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Tsar ( /, / or // ), also spelled czar, tzar, or csar, is a title used to designate East and South Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers of Eastern Europe, originally the Bulgarian monarchs from 10th century onwards,[ citation needed ] much later a title for two rulers of the Serbian Empire,[ citation needed ] and from 1547 the supreme ruler of the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire.[ citation needed ] In this last capacity it lends its name to a system of government, tsarist autocracy or tsarism. The term is derived from the Latin word caesar , which was intended to mean "emperor" in the European medieval sense of the term—a ruler with the same rank as a Roman emperor, holding it by the approval of another emperor or a supreme ecclesiastical official (the Pope or the Ecumenical Patriarch)—but was usually considered by western Europeans to be equivalent to king, or to be somewhat in-between a royal and imperial rank.[ citation needed ]
"Tsar" and its variants were the official titles of the following states:
The first ruler to adopt the title tsar was Simeon I of Bulgaria.Simeon II, the last tsar of Bulgaria, is the last person to have borne the title tsar.
The title tsar is derived from the Latin title for the Roman emperors, caesar.In comparison to the corresponding Latin word imperator, the Byzantine Greek term basileus was used differently depending on whether it was in a contemporary political context or in a historical or Biblical context.
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In 705 Emperor Justinian II named Tervel of Bulgaria "caesar", the first foreigner to receive this title, but his descendants continued to use Bulgar title "Kanasubigi". The sainted Boris I is sometimes retrospectively referred to as tsar, because at his time Bulgaria was converted to Christianity. However, the title "tsar" (and its Byzantine Greek equivalent basileus) was actually adopted and used for the first time by his son Simeon I, following a makeshift imperial coronation performed by the Patriarch of Constantinople in 913. After an attempt by the Byzantine Empire 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), the Bulgarian ruler was crowned basileus as "a spiritual son" of the Byzantine basileus.
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-Croatian 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, his son Peter I, and Samuel 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.
After Bulgaria's liberation from the Ottomans in 1878, its new monarchs were at first autonomous prince (knyaz). With the declaration of full independence, Ferdinand I of Bulgaria 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' Slavonic-Bulgarian History (1760–1762) had still distinguished between the two concepts).
"Tsar" was used once by church officials of Kievan Rus' in the naming of Yaroslav the Wise of Kiev. This may be connected to Yaroslav's war against Byzantium and to his efforts to distance himself from Constantinople. However, other princes of Kievan Rus' never styled themselves as tsars.Russian lands used the term tsar from 1547 when Knyaz (Russian: Князь) Ivan IV the Terrible was officially crowned tsar of all Russia.
The title of tsar (Serbian car) was used officially by two monarchs, the previous monarchial title being that of king (kralj). In 1345, Stefan Dušan began to style himself "Emperor of Serbs and Greeks" (the Greek renderings read "basileus and autokrator of Serbs and Romans"), and was crowned as such in Skopje on Easter (April 16) 1346 by the newly elevated Serbian patriarch, alongside the Bulgarian patriarch and archbishop of Ohrid. On the same occasion, he had his wife Helena 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. The new emperor's uncle Simeon Uroš (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, who retired to a monastery in about 1373.[ citation needed ]
The first Russian ruler to openly break with the khan of the Golden Horde, Mikhail of Tver, assumed the title "basileus of Rus" and "czar", more commonly spelled "tsar".
Following his assertion of independence from the khan, "Veliki Kniaz" Ivan III of Muscovy started to use the title of tsar (Russian : Царь) 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. Ivan's son Vasily III continued using these titles. Sigismund von Herberstein 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", after the Fall of Constantinople. The Muscovite ruler was recognized as an emperor by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I in 1514. : Царь Всея Руси) was Ivan IV, until then known as Grand Prince of all the Russias. 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, who are simple reges. On the other hand, Jacques Margeret, 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".However, the first Russian ruler to be formally crowned as Tsar of All Rus (Russian
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 in 1783, Catherine the Great adopted the hellenicized title "tsaritsa of Tauric Chersonesos", rather than "tsaritsa of the Crimea". 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".
Like many lofty titles, such as mogul, tsar or czar has been used in English as a metaphor for positions of high authority since 1866 (referring to U.S. President Andrew Johnson), 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 Thomas Brackett Reed was called "Czar Reed" for his dictatorial control of the House of Representatives in the 1880s and 1890s.[ citation needed ]
In the United States and in the United Kingdom, the title "czar" is a colloquial term for certain high-level civil servants, such as the "drug czar" for the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (not to be confused with a drug baron), "terrorism czar" for a presidential advisor on terrorism policy, "cybersecurity czar" for the highest-ranking Department of Homeland Security official on computer security and information security policy, and "war czar" to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. More specifically, a czar in the US government typically refers to a sub-cabinet-level advisor within the executive branch. One of the earliest known usages of the term was for Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who was named commissioner of baseball, with broad powers to clean up the sport after it had been sullied by the Black Sox scandal of 1919.
An emperor is a monarch, and usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife, mother, or a woman who rules in her own right. Emperors are generally recognized to be of the highest monarchic honour and rank, surpassing kings. In Europe, the title of Emperor has been used since the Middle Ages, considered in those times equal or almost equal in dignity to that of Pope due to the latter's position as visible head of the Church and spiritual leader of the Catholic part of Western Europe. The Emperor of Japan is the only currently reigning monarch whose title is translated into English as "Emperor", while holding no actual political power.
Tsarina or tsaritsa is the title of a female autocratic ruler (monarch) of Bulgaria, Serbia or Russia, or the title of a tsar's wife. The English spelling is derived from the German czarin or zarin, in the same way as the French tsarine/czarine, and the Spanish and Italian czarina/zarina. (A tsar's daughter is a tsarevna.)
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period. The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history. Often when a given Roman is described as becoming "emperor" in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar. Another title often used was imperator, originally a military honorific. Early emperors also used the title Princeps Civitatis. Emperors frequently amassed republican titles, notably princeps senatus, consul, and pontifex maximus.
Stefan Uroš IV Dušan, known as Dušan the Mighty, was the King of Serbia from 8 September 1331 and Tsar and autocrat of the Serbs and Greeks from 16 April 1346 until his death. Dušan conquered a large part of southeast Europe, becoming one of the most powerful monarchs of the era. Under Dušan's rule, Serbia was the major power in the Balkans, and an Eastern Orthodox multi-ethnic and multi-lingual empire that stretched from the Danube in the north to the Gulf of Corynth in the south, with its capital in Skopje. He enacted the constitution of the Serbian Empire, known as Dušan's Code, perhaps the most important literary work of medieval Serbia.
The Serbian Empire is a historiographical term for the empire in the Balkan peninsula that emerged from the medieval Serbian Kingdom. It was established in 1346 by King Stefan Dušan, known as "the Mighty", who significantly expanded the state. Under Dušan's rule Serbia was the major power in the Balkans, and a multi-lingual empire that stretched from the Danube to the Gulf of Corinth, with its capital in Skopje. He also promoted the Serbian Archbishopric to the Serbian Patriarchate. His son and successor, Uroš the Weak, lost most of the territory conquered by Dušan, hence his epithet. The Serbian Empire effectively ended with the death of Uroš V in 1371 and the break-up of the Serbian state. Some successors of Stefan V claimed the title of Emperor in parts of Serbia until 1402, but the territory in Greece was never recovered.
Saint Stefan Uroš V, known in historiography and folk tradition as Uroš the Weak, was the second Emperor (Tsar) of the Serbian Empire (1355–1371), and before that he was Serbian King and co-ruler with his father, Emperor Stefan Dušan.
The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb imperare, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as 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: Empereür. The Roman emperors themselves generally based their authority on multiple titles and positions, rather than preferring any single title. Nevertheless, imperator was used relatively consistently as an element of a Roman ruler's title throughout the principate and the dominate.
Caesar is a title of imperial character. It derives from the cognomen of Julius Caesar, the Roman dictator. The change from being a familial name to a title adopted by the Roman Emperors can be dated to about 68/69 AD, the so-called "Year of the Four Emperors".
The continuation, succession and revival of the Roman Empire is a running theme of the history of Europe and the Mediterranean region. It reflects the lasting memories of power and prestige associated with the Roman Empire itself.
Knyaz or knez (князь) is a historical Slavic title, used both as a royal and noble title in different times of history and different ancient Slavic lands. It is usually translated into English as prince, duke or count, depending on specific historical context and the potentially known Latin equivalents of the title for each bearer of the name. In Latin sources the title is usually translated as comes or princeps, but the word was originally derived from the common Germanic *kuningaz (king).
Basileus is a Greek term and title that has signified various types of monarchs in history. In the English-speaking world it is perhaps most widely understood to mean "king" or "emperor". The title was used by sovereigns and other persons of authority in ancient Greece, the Byzantine emperors, and the kings of modern Greece.
The Battle of Achelous or Acheloos, also known as the Battle of Anchialus, took place on 20 August 917, on the Achelous River near the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, close to the fortress Tuthom between Bulgarian and Byzantine forces. The Bulgarians obtained a decisive victory which not only secured the previous successes of Simeon I, but made him de facto ruler of the whole Balkan Peninsula, excluding the well-protected Byzantine capital Constantinople and the Peloponnese.
Ivan Alexander, also sometimes Anglicized as John Alexander, ruled as Emperor (Tsar) of Bulgaria from 1331 to 1371, during the Second Bulgarian Empire. The date of his birth is unknown. He died on 17 February 1371. The long reign of Ivan Alexander is considered a transitional period in Bulgarian medieval history. Ivan Alexander began his rule by dealing with internal problems and external threats from Bulgaria's neighbours, the Byzantine Empire and Serbia, as well as leading his empire into a period of economic recovery and cultural and religious renaissance.
Simeon Uroš, nicknamed Siniša (Синиша), was a self-proclaimed Emperor of Serbs and Greeks, from 1356 to 1370. He was son of Serbian King Stefan Dečanski and Byzantine Princess Maria Palaiologina. Initially, he was awarded the title of despot in 1346, and appointed governor of southern Epirus and Acarnania in 1347 by his half-brother, Serbian Emperor Stefan Dušan. After Dušan's death in 1355, the Serbian throne passed to Dušan's son Stefan Uroš V, but despot Simeon decided to seize the opportunity in order to impose himself as co-ruler and lord of all southern provinces of the Serbian Empire. That led him to conflict with his nephew in 1356, when Simeon started to expand his control in southern regions of the Empire, trying to take Thessaly and Macedonia. He proclaimed himself Emperor of the Serbs and Greeks, creating a separate state, centered in regions of Thessaly and Epirus, where he ruled until his death in 1370. He was succeeded by his son Jovan Uroš.
This is a list including all rulers who had carried the title of emperor through history.
Autokratōr is a Greek epithet applied to an individual who is unrestrained by superiors. It has been applied to military commanders-in-chief as well as Roman and Byzantine emperors as the translation of the Latin title imperator. Its connection with Byzantine-style absolutism gave rise to the modern terms autocrat and autocracy. In Modern Greek, it means "emperor", and its feminine form is autokráteira
Between 1345 and 1371, the Serbian monarch was self-titled emperor (tsar), the full title being Emperor of the Serbs and Greeks and Bulgarians in Serbian and basileus and autokrator of Serbia and Romania ["the land of the Romans"] in Greek. This title was soon enlarged into "Emperor and Autocrat of the Serbs and Greeks, the Bulgarians and Albanians". The Serbian Empire was ruled by only two monarchs; Stefan Dušan and Stefan Uroš V. Two other claimants of the title ruled in Thessaly, Central Greece.
John Komnenos Asen was the ruler of the Principality of Valona from circa 1345 to 1363, initially as a vassal of the Serbian Empire, and after 1355 as a largely independent lord. Descended from high-ranking Bulgarian nobility, John was a brother of both Tsar Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria and Helena of Bulgaria, the wife of Tsar Stephen Dušan of Serbia. Perhaps in search of better opportunities, he emigrated to Serbia, where his sister was married. There, he was granted the title of despot by Stephen Dušan, who placed him in charge of his territories in modern south Albania.
The problem of two emperors or two-emperors-problem is the historiographical term for the historical contradiction between the idea of the universal empire, that there was only ever one true emperor at any one given time, and the truth that there were often two individuals who claimed the position simultaneously. The term is mostly used in regards to medieval Europe and is often used in particular for the long-lasting dispute between the Byzantine emperors in Constantinople and the Holy Roman emperors in modern-day Germany and Austria as to which emperor represented the legitimate Roman emperor.
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