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  5. What is Emperor in Latin? I h…


What is Emperor in Latin? I have a feeling that it isn't Caesar, as google translate suggests.

November 5, 2019



Dominus is more for master, rex for king, princeps for prince.

The best I can find for Latin is imperator.

The Spanish word for emperor is emperador

In French it's empereur

In Italian it's imperatore

In Portuguese it's imperador

In Romanian it's împărat

In Catalan it's emperador

See a pattern? These are all Romance languages derived from Latin. All spoken today. These words all look and sound similar to imperator (Latin).

That must be the correct translation, unless someone else can give a better answer.

EDIT: Also, English as a lot of French and Latin influence. Perhaps that's where emperor came from?

It's from Old French, emperere, Latin, imperator and also Latin imperare (to command). If any of you are Harry Potter fans, it may fascinate you to know that the Imperius curse derives from the Latin imperare


Princeps can also refer to a chief or chieftain, one who is foremost among people (or something along those lines). :)

That said, Dominus is also commonly used to mean "Lord", as a reference to God - as in "Domine Dirige Nos," Lord Save Us.

Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.


I believe Augustus always referred to himself as a Princeps, Imperator, refers to military command specifically. But the two became conflated over time, as the Emperor always help Imperium, which was previously only held by specific positions such as Consul.


Depends on the time. Before the rebuplic, the Roman empire was a kingdom, the kings called rex. After Tarquinius Superbus, the last roman rex, the titel 'rex' was absolutely hated by roman society, because Tarquinius was an aweful person an ruler. Imperatores are basically those, who lead people (imperare), first just in military context, later also when referring to the emperor. The first emperor after the republic time was Octavian. The name Augustus was just a cognomen given to him and means 'the sacred', but from this time on it became the cognomen of every roman ruler. He himself called himself 'princeps', which means 'the first', because he saw himself more as a first citizen than a king-like ruler. In general principes are also any other first men, for example leading people of Gallic tribes in Caesars bellum Gallicum. Dominus is basically the lord, for example of the house. Slaves called their masters 'dominus'. In late antiquity, to stable his position, the emperor distanced himself from the common people through divine legitimation and became the dominus, because he was no longer just a first citizen.


This site might be handy: http://archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/wordz.pl?english=emperor

Imperator is your best bet. The reason why Caesar pops up second on this list (and probably also in Google Translate) is because it was a name also adopted by a lot of later emperors who tried to emulate him (did you know that the Russian word Tsar - also spelled Czar - originally came from the word Caesar?). :)

Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.


As is Kaiser (German), and keizer (Dutch).


And Augustus was adopted in a similar way and did also appear in the medieval Roman emperor titles "Dei Gratia Romanorum Imperator Semper Augustus".


Imperator. Often, after a Roman general was victorious in conquest, his soldiers would hail him "Imperator" and the general would usually appeal to the senate for a Triumph. Imperator would be latin for Emperor. Though, the connotation was different than today.


You all need to realize imperator has many other definitions too. It can mean also commander, general, warlord, ruler, or commander-in-chief. So if you see imperator in a Latin sentence, it will not always mean that.


Look up the origin of emperor.
from "Imperator": a commander or ruler. "Rex" is for ruler/king as well.


Imperator, I think. Some later emperors, e.g. Augustus, added Caesar to their names, but I believe this was more of an attempt to associate themselves with Gaius Iulius Caesar (Julius Caesar).

You are wise to not trust Google Translate...it works using algorithms that analyze parallel text. As such, it actually works fairly well between languages that are common on the internet (e.g. English and German), but very poorly for rarer languages like Latin. Obviously not relevant to single-word translations, but I think the free word order messes it up a bit as well.


They really did keep adopting their successors as their 'sons,' as Octavian was adopted (posthumously) by Julius Caesar; so that Caesar became part of his new, adoptive name. He in turn adopted his stepson Tiberius, who became a Caesar also.

So a name turned into a title, eventually.


I'm currently taking Latin at my high school, and in our textbooks it is as "princeps"


It does mean that, but can also have a much broader meaning https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princeps


I've been taught that "princeps" generally means chief, particularly leaders of people who the Romans unfairly considered uncivilized and inferior, e.g. Celts, Germans, etc.


Since there was a preexisting term (Princeps senatùs) for the leading member of the senate, Octavian/Augustus seems to have assumed that Princeps (like "primus inter pares," the first man among equals) would be a more acceptable term for himself as a one-man ruler 'in disguise.' Remember, he always claimed to be 'restoring the republic.'

Clearly, our word "emperor" comes from the less-disguised imperator, commander, general, one-man ruler.

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