor" or highlighting the oriental side of the term. Upon annexing Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

 in 1783, Catherine the Great adopted the hellenicized title of "Tsaritsa of Tauric Chersonesos", rather than "Tsaritsa of the Crimea", as should have been expected. By 1815, when a large part of Poland was annexed, the title had clearly come to be interpreted in Russia as the equivalent of Polish Król "king", and the Russian emperor assumed the title "tsar of Poland", (and the puppet Kingdom of Poland
Congress Poland
The Kingdom of Poland , informally known as Congress Poland , created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna, was a personal union of the Russian parcel of Poland with the Russian Empire...

 was officially called Królewstwo Polskie in Polish and Царство Польское - Tsardom of Poland - in Russian) (see also Full style of Russian Sovereigns below).

Since the word "tsar" remained the popular designation of the Russian ruler despite the official change of style, its transliteration of this title in foreign languages such as English is commonly used also, in fact chiefly, for the Russian Emperors up to 1917.

The Tsar was also commonly called батюшка, which means "Father", a term of affectionate respect, especially by the lower classes. Some people translate батюшка as "Little Father"; the adjective "Little" was meant to contrast with the Heavenly "Big" Father, i.e. God.

Full style of Russian Sovereigns


The full title of Russian emperors started with By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God is an introductory part of the full styles of a monarch taken to be ruling by divine right, not a title in its own right....

, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias
All the Russias
All the Russias is the standard English translation of a term which was used to refer either to the Russian Empire, or to the Russian-inhabitated lands of the Russian Empire...

 (Божию Милостию, Император и Самодержец Всероссийский [Bozhiyu Milostiyu, Imperator i Samoderzhets Vserossiyskiy]) and went further to list all ruled territories. For example, according to the article 59 of the Russian Constitution of April 23, 1906, "the full title of His Imperial Majesty is as follows: We, ------ by the Grace of God, Emperor
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...

 and Autocrat of all the Russias
All the Russias
All the Russias is the standard English translation of a term which was used to refer either to the Russian Empire, or to the Russian-inhabitated lands of the Russian Empire...

, of Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

, Vladimir
Vladimir-Suzdal
The Vladimir-Suzdal Principality or Vladimir-Suzdal Rus’ was one of the major principalities which succeeded Kievan Rus' in the late 12th century and lasted until the late 14th century. For a long time the Principality was a vassal of the Mongolian Golden Horde...

, Novgorod, Tsar of Kazan
Kazan
Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,143,546 , it is the eighth most populous city in Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia. In April 2009, the Russian Patent Office granted Kazan the...

, Tsar of Astrakhan
Astrakhan
Astrakhan is a major city in southern European Russia and the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast. The city lies on the left bank of the Volga River, close to where it discharges into the Caspian Sea at an altitude of below the sea level. Population:...

, Tsar of Poland
Congress Poland
The Kingdom of Poland , informally known as Congress Poland , created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna, was a personal union of the Russian parcel of Poland with the Russian Empire...

, Tsar of 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...

, Tsar of Tauric Chersonesos, Tsar of 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...

, Lord
Lord
Lord is a title with various meanings. It can denote a prince or a feudal superior . The title today is mostly used in connection with the peerage of the United Kingdom or its predecessor countries, although some users of the title do not themselves hold peerages, and use it 'by courtesy'...

 of Pskov
Pskov
Pskov is an ancient city and the administrative center of Pskov Oblast, Russia, located in the northwest of Russia about east from the Estonian border, on the Velikaya River. Population: -Early history:...

, and Grand Duke
Grand Duke
The title grand duke is used in Western Europe and particularly in Germanic countries for provincial sovereigns. Grand duke is of a protocolary rank below a king but higher than a sovereign duke. Grand duke is also the usual and established translation of grand prince in languages which do not...

 of Smolensk
Smolensk
Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River. Situated west-southwest of Moscow, this walled city was destroyed several times throughout its long history since it was on the invasion routes of both Napoleon and Hitler. Today, Smolensk...

, Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...

, Volhynia
Volhynia
Volhynia, Volynia, or Volyn is a historic region in western Ukraine located between the rivers Prypiat and Southern Bug River, to the north of Galicia and Podolia; the region is named for the former city of Volyn or Velyn, said to have been located on the Southern Bug River, whose name may come...

, Podolia
Podolia
The region of Podolia is an historical region in the west-central and south-west portions of present-day Ukraine, corresponding to Khmelnytskyi Oblast and Vinnytsia Oblast. Northern Transnistria, in Moldova, is also a part of Podolia...

, and Finland
Grand Duchy of Finland
The Grand Duchy of Finland was the predecessor state of modern Finland. It existed 1809–1917 as part of the Russian Empire and was ruled by the Russian czar as Grand Prince.- History :...

, Prince
Prince
Prince is a general term for a ruler, monarch or member of a monarch's or former monarch's family, and is a hereditary title in the nobility of some European states. The feminine equivalent is a princess...

 of Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, Livonia
Livonia
Livonia is a historic region along the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. It was once the land of the Finnic Livonians inhabiting the principal ancient Livonian County Metsepole with its center at Turaida...

, Courland
Courland
Courland is one of the historical and cultural regions of Latvia. The regions of Semigallia and Selonia are sometimes considered as part of Courland.- Geography and climate :...

 and Semigalia
Semigalia
Zemgale, also known under Latinized names Semigalia or Semigallia is a historical region of Latvia, sometimes also including a part of Lithuania. It lies in the middle of the southern part of the Republic of Latvia, and borders historical regions of Selonia, Samogitia, Courland and Livland. The...

, Samogitia
Samogitia
Samogitia is one of the five ethnographic regions of Lithuania. It is located in northwestern Lithuania. Its largest city is Šiauliai/Šiaulē. The region has a long and distinct cultural history, reflected in the existence of the Samogitian dialect...

, Belostok, Karelia
Karelia
Karelia , the land of the Karelian peoples, is an area in Northern Europe of historical significance for Finland, Russia, and Sweden...

, Tver
Tver
Tver is a city and the administrative center of Tver Oblast, Russia. Population: 403,726 ; 408,903 ;...

, Yugra
Yugra
Yugra was the name of the lands between the Pechora River and Northern Urals in the Russian annals of the 12th–17th centuries, as well as the name of the Khanty and partly Mansi tribes inhabiting these territories, later known as VogulsThe Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug of Russia is also...

, Perm
Perm
Perm is a city and the administrative center of Perm Krai, Russia, located on the banks of the Kama River, in the European part of Russia near the Ural Mountains. From 1940 to 1957 it was named Molotov ....

, Vyatka
Kirov, Kirov Oblast
Kirov , formerly known as Vyatka and Khlynov, is a city in northeastern European Russia, on the Vyatka River, and the administrative center of Kirov Oblast. Population: -History:...

, Bulgaria
Volga Bulgaria
Volga Bulgaria, or Volga–Kama Bolghar, is a historic Bulgar state that existed between the seventh and thirteenth centuries around the confluence of the Volga and Kama rivers in what is now Russia.-Origin:...

 and other territories; Lord and Grand Duke of Nizhni Novgorod, Sovereign of Chernigov, Ryazan
Ryazan
Ryazan is a city and the administrative center of Ryazan Oblast, Russia. It is located on the Oka River southeast of Moscow. Population: The strategic bomber base Dyagilevo is just west of the city, and the air base of Alexandrovo is to the southeast as is the Ryazan Turlatovo Airport...

, Polotsk, Rostov
Rostov
Rostov is a town in Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia, one of the oldest in the country and a tourist center of the Golden Ring. It is located on the shores of Lake Nero, northeast of Moscow. Population:...

, Yaroslavl
Yaroslavl
Yaroslavl is a city and the administrative center of Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia, located northeast of Moscow. The historical part of the city, a World Heritage Site, is located at the confluence of the Volga and the Kotorosl Rivers. It is one of the Golden Ring cities, a group of historic cities...

, Beloozero, Udoria, Obdoria, Kondia
Kondia
Kondia or Konda was the name of a Mansi principality which existed independently until the mid-18th century. The last native Prince to be awarded the title "Prince of Konda" by the Russian Emperor was in 1842...

, Vitebsk
Vitebsk
Vitebsk, also known as Viciebsk or Vitsyebsk , is a city in Belarus, near the border with Russia. The capital of the Vitebsk Oblast, in 2004 it had 342,381 inhabitants, making it the country's fourth largest city...

, Mstislavl, and all northern territories; Sovereign of Iveria
Caucasian Iberia
Iberia , also known as Iveria , was a name given by the ancient Greeks and Romans to the ancient Georgian kingdom of Kartli , corresponding roughly to the eastern and southern parts of the present day Georgia...

, Kartalinia
Kartli
Kartli is a historical region in central-to-eastern Georgia traversed by the river Mtkvari , on which Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, is situated. Known to the Classical authors as Iberia, Kartli played a crucial role in ethnic and political consolidation of the Georgians in the Middle Ages...

, and the Kabard
Kabard
Kabarda or Kabard ; are terms referring to a people of the northern Caucasus more commonly known by the plural term Kabardin . Originally they Kabarda or Kabard ; are terms referring to a people of the northern Caucasus more commonly known by the plural term Kabardin (or Kebertei as they term...

inian lands and Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

n territories - hereditary Lord and Ruler of the Circassia
Circassia
Circassia was an independent mountainous country located in the Caucasus region of Eurasia and was the largest and most important country in the Caucasus. Circassia was located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea...

ns and Mountain Princes and others; Lord of Turkestan
Turkestan
Turkestan, spelled also as Turkistan, literally means "Land of the Turks".The term Turkestan is of Persian origin and has never been in use to denote a single nation. It was first used by Persian geographers to describe the place of Turkish peoples...

, Heir of Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost of the sixteen states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the former Duchy of Schleswig...

, Stormarn
Stormarn
Stormarn is a district in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Segeberg and Ostholstein, the city of Lübeck, the district of Lauenburg, and the city-state of Hamburg.-History:...

, Dithmarschen
Dithmarschen
Dithmarschen is a district in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Nordfriesland, Schleswig-Flensburg, Rendsburg-Eckernförde, and Steinburg, by the state of Lower Saxony , and by the North Sea.-Geography:The district is located on the North Sea...

, Oldenburg
Oldenburg (state)
Oldenburg — named after its capital, the town of Oldenburg — was a state in the north of present-day Germany. Oldenburg survived from 1180 until 1918 as a county, duchy and grand duchy, and from 1918 until 1946 as a free state. It was located near the mouth of the River Weser...

, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth."

For example, Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Prince of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until...

 (1 November 1894 - 15 March 1917) was titled as follows (notice the archaic Cyrillic spelling):
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію: МЫ, НИКОЛАЙ ВТОРЫЙ ИМПЕРАТОРЪ и САМОДЕРЖЕЦЪ ВСЕРОССІЙСКІЙ
Московскій, Кіевскій, Владимірскій, Новгородскій,
Царь Казанскій, Царь Астраханскій, Царь Польскій, Царь Сибирскій, Царь Херсонеса Таврическаго, Царь Грузинскій,
Государь Псковскій, и
Великій Князь Смоленскій, Литовскій, Волынскій, Подольскій и Финляндскій;
Князь Эстляндскій, Лифляндскій, Курляндскій и Семигальскій, Самогитскій, Бѣлостокский, Корельскій,
Тверскій, Югорскій, Пермскій, Вятскій, Болгарскій и иныхъ;
Государь и Великій Князь Новагорода низовскія земли, Черниговскій, Рязанскій, Полотскій,
Ростовскій, Ярославскій, Бѣлозерскій, Удорскій, Обдорскій, Кондійскій, Витебскій, Мстиславскій и
всея Сѣверныя страны Повелитель; и
Государь Иверскія, Карталинскія и Кабардинскія земли и области Арменскія;
Черкасскихъ и Горскихъ Князей и иныхъ Наслѣдный Государь и Обладатель;
Государь Туркестанскій;
Наслѣдникъ Норвежскій,
Герцогъ Шлезвигъ-Голстинскій, Стормарнскій, Дитмарсенскій и Ольденбургскій, и прочая, и прочая, и прочая.

Russian Latin transliteration
Bozhiyu Pospeshestvuyusheyu Milostiju:
MY, NIKOLAI VTOR'YI IMPERATOR I SAMODERSHETS VSEROSSIISKIY
Moskovski, Kievskii, Vladimirskiy, Novogorodskiy,
Tsar Kazanskiy, Tsar Astrakhanskiy, Tsar Pol'ski, Tsar Sibirski, Tsar Khersonesa Tavricheskago, Tsar Gruzinskiy,
Gosudar' Pskovskiy, i Velikiy Knyaz' Smolenskiy, Litovskiy, Volynskiy, Podol'skiy i Finlyandskiy,
Knyaz' Estlyandskiy, Liflyandskiy, Kurlyandskiy i Semigal'skiy, Samogitskiy, Belostokskiy, Korel'skiy,
Tverskiy, Yugorskiy, Permskiy, Vyatskiy, Bolgarskiy i inykh,
Gosudar' i Velikiy Knyaz' Novagoroda nizovskiya zemli, Chernigovskiy, Ryazanskiy, Polotskiy,
Rostovskiy, Yarolslavskiy, Belozerskiy, Udorskiy, Obdorskiy, Kondiyskiy, Vitebskiy, Mstislavski i
vseya Severnyia strany Povelitel', i
Gosudar' Iverskiya, Kartalinskiya i Kabardinskiya zemli i oblasti Armenskiya,
Cherkasskikh i Gorskikh Knyazei i inykh Nasledniy Gosudar' i Obladatel',
Gosudar' Turkestanskiy;
Naslednik Norvezhskiy,
Gertsog Shlezvig-Golstinskiy, Stormarnskiy, Ditmarsenskiy i Ol'denburgskiy, i prochaya, i prochaya, i prochaya.

  • The Emperor's subsidiary title of Tsar of Kazan proclaimed the chief Orthodox dynasty as successor in law to the mighty Islamic khanate of Kazan
    Khanate of Kazan
    The Khanate of Kazan was a medieval Tatar state which occupied the territory of former Volga Bulgaria between 1438 and 1552. Its khans were the patrilineal descendants of Toqa Temür, the thirteenth son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan. The khanate covered contemporary Tatarstan, Mari El,...

    , not maintaining its 'heathen' (khan
    Khan (title)
    Khan is an originally Altaic and subsequently Central Asian title for a sovereign or military ruler, widely used by medieval nomadic Turko-Mongol tribes living to the north of China. 'Khan' is also seen as a title in the Xianbei confederation for their chief between 283 and 289...

    ) title (as the Ottoman Great Sultans did in several cases), but christening it. It should also be noted that Khans of Kazan were mentioned in Russian chronicles such as Kazan Chronicle
    Kazan Chronicle
    Kazan Chronicle or Story of the Tsardom of Kazan is a document written between 1560 and 1565 by a Muscovite chronicler. The chronicler introduces himself as a Russian who was held in captivity in Kazan for about 20 years until Ivan the Terrible sacked Kazan in 1552...

     as Tsars of Kazan.
  • The Emperor's subsidiary title of Tsar of Siberia refers to the Tatar Khanate of Sibiria
    Siberia Khanate
    The Khanate of Sibir were the patrilineal descendants of Shayban , the fifth son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan. The Khanate had an ethnically diverse population of Siberian Tatars, Khanty, Mansi, Nenets and Selkup people. Along with the Khanate of Kazan it was the northernmost Muslim state....

    , easily subdued in the early stages of the exploration and annexation of the larger eponymous region, most of it before inhabited by nomadic tribal people without a state in the European sense.
  • The subsidiary title of Tsar in chief of Transcausasian 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...

    is the continuation of a royal style of a native dynasty, that had as such been recognized by Russia.
  • The subsidiary title of Tsar of Poland
    Poland
    Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

     demonstrates the Russian Emperors' rule over the legally separate (but actually subordinate) Polish Kingdom, nominally in personal union with Russia, established by the Congress of Vienna
    Congress of Vienna
    The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

     in 1815 (hence also called "Congress Poland
    Congress Poland
    The Kingdom of Poland , informally known as Congress Poland , created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna, was a personal union of the Russian parcel of Poland with the Russian Empire...

    "), in a sense reviving the royal style of the pre-existent national kingdom of Poland. Internationally and in Poland, the tsars were referred to as Kings (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...

    owie
    ) of Poland.


In some cases, defined by the Code of Laws, the Abbreviated Imperial Title was used:
"We, ------ by the grace of God, Emperor
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...

 and Autocrat of all the Russias
All the Russias
All the Russias is the standard English translation of a term which was used to refer either to the Russian Empire, or to the Russian-inhabitated lands of the Russian Empire...

, of Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

, Vladimir, Novgorod, Tsar of Kazan
Kazan
Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,143,546 , it is the eighth most populous city in Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia. In April 2009, the Russian Patent Office granted Kazan the...

, Tsar of Astrakhan
Astrakhan
Astrakhan is a major city in southern European Russia and the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast. The city lies on the left bank of the Volga River, close to where it discharges into the Caspian Sea at an altitude of below the sea level. Population:...

, Tsar of Poland
Congress Poland
The Kingdom of Poland , informally known as Congress Poland , created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna, was a personal union of the Russian parcel of Poland with the Russian Empire...

, Tsar of 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...

, Tsar of Tauric
Taurica
Taurica, Tauric Chersonese, and Taurida were names by which the territory of Crimea was known to the Greeks and Romans.- Etymology of the name :...

 Chersonesos, Tsar of 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...

, Lord
Lord
Lord is a title with various meanings. It can denote a prince or a feudal superior . The title today is mostly used in connection with the peerage of the United Kingdom or its predecessor countries, although some users of the title do not themselves hold peerages, and use it 'by courtesy'...

 of Pskov
Pskov
Pskov is an ancient city and the administrative center of Pskov Oblast, Russia, located in the northwest of Russia about east from the Estonian border, on the Velikaya River. Population: -Early history:...

, and Grand Duke
Grand Duke
The title grand duke is used in Western Europe and particularly in Germanic countries for provincial sovereigns. Grand duke is of a protocolary rank below a king but higher than a sovereign duke. Grand duke is also the usual and established translation of grand prince in languages which do not...

 of Smolensk
Smolensk
Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River. Situated west-southwest of Moscow, this walled city was destroyed several times throughout its long history since it was on the invasion routes of both Napoleon and Hitler. Today, Smolensk...

, Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...

, Volhynia
Volhynia
Volhynia, Volynia, or Volyn is a historic region in western Ukraine located between the rivers Prypiat and Southern Bug River, to the north of Galicia and Podolia; the region is named for the former city of Volyn or Velyn, said to have been located on the Southern Bug River, whose name may come...

, Podolia
Podolia
The region of Podolia is an historical region in the west-central and south-west portions of present-day Ukraine, corresponding to Khmelnytskyi Oblast and Vinnytsia Oblast. Northern Transnistria, in Moldova, is also a part of Podolia...

, and Finland
Grand Duchy of Finland
The Grand Duchy of Finland was the predecessor state of modern Finland. It existed 1809–1917 as part of the Russian Empire and was ruled by the Russian czar as Grand Prince.- History :...

, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth."


In other cases, also defined by the Code of Laws, the Short Imperial Title was used:
"We, ------ by the grace of God, Emperor
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...

 and Autocrat of all the Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

s, Tsar of Poland
Congress Poland
The Kingdom of Poland , informally known as Congress Poland , created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna, was a personal union of the Russian parcel of Poland with the Russian Empire...

, Grand Duke
Grand Duke
The title grand duke is used in Western Europe and particularly in Germanic countries for provincial sovereigns. Grand duke is of a protocolary rank below a king but higher than a sovereign duke. Grand duke is also the usual and established translation of grand prince in languages which do not...

 of Finland
Grand Duchy of Finland
The Grand Duchy of Finland was the predecessor state of modern Finland. It existed 1809–1917 as part of the Russian Empire and was ruled by the Russian czar as Grand Prince.- History :...

, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth."

Titles in the Russian Royal/Imperial family


Tsaritsa
Tsaritsa
Tsaritsa , formerly spelled czaritsa , is the title of a female autocratic ruler of Bulgaria or Russia, or the title of a tsar's wife....

 (царица) is the term used for a Queen
Queen consort
A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. A queen consort usually shares her husband's rank and holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles. Historically, queens consort do not share the king regnant's political and military powers. Most queens in history were queens consort...

, though in English contexts this seems invariably to be altered to tsarina (since 1717, from Italian czarina, from German Zarin). In Imperial Russia, the official title was Empress (Императрица). Tsaritsa (Empress) could be either the ruler herself or the wife (Empress consort) of the tsar. The title of tsaritsa is used in the same way in Bulgaria and Serbia.

Tsesarevich
Tsesarevich
Tsesarevich was the title of the heir apparent or presumptive in the Russian Empire. It either preceded or replaced the given name and patronymic.-Usage:...

 (Цесаревич) is the term for a male
Male
Male refers to the biological sex of an organism, or part of an organism, which produces small mobile gametes, called spermatozoa. Each spermatozoon can fuse with a larger female gamete or ovum, in the process of fertilization...

 heir apparent
Heir apparent
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting, except by a change in the rules of succession....

, the full title was Heir Tsesarevich ("Naslednik Tsesarevich", Наследник Цесаревич), informally abbreviated in Russia to The Heir ("Naslednik") (capitalized).

Tsarevich (царевич) was the term for the younger sons and grandsons of a Tsar or Tsaritsa prior to 1721. In older times the term was used in place of "Tsesarevich" (Цесаревич). After 1721 a son who was not an heir was formally called Velikii Kniaz (Великий Князь) (Grand Duke
Grand Duke
The title grand duke is used in Western Europe and particularly in Germanic countries for provincial sovereigns. Grand duke is of a protocolary rank below a king but higher than a sovereign duke. Grand duke is also the usual and established translation of grand prince in languages which do not...

 or Grand Prince
Grand Prince
The title grand prince or great prince ranked in honour below emperor and tsar and above a sovereign prince .Grand duke is the usual and established, though not literal, translation of these terms in English and Romance languages, which do not normally use separate words for a "prince" who reigns...

). The latter title was also used for grandsons (through male lines).

Tsarevna
Tsarevna
Tsarevna or czarevna is the daughter of a Tsar or Tsaritsa, similar to a princess being the daughter of a King or Queen. A Tsarevna could also be the wife to a Tsar's son....

 (царевна) was the term for a daughter and a granddaughter of a Tsar or Tsaritsa prior to 1721. After 1721, the official title was Velikaya Kniaginya (Великая Княгиня), translated as Grand Duchess or Grand Princess.

See also Grand Duchess for more details on the Velikaya Kniaginya title.

Tsesarevna (Цесаревна) was the wife of the Tsesarevich.

Metaphorical uses


Like many lofty titles, e.g. Mogul
Magnate
Magnate, from the Late Latin magnas, a great man, itself from Latin magnus 'great', designates a noble or other man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities...

, Tsar or Czar has been used as a metaphor
Metaphor
A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., "Her eyes were glistening jewels." Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via...

 for positions of high authority, in English, since 1866 (referring to U.S. President Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States . As Vice-President of the United States in 1865, he succeeded Abraham Lincoln following the latter's assassination. Johnson then presided over the initial and contentious Reconstruction era of the United States following the American...

), with a connotation of dictatorial powers and style, fitting since "Autocrat" was an official title of the Russian Emperor (informally referred to as 'the Tsar'). Similarly, Speaker of the House
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, or Speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives...

 Thomas Brackett Reed
Thomas Brackett Reed
Thomas Brackett Reed, , occasionally ridiculed as Czar Reed, was a U.S. Representative from Maine, and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1889–1891 and from 1895–1899...

 was called "Czar Reed" for his dictatorial control of the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 in the 1880s and 1890s.

In the United States the title "czar" is a slang term for certain high-level civil servants, such as the "drug czar
Drug Czar
Drug Czar is an informal name for the person who directs drug-control policies in the United States, following the U.S. use of the 'czar' term. The 'drug czar' title was first published in a 1982 news story by United Press International which reported that “Senators... voted 62–34 to establish a...

" for the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
Office of National Drug Control Policy
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy , a former cabinet level component of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, was established in 1989 by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988...

, "terrorism czar" for a Presidential advisor on terrorism policy, "cybersecurity czar" for the highest-ranking Department of Homeland Security official on computer security
Computer security
Computer security is a branch of computer technology known as information security as applied to computers and networks. The objective of computer security includes protection of information and property from theft, corruption, or natural disaster, while allowing the information and property to...

 and information security
Information security
Information security means protecting information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, perusal, inspection, recording or destruction....

 policy, and "war czar" to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

. More specifically, a czar refers to a sub-cabinet level advisor within the executive branch of the U.S. government. One of the earliest known usages of the term was for Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis
Kenesaw Mountain Landis
Kenesaw Mountain Landis was an American jurist who served as a federal judge from 1905 to 1922 and as the first Commissioner of Baseball from 1920 until his death...

, who was named commissioner of baseball, with broad powers to clean up the sport after it had been dirtied by the Black Sox scandal
Black Sox Scandal
The Black Sox Scandal took place around and during the play of the American baseball 1919 World Series. Eight members of the Chicago White Sox were banned for life from baseball for intentionally losing games, which allowed the Cincinnati Reds to win the World Series...

 of 1919.

See also

  • List of Bulgarian monarchs
  • List of Serbian monarchs
  • Tsaritsa
    Tsaritsa
    Tsaritsa , formerly spelled czaritsa , is the title of a female autocratic ruler of Bulgaria or Russia, or the title of a tsar's wife....

  • Tsesarevich
    Tsesarevich
    Tsesarevich was the title of the heir apparent or presumptive in the Russian Empire. It either preceded or replaced the given name and patronymic.-Usage:...


External links