Tsar

Last updated
Simeon I of Bulgaria, the first Bulgarian tsar and the first person who bore the title "tsar" Car Simeon Bulharsky - Alfons Mucha.jpg
Simeon I of Bulgaria, the first Bulgarian tsar and the first person who bore the title "tsar"
Reception of the tsar of Russia in the Moscow Kremlin, by Ivan Makarov Emperor by Ivan Makarov.jpg
Reception of the tsar of Russia in the Moscow Kremlin, by Ivan Makarov
Crowning of Stefan Dusan, Emperor of the Serbs, as tsar, by Paja Jovanovic Paja Jovanovic-Krunisanje Cara Dusana.jpg
Crowning of Stefan Dušan, Emperor of the Serbs, as tsar, by Paja Jovanović

Tsar ( /zɑːr,sɑːr/ or /tsɑːr/ ), also spelled czar, tzar, or csar, is a title used to designate East and South Slavic monarchs. 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 , [2] 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". [3] [4]

Contents

"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. [5] Simeon II, the last tsar of Bulgaria, is the last person to have borne the title tsar.

Meaning in Slavic languages

The title tsar (Cyrillic: цар/царь) is derived from the Latin title for the Roman emperors, caesar. [2] 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.

Bulgaria

Mostich's epitaph uses the title tsar (outlined): "Here lies Mostich who was ichirgu-boil during the reigns of Tsar Simeon and Tsar Peter. At the age of eighty he forsook the rank of ichirgu boila and all of his possessions and became a monk. And so ended his life." (Museum of Preslav) The inscription of Mostich.JPG
Mostich's epitaph uses the title tsar (outlined): "Here lies Mostich who was ichirgu-boil during the reigns of Tsar Simeon and Tsar Peter. At the age of eighty he forsook the rank of ichirgu boila and all of his possessions and became a monk. And so ended his life." (Museum of Preslav)
Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is the only living person who (as Simeon II) has borne the title "tsar". Simeon II of Bulgaria.jpg
Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is the only living person who (as Simeon II) has borne the title "tsar".

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. [7]

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. [8]

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 [9] (although Paisius' Slavonic-Bulgarian History (1760–1762) had still distinguished between the two concepts).

Kievan Rus'

"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. [10] Russian lands used the term tsar from 1547 when Knyaz (Russian: Князь) Ivan IV the Terrible was officially crowned tsar of all Rus'. [11]

Serbia

Tsar Dusan of Serbia Serbian Emperor Stefan Dusan, cropped.jpg
Tsar Dušan of Serbia

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 ]

Russia

The first Russian ruler to openly break with the khan of the Golden Horde, Mikhail of Tver, assumed the title "basileus of Rus" and "tsar". [12]

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. [13]

Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia. Tsar Nicholas II -1898.jpg
Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia.

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. [14] [15] [note 1] However, the first Russian ruler to be formally crowned as Tsar of All Rus (Russian : 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. [note 2] 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. [16] Samuel Collins, a court physician to Tsar Alexis in 1659–66, styled the latter "Great Emperor", commenting that "as for the word Czar, it has so near relation to Cesar... that it may well be granted to signifie Emperor. 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". [17]

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. [18] 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". [19]

By 1894, when Nicholas II ascended the throne, the full title of the Russian rulers was "By the grace of God Almighty, the Emperor and Supreme Autocrat of all the Russias, Tsar of Moscow, Kiev, Vladimir, Novgorod, Kazan, Astrakhan, Poland, Siberia, Tauric Chersonese, and Georgia, Lord of Pskov, Grand Duke of Smolensk, Lithuania, Volhynia, Podolia and Finland, Prince of Estonia, Livonia, Courland and Semigalia, Samogitia, Białystok, Karelia, Tver, Yugra, Perm, Vyatka, Bulgaria, and other territories; Lord and Grand Duke of Nizhny Novgorod, Chernigov; Ruler of Ryazan, Polotsk, Rostov, Yaroslavl, Beloozero, Udoria, Obdoria, Kondia, Vitebsk, Mstislav, and all northern territories; Ruler of Iveria, Kartalinia, and the Kabardinian lands and Armenian territories; hereditary Ruler and Lord of the Cherkess and Mountain Princes and others; Lord of Turkestan, Heir of Norway, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, Stormarn, Dithmarschen, Oldenburg". [20]

Metaphorical uses

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. [21]

See also

Notes

  1. "Kayser vnnd Herscher aller Rewssen und Groszfürste zu Wolodimer" in the German text of Maximilian's letter; "Imperator et Dominator universorum Rhutenorum et Magnus Princeps Valadomerorum" in the Latin copy. Vasily III responded by referring to Maximilian as "Maximiliano Dei gratia Electo Romanorum Caesare", i.e., "Roman Caesar". Maximilian's letter was of great importance to Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great, when they wished to back up their titles of "tsar" and "emperor", respectively. Both monarchs demonstrated the letter to foreign ambassadors; Peter even referred to it when he proclaimed himself Emperor.
  2. This objection may be used against translating "Basileus" as "emperor", too. Based on these accounts, the Popes repeatedly suggested to confer on the Russian monarchs the title of rex ("king"), if they only ally themselves with Vatican. Such a proposal was made for the last time in 1550, i.e., three years after Ivan IV had crowned himself tsar. As early as 1489, Ivan III declined the papal offer, declaring that his regal authority does not require anyone's confirmation.

Related Research Articles

Emperor Type of monarch

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 and name. Emperors are generally recognized to be of the highest monarchic honor 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".

<i>Notes on Muscovite Affairs</i>

Notes on Muscovite Affairs (1549) was a Latin book by Baron Sigismund von Herberstein on the geography, history and customs of Muscovy. The book was the main early source of knowledge about Russia in Western Europe.

Tsarina Title of a female autocratic ruler of Bulgaria or Russia

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.)

Ivan III of Russia Ivan the Great (1462–1505)

Ivan III Vasilyevich, also known as Ivan the Great, was a Grand Prince of Moscow and Grand Prince of all Rus'. Ivan served as the co-ruler and regent for his blind father Vasily II from the mid-1450s before he officially ascended the throne in 1462.

Peter I of Bulgaria Tsar of the First Bulgarian Empire from 927 to 969

Peter I was emperor (tsar) of Bulgaria from 27 May 927 to 969. His seal reads ΙΠSVΟς·GRECIA·VΟΔΟ.

Caesar (title) Imperial title of the Roman empire

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 traced to AD 68, following the fall of the Julio–Claudian dynasty.

<i>Knyaz</i> Historical Slavic title

Knyaz or knez 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 or duke, 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 princeps, but the word was originally derived from the common Germanic *kuningaz (king).

<i>Basileus</i> Greek monarchal title roughly equivalent to a king or emperor in English

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 "monarch", referring to either a "king" or an "emperor" and also by bishops of the Eastern orthodox church and Eastern Catholic Churches. The title was used by sovereigns and other persons of authority in ancient Greece, the Byzantine emperors, and the kings of modern Greece.

Monomakhs Cap Relic of the Russian tsars and Grand Dukes

Monomakh's Cap, also called the Golden Cap, is a chief relic of the Russian Grand Princes and Tsars. It is a symbol-crown of the Russian autocracy, and is the oldest of the crowns currently exhibited at the Imperial treasury section of the Kremlin Armoury. Monomakh's Cap is an early 14th-century gold filigree skullcap composed of eight sectors, elaborately ornamented with a scrolled gold overlay, inlaid with precious stones and pearls, and trimmed with sable. The cap is surmounted by a simple gold cross with pearls at each of the extremities.

Tsardom of Russia 1547–1721 tsardom in Eurasia

The Tsardom of Russia or Tsardom of Rus', also externally referenced as the Tsardom of Muscovy, was the centralized Russian state from the assumption of the title of Tsar by Ivan IV in 1547 until the foundation of the Russian Empire by Peter I in 1721.

<i>Autokrator</i>

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.

Grand Duchy of Moscow Principality of the Late Middle Ages centered around Moscow

The Grand Duchy of Moscow, Muscovite Russia, Muscovite Rus' or Grand Principality of Moscow was a Rus' principality of the Late Middle Ages centered on Moscow, and the predecessor state of the Tsardom of Russia in the early modern period. It was ruled by the Rurik dynasty, who had ruled Rus' since the foundation of Novgorod in 862. Ivan III the Great titled himself as Sovereign and Grand Duke of All Rus' '

Emperor of the Serbs Royal title of the rulers of the Serbian Empire (1345-71)

Between 1345 and 1371, the Serbian monarch was self-titled emperor (tsar). The full title was initially Emperor of the Serbs and Greeks, later 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.

Emperor of all the Russias Monarch during a period of Russian history

The emperor or empress of all the Russias or All Russia was the monarch of the Russian Empire.

Coronation of the Bulgarian monarch

The Bulgarian Monarchs used the titles: Khan, Prince (Knyaz), Tsar and King.

15th–16th century Moscow–Constantinople schism Split between the Churches of Moscow and Constantinople

A schism between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and part ofitsMetropolis of Kiev and all Rus' occurred between approximately 1467 and 1560. This schism de facto ended supposedly around 1560.

Moscow, third Rome Theological and political concept asserting that Moscow is the successor of the Roman Empire.

Moscow, third Rome is a theological and political concept asserting that Moscow is the successor of the Roman Empire, representing a "third Rome" in succession to the first Rome and the second Rome.

Problem of two emperors Problem arising when multiple people claim the title of emperor

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.

Ottoman claim to Roman succession Historical claim to succeed the Roman Empire

After the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the sultans of the Ottoman Empire laid claim to be the legitimate Roman emperors, in succession to the Byzantine emperors who had previously ruled from Constantinople. Based on the concept of right of conquest, the sultans at times assumed the styles kayser-i Rûm and basileus. The assumption of the heritage of the Roman Empire also led the Ottoman sultans to claim to be universal monarchs, the rightful rulers of the entire world.

References

Citations

  1. Ivan Biliarsky, Word and Power in Mediaeval Bulgaria, East Central and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 450-1450, BRILL, 2011, ISBN   9004181873, p. 211.
  2. 1 2 "Online Etymology Dictionary". etymonline.com.
  3. Margeret, J. (1983). The Russian Empire and Grand Duchy of Muscovy. University of Pittsburgh. p. 111. ISBN   9780822977018. The Slavonic Bible did equate the terms "tsar" and "king"... Russian writers often compared the grand prince or tsar with any kings of the Old Testament. Several writers [argued] that it was a mistake to translate tsar as "emperor". This was important because of a widely held view in Europe that the tsar wished to claim the imperial legacy of the defunct Byzantine Empire.
  4. de Madariaga, Isabel (2006). Ivan the Terrible. Yale University Press. p. 78. ISBN   9780300143768. The primary meaning of tsar was thus an independent ruler, with no overlord, who could be either a king of one particular nation or people, as in the Bible, or an 'emperor' ruling over several antions, such as the East Roman Emperor.
  5. "Simeon I." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 12 July 2009, EB.com.
  6. Christina Holtz-Bacha, Encyclopedia of Political Communication, Volume 1, with Lynda Lee Kaid, Christina Holtz-Bacha as ed., SAGE, 2008, ISBN   1412917999. p. 115.
  7. Срђан Пириватрић. Самуилова држава. Београд, 1997.
  8. Innocentii pp. III epistolae ad Bulgariae historiam spectantes. Recensuit et explicavit Iv. Dujcev. Sofia, 1942.
  9. Найден Геров. 1895–1904. Речник на блъгарский язик. (the entry on цар in Naiden Gerov's Dictionary of the Bulgarian Language)
  10. Wladimir Vodoff. Remarques sur la valeur du terme "czar" appliqué aux princes russes avant le milieu du 15e siècle, in "Oxford Slavonic Series", new series, vol. XI. Oxford University Press, 1978.
  11. "Tsar | title". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  12. A.V. Soloviev. "Reges" et "Regnum Russiae" au moyen âge, in "Byzantion", t. XXXVI. Bruxelles, 1966.
  13. "Den Titel aines Khaisers, wiewol Er alle seine Brief nur Reissisch schreibt, darinn Er sich Czar nent, so schickht Er gemaincklich Lateinische Copeyen darmit oder darinn, und an stat des Czar setzen sy Imperator, den wir Teutsch Khaiser nennen".
  14. Ostrowski, D. (2002). Muscovy and the Mongols: Cross-Cultural Influences on the Steppe Frontier, 1304-1589. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, p. 178.
  15. Lehtovirta, J. “The Use of Titles in Herberstein's "Commentarii". Was the Muscovite Tsar a King or an Emperor?” in Kӓmpfer, F. and Frӧtschner, R. (eds.) (2002) 450 Jahre Sigismund von Herbersteins Rerum Moscoviticarum Commentarii 1549-1999, Harrassowitz Verlag, pp. 196-198.
  16. "Et ainsi retiennent le nom de Zar comme plus autentique, duquel nom il pleut iadis à Dieu d'honorer David, Salomon et autres regnans sur la maison de Iuda et Israel, disent-ils, et que ces mots Tsisar et Krol n'est que invention humaine, lequel nom quelqu'un s'est acquis par beaux faits d'armes".
  17. The Present State of Russia, in a Letter to a Friend at London. Written by an Eminent Person residing at Great Tzars Court at Mosco for the space of nine years. 2nd ed. London, 1671. Pages 54–55.
  18. Boris Uspensky. Царь и император: помазание на трон и семантика монарших титулов. Moscow: Языки русской культуры, 2000. ISBN   5-7859-0145-5. Pages 48–52.
  19. "The Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedia entry on Tsar". Archived from the original on 2020-09-08. Retrieved 2006-07-27.
  20. Harcave, Sidney First Blood The Russian Revolution of 1905 Macmillan: London, 1964 p.12
  21. James K. Glassman (December 18, 2000). "Close, But No Big Czar". Reason magazine.

Sources

  • Michael and Natasha, The Life and love of the Last Tsar of Russia, Rosemary & Donald Crawford, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 1997. ISBN   0-297-81836-8.
  • George Ostrogorsky, "Avtokrator i samodržac", Glas Srpske kraljevske akadamije CLXIV, Drugi razdred 84 (1935), 95-187
  • John V.A. Fine, Jr., The Early Medieval Balkans, Ann Arbor, 1983
  • John V.A. Fine, Jr., The Late Medieval Balkans, Ann Arbor, 1987
  • Robert O. Crummey, The Formation of Muscovy 1304–1613, New York, 1987
  • David Warnes, Chronicle of the Russian Tsars, London, 1999
  • Matthew Lang (Editor), The Chronicle - $10 Very Cheap, Sydney, 2009/10