An Emperor is nominally a monarch and sovereign ruler of an Empire or any other ruler considered/called an emperor. Emperors are generally recognized to be above kings in honour. The English term for emperor is derived from the Latin imperator, which is in turn derived from a Latin word meaning "to impose". In German the title kaiser is used and in Russian tsar or czar is used, both of which are derived from Caesar.
Imperator was originally a title used by Roman military comanders, which reflected their right "to impose" punishment on the soldiers under their command. Caesar was the family name of Gaius Julius Caesar (100 BC-44 BC), who never was an emperor himself but rather the last dictator of the Roman republic. The name of Caesar lived on by adoption in the first Roman Emperor, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus or Augustus, as he is known as emperor. The style used by the Roman Emperors was primarily that of Augustus, but the names and titles of Caesar and Imperator was also used.
In China, Emperor was first introduced when Qin Shi Huangdi declared him as the first emperor. In Japan, a ruler in Yamato court was called "Tenno" and usually translated as emperor though Japan is usually not considered an empire except the brief period of time in late Meiji, Taisho and early Showa. In Japanese language, tenno is strictly distinguished from teiou who rules an empire--both are translated as emperor.
Sometimes, an retired emperor has actual power instead of the ruling emperor.
Countries which have been ruled by Emperors or Empresses:
|Table of contents|
2 Medieval Empires
3 Newer Empires
4 Emperors of short-lived "Empires"
5 Self-proclaimed "Emperors"
6 Fictional Empires
Emperors of short-lived "Empires"