Autokratōr (Greek: αὐτοκράτωρ, autokrátōr, pl. αὐτοκράτορες, autokrátores, Ancient Greek pronunciation [autokrátɔːr], Byzantine pronunciation [aftoˈkrator] lit. "self-ruler", "one who rules by himself", from αὐτός and κράτος) 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 Byzantine-style absolutism gave rise to the modern terms autocrat and autocracy. In modern Greek, it means "emperor", and the female form of the title is autokrateira (αὐτοκράτειρα, autokráteira, "empress").
The title appeared in Classical Greece in the late 5th century BC, and was used for generals given independent authority, i.e. a supreme commander (stratēgos autokratōr). In Classical Athens, stratēgoi autokratores were generals endowed with autonomous power of command, i.e. they were able to make certain military and diplomatic decisions without prior consultation with the Athenian assembly. This was enacted when the general was expected to operate far from Athens, for instance during the Sicilian Expedition. Nevertheless, the generals remained accountable to the assembly for their conduct upon their return. Similar practices were followed by other Greek states, such as Syracuse, where the post served as a power base for several of the city's tyrants. Stratēgoi autokratores were also appointed by various leagues of city-states to head their combined armies. Thus Philip II of Macedon was declared as hēgemōn and stratēgos autokratōr of the southern Greek states by the League of Corinth, a position later given to his son Alexander the Great as well. The term was also employed for envoys entrusted with plenipotentiary powers (presbeis autokratores).
In later times, with the rise of the Roman Republic, [stratēgos] autokratōr was used by Greek historians to translate different Roman terms: Polybius uses the term to translate the title dictator, while Plutarch uses it in its later sense as a translation of the victory title imperator. Autokratōr became entrenched as the official translation of the latter during the Roman Empire, where imperator was part of the titelature of the Roman emperors. As such it continued to be used in Greek translations from Latin until the adoption of the Greek title basileus by Emperor Heraclius in 629.
It was retained in archaic forms of address during ceremonies in the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire, and was revived (no later than the early 9th century) in the form of basileus [kai] autokratōr (βασιλεύς [καὶ] αὐτοκράτωρ, usually translated as "emperor and autocrat"), which then designated the senior of several ruling co-emperors (συμβασιλεῖς, symbasileis), who held the actual power. In the Palaiologan period, this use was extended to include the designated heir. The title is evidenced in coins from 912, in imperial chrysobulls from the 11th century, and in numerous illuminated manuscripts. The term stratēgos autokratōr continued to be used in the Byzantine period as well. The title is particularly prevalent in the 6th century (e.g. for Belisarius), and re-appears in the 10th-11th centuries for senior military commanders. Thus, for instance, Basil II installed David Arianites as stratēgos autokratōr of Bulgaria, implying powers of command over the other regional stratēgoi in the northern Balkans.
The Byzantine imperial formula was imitated among the Byzantine influenced nations such as Georgia and Balkan states, and later, most notably, the emerging Tsardom of Russia.
The Arianites were a medieval Byzantine noble family of whom the most notable is the early 11th-century strategos autokrator of Bulgaria, David Arianites.
The family had by the late 13th/early 14th century appeared in Albania, where it produced several important rulers (see Arianiti family).Augustus (title)
Augustus (plural augusti; ; Classical Latin: [awˈɡʊstʊs], Latin for "majestic", "the increaser" or "venerable") was an ancient Roman title given as both name and title to Gaius Octavius (often referred to simply as Augustus), Rome's first Emperor. On his death, it became an official title of his successor, and was so used by Roman emperors thereafter. The feminine form Augusta was used for Roman empresses and other females of the Imperial family. The masculine and feminine forms originated in the time of the Roman Republic, in connection with things considered divine or sacred in traditional Roman religion. Their use as titles for major and minor Roman deities of the Empire associated the Imperial system and Imperial family with traditional Roman virtues and the divine will, and may be considered a feature of the Roman Imperial cult.
In Rome's Greek-speaking provinces, "Augustus" was translated as sebastos (σεβαστός, "venerable"), or Hellenised as Augoustos (αὔγουστος). After the fall of the Roman Empire, Augustus was sometimes used as a name for men of aristocratic birth, especially in the lands of the Holy Roman Empire. It remains a given name for males.Autocrat
An autocrat is the ruler of an autocracy, but the term may also refer to:
Autocracy, a system of government in which one person has absolute power and is unaccountable to the law or the citizenry
Auster Autocrat, a 1940s British single-engined three-seat high-wing touring monoplane
Autocrat, LLC, a company based in Rhode Island, United States
The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, a collection of essays written by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
The Autocrats, a Finnish political satire TV series
Autokrator, a Greek epithet applied to an individual who exercises absolute power, unrestrained by superiorsAutokrator (metal band)
Autokrator is a French death metal band, formed in 2014.Basileus
Basileus (Greek: βασιλεύς) 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 feminine forms are basileia (βασίλεια), basilis (βασιλίς), basilissa (βασίλισσα), or the archaic basilinna (βασιλίννα), meaning "queen" or "empress".Crocus (general)
Crocus (Ancient Greek: Κρόκος) was Ptolemaic governor of Cyprus and admiral in the second century BC.
Crocus is mentioned as governor (strategos) of Cyprus and admiral (nauarchos) in three inscriptions dated between 131 and 124 BC. His predecessor in this role was Seleucus, son of Bithys. During Crocus' tenure as governor there was a civil war between Cleopatra II and Ptolemy VIII, who made Cyprus his power-base. In one inscription, Crocus' title is given as strategos autokrator, which indicates that he held unlimited authority, analogous to a viceroy. Ptolemy VIII probably gave him this extra power so that he could concentrate on fighting the civil war.
After the end of the civil war, Crocus is attested in one more inscription, no longer in the role of governor, but as a close associate of the king (hypermachos), whom he probably accompanied back to Alexandria. His successor in Cyprus was Theodorus, the son of his predecessor.David Arianites
David Areianites or Arianites (Greek: Δαυίδ Ἀρ[ε]ιανίτης) was a high-ranking Byzantine commander of the early 11th century.Diodotus Tryphon
Diodotus Tryphon (Greek: Διόδοτος Τρύφων) was a king of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire who initially acted as regent and tutor for the son of Alexander Balas, but soon declared himself king in 142 BC after the death of his charge, Antiochus VI Dionysus, and reigned until his own death in 138 BC.Droungos
Droungos (Greek: δροῦγγος, sometimes δρόγγος, drongos) or drungus is a late Roman and Byzantine term for a battalion-sized military unit, and later for a local command guarding mountain districts. Its commander was a "droungarios" or "drungarius" (δρουγγάριος), anglicized as "Drungary".Emperor
An emperor (from Latin: imperator, via Old French: empereor) 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 (empress consort), mother (empress dowager), or a woman who rules in her own right (empress regnant). Emperors are generally recognized to be of a higher honour and rank than 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.
Both emperors and kings are monarchs, but emperor and empress are considered the higher monarchical titles. Inasmuch as there is a strict definition of emperor, it is that an emperor has no relations implying the superiority of any other ruler and typically rules over more than one nation, therefore a king might be obliged to pay tribute to another ruler, or be restrained in his actions in some unequal fashion, but an emperor should in theory be completely free of such restraints. However, monarchs heading empires have not always used the title in all contexts—the British sovereign did not assume the title Empress of the British Empire even during the incorporation of India, though she was declared Empress of India.
In Western Europe, the title of Emperor was used exclusively by the Holy Roman Emperor, whose imperial authority was derived from the concept of translatio imperii, i.e. they claimed succession to the authority of the Western Roman Emperors, thus linking themselves to Roman institutions and traditions as part of state ideology. Although initially ruling much of Central Europe and northern Italy, by the 19th century the Emperor exercised little power beyond the German-speaking states.
In India, the Muslim Mughal Emperors were the only South Asian rulers for whom the term was consistently used by Western contemporaries.
Although technically an elective title, by the late 16th century the imperial title had in practice come to be inherited by the Habsburg Archdukes of Austria and following the Thirty Years' War their control over the states (outside the Habsburg Monarchy, i.e. Austria, Bohemia and various territories outside the empire) had become nearly non-existent. However, Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor of the French in 1804 and was shortly followed by Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, who declared himself Emperor of Austria in the same year. The position of Holy Roman Emperor nonetheless continued until Francis II abdicated that position in 1806. In Eastern Europe, the monarchs of Russia also used translatio imperii to wield imperial authority as successors to the Eastern Roman Empire. Their status was officially recognised by the Holy Roman Emperor in 1514, although not officially used by the Russian monarchs until 1547. However, the Russian emperors are better known by their Russian-language title of Tsar even after Peter the Great adopted the title of Emperor of All Russia in 1721.
Historians have liberally used emperor and empire anachronistically and out of its Roman and European context to describe any large state from the past or the present. Such pre-Roman titles as Great King or King of Kings, used by the Kings of Persia and others, are often considered as the equivalent. Sometimes this reference has even extended to non-monarchically ruled states and their spheres of influence such as the Athenian Empire of the late 5th century BC, the Angevin Empire of the Plantagenets and the Soviet and American "empires" of the Cold War era. However, such "empires" did not need to be headed by an "emperor". Empire became identified instead with vast territorial holdings rather than the title of its ruler by the mid-18th century.
For purposes of protocol, emperors were once given precedence over kings in international diplomatic relations, but currently precedence amongst heads of state who are sovereigns—whether they be kings, queens, emperors, empresses, princes, princesses and to a lesser degree presidents—is determined by the duration of time that each one has been continuously in office. Outside the European context, emperor was the translation given to holders of titles who were accorded the same precedence as European emperors in diplomatic terms. In reciprocity, these rulers might accredit equal titles in their native languages to their European peers. Through centuries of international convention, this has become the dominant rule to identifying an emperor in the modern era.Emperor of the Serbs
Between 1345 and 1371, the Serbian monarch was selftitled emperor (tsar), the full title being Emperor of the Serbs and Greeks and Bulgarians (цар Срба и Грка и Бугара / car Srba i Grka i Bugara) in Serbian and basileus and autokrator of Serbia and Romania ["the land of the Romans"] (βασιλεὺς καὶ αὐτοκράτωρ Σερβίας καὶ Ῥωμανίας) 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 (r. 1331–55) and Stefan Uroš V (r. 1355–71). Two other claimants of the title ruled in Thessaly, Central Greece.Imperator
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. In Latin, the feminine form of imperator is imperatrix.Roman emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). 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 ('first citizen'). Emperors frequently amassed republican titles, notably princeps senatus, consul and pontifex maximus.
The legitimacy of an emperor's rule depended on his control of the army and recognition by the Senate; an emperor would normally be proclaimed by his troops, or invested with imperial titles by the Senate, or both. The first emperors reigned alone; later emperors would sometimes rule with co-emperors and divide administration of the empire between them.
The Romans considered the office of emperor to be distinct from that of a king. The first emperor, Augustus, resolutely refused recognition as a monarch. Although Augustus could claim that his power was authentically republican, his successor, Tiberius, could not convincingly make the same claim. Nonetheless, for the first three hundred years of Roman emperors, from Augustus until Diocletian, efforts were made to portray the emperors as leaders of a republic.
From Diocletian, whose tetrarchic reforms also divided the position into one emperor in the West and one in the East, until the end of the Empire, emperors ruled in an openly monarchic style and did not preserve the nominal principle of a republic, but the contrast with "kings" was maintained: although the imperial succession was generally hereditary, it was only hereditary if there was a suitable candidate acceptable to the army and the bureaucracy, so the principle of automatic inheritance was not adopted. Elements of the republican institutional framework (senate, consuls, and magistrates) were preserved even after the end of the Western Empire.
The Western Roman Empire collapsed in the late 5th century after multiple invasions of imperial territory by Germanic barbarian tribes. Romulus Augustulus is often considered to be the last emperor of the West after his forced abdication in 476, although Julius Nepos maintained a claim recognized by the Eastern Empire to the title until his death in 480. Following Nepos' death, the Eastern Emperor Zeno abolished the division of the position and proclaimed himself as the sole Emperor of a reunited Roman Empire. The Eastern imperial lineage continued to rule from Constantinople ("New Rome"); they continued to style themselves as Emperor of the Romans (later βασιλεύς Ῥωμαίων in Greek), but are often referred to in modern scholarship as Byzantine emperors. Constantine XI Palaiologos was the last Roman emperor in Constantinople, dying in the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453.
The "Byzantine" emperors from Heraclius in 629 and onwards adopted the title of basileus (βασιλεύς), which had originally meant king in Greek but became a title reserved solely for the Roman emperor and the ruler of the Sasanian Empire. Other kings were then referred to as rēgas.In addition to their pontifical office, some emperors were given divine status after death. With the eventual hegemony of Christianity, the emperor came to be seen as God's chosen ruler, as well as a special protector and leader of the Christian Church on Earth, although in practice an emperor's authority on Church matters was subject to challenge.
Due to the cultural rupture of the Turkish conquest, most western historians treat Constantine XI as the last meaningful claimant to the title Roman Emperor. From 1453, one of the titles used by the Ottoman Sultans was "Caesar of Rome" (Turkish: Kayser-i Rum), part of their titles until the Ottoman Empire ended in 1922. A Byzantine group of claimant Roman emperors existed in the Empire of Trebizond until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1461, though they had used a modified title since 1282.
Eastern emperors in Constantinople had been recognized and accepted as Roman emperors both in the East, which they ruled, and by the Papacy and Germanic kingdoms of the West until the deposition of Constantine VI and accession of Irene of Athens as Empress regnant in 797. Objecting to a woman ruling the Roman Empire in her own right and issues with the eastern clergy, the Papacy would then create a rival lineage of Roman emperors in western Europe, the Holy Roman Emperors, which ruled the Holy Roman Empire for most of the period between 800 and 1806. These Emperors were never recognized as Roman emperors by the court in Constantinople.Sakellarios
A sakellarios (Greek: σακελλάριος) is an official entrusted with administrative and financial duties (cf. sakellē or sakellion, "purse, treasury"). The title was used in the Byzantine Empire with varying functions, and remains in use in the Eastern Orthodox Church.Sebastokrator
Sebastokrator (Greek: σεβαστοκράτωρ, sebastokrátor; Bulgarian and Serbian Cyrillic: севастократор; both pronounced sevastokrator), was a senior court title in the late Byzantine Empire. It was also used by other rulers whose states bordered the Empire or were within its sphere of influence (Bulgarian Empire, Serbian Empire). The word is a compound of "sebastos" ("venerable", the Greek equivalent of the Latin Augustus) and "krátor" ("ruler", the same element as is found in "autokrator", "emperor"). The wife of a Sebastokrator was named sebastokratorissa (σεβαστοκρατόρισσα, sevastokratórissa) in Greek or sevastokratitsa (севастократица) in Bulgarian and sevastokratica (севастократица) in Serbian.Serbian royal titles
The Serbian monarchs and royalty have assumed several regnal titles and styles throughout history.Spiridon (patriarch)
Spiridon (Serbian Cyrillic: Спиридон; fl. 1379–d. 11 August 1389) was the Patriarch of the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć from 1380 to 1389. He held office during the reign of Prince Lazar, who was recognized by the Serbian Church as the legitimate ruler of the Serbian lands (in the period of the Fall of the Serbian Empire), and with whom he closely cooperated.
Spiridon was chosen to succeed Patriarch Jefrem, who abdicated, in 1379, and was enthroned after 3 May 1380. Historian M. Petrović believes that Jefrem abdicated due to opposing the politics of suppressing the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which was pursued by Prince Lazar and Spiridon. The Serbian Church recognized Lazar as the legitimate ruler of the Serbian lands, the autokrator (inherited by the Nemanjić dynasty), since 1375. Spiridon's life prior to enthronement is unclear. He is believed to have been born in Niš, as written in the old list of Serbian patriarchs (Патріархъ Спиридонъ родомъ отъ Нишъ), accepted in early Serbian literature, however, there is no confirmation. M. Purković assumed that Spiridon was a bishop of perhaps Caesaropolis, then the metropolitan of Melnik. Two acts from Vatopedi dating to October 1377 mention a "metropolitan Spiridon". Spiridon might have been the same as the Dečani ascetic Spiridon; Jefrem chose Spiridon as his successor, his close friend, fellow clergyman, and venturer, a hesychast as himself, and also a man of the court – respectable, educated, and informed on the secrets and state skills and church politics, more than Jefrem himself. Historian M. Spremić believed that Jefrem had in the first place been enthroned as a compromise between the Serbian Church and the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and that he was forced to abdicate by followers of Prince Lazar.Spiridon was a close associate of Lazar, and their work coincided – the renewal of the Nemanjić ideal of symphony of the state and church. The patriarch was the most important person along with the ruler, whom he versatilely supported. Spiridon confirmed Lazar's 1378 charter to Gornjak (Ždrelo), Lazar's endowment, and Lazar's 1387 charter to Obrad Dragosalić. On 2 March 1382, in Žiča, the founding charter of the Drenče monastery was written before Spiridon. Spiridon died on 11 August 1389 (as recorded in Danilo's typikon from 1416), not long after the Battle of Kosovo in which Lazar fell. After Lazar's death, Spiridon stayed in alliance with Lazar's widow Milica. After the battle and Spiridon's death, the security of the Serbian state and church was threatened by the Ottomans; Milica's political circle worked to establish peace with the Ottomans, a deal which was eventually struck with large Serbian concessions, by the summer of 1390. Spiridon was succeeded by Jefrem, who returned and served shortly until he was replaced by Danilo III.In the Serbian epic film Battle of Kosovo (1989), Spiridon was played by actor Miodrag Radovanović.Strategos
Strategos or Strategus, plural strategoi, (Greek: στρατηγός, pl. στρατηγοί; Doric Greek: στραταγός, stratagos; meaning "army leader") is used in Greek to mean military general. In the Hellenistic world and the Byzantine Empire the term was also used to describe a military governor. In the modern Hellenic Army it is the highest officer rank.Theophilos (king)
Theophilos (Greek: Θεόφιλος) was a minor Indo-Greek king who ruled for a short time in the Paropamisadae. He was possibly a relative of Zoilos I and is only known from coins. It is possible that some of Theophilos' coins in fact belong to another ruler, in Greek Bactria, during approximately the same period.