emperor

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emperor

[Lat. imperator=one holding supreme power, especially applied to generals], the sovereign head of an empire. In the Roman republic the term imperator referred to the chief military commander and was used only on the battlefield. It was first used continuously by Julius Caesar and was retained by his successor Augustus. It was then adopted by all succeeding Roman rulers as an official title. An emperor continuously ruled over the eastern segment of the Roman Empire, which became known as the Byzantine Empire, until the 15th cent. In the West, after the fall of the empire, the title was revived with the crowning of Charlemagne (800). Eventually the territory reigned over by the successors of Charlemagne became known as the Holy Roman Empire, which lasted until 1806. In 1721 the Russian czar Peter I adopted the title emperor, and his example was followed in the 19th cent. by the monarchs in Austria, France, Germany, and Great Britain (Indian Empire, 1877–1947). The title was also used by several rulers in the Americas—in Brazil from 1822 to 1889; in Mexico by Agustín de Iturbide and Maximilian; and in Haiti by Jean Jacques Dessalines and Henri Christophe. In a general sense the title has been used to describe a non-European ruler of considerable territory, e.g., the emperor of Japan and the emperor of Ethiopia. See also imperialismimperialism,
broadly, the extension of rule or influence by one government, nation, or society over another. Early Empires

Evidence of the existence of empires dates back to the dawn of written history in Egypt and in Mesopotamia, where local rulers extended their
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Emperor

 

a monarchical title. In ancient Rome the word imperium initially referred to the supreme power (military, juridical, and administrative) of the highest magistrates, including consuls, praetors, and dictators. From the period of Augustus and his successors the title of emperor in the Roman Empire took on a monarchical character. Beginning with the reign of Diocletian, the Roman Empire was ruled by two emperors with the title of Augustus; their two co-rulers held the title of caesar. With the fall of the Western Roman Empire (476) the title of emperor was retained in the East, in Byzantium; in the West it was restored by Charlemagne (800) and later by the German king Otto I (from 962, the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire). Subsequently the title was adopted by the monarchs of certain other states, including the Russian emperor, beginning in 1721, and the Austrian emperor, from 1804. In European literature the term “emperor” is applied to the monarchs of a number of non-European states, such as the Chinese emperor (until 1911) and the Japanese emperor.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Emperor

orders a new outfit from weavers who claim it will be invisible to anyone unworthy of his position. [Dan. Lit.: Andersen “The Emperor’s New Clothes” in Andersen’s Fairy Tales]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

emperor

1. a monarch who rules or reigns over an empire
2. any of several large saturniid moths with eyelike markings on each wing, esp Saturnia pavonia of Europe
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in classic literature ?
Rostov himself, his legs well back and his stomach drawn in and feeling himself one with his horse, rode past the Emperor with a frowning but blissful face "like a vewy devil," as Denisov expressed it.
"Fine fellows, the Pavlograds!" remarked the Emperor.
The young man was absent, but the Dukes and Countesses and Princes went over the premises with us as leisurely as was the case at the Emperor's, and conversation continued as lively as ever.
The Grand Duke and his Duchess came out, and the presentation ceremonies were as simple as they had been at the Emperor's.
The people could see that they were very busy making the Emperor's new clothes ready.
The Emperor came himself with his most distinguished knights, and each impostor held up his arm just as if he were holding something, and said, 'See!
The whole city was talking of the splendid cloth which the Emperor had ordered to be woven at his own expense.
And now the Emperor himself wished to see the costly manufacture, while it was still in the loom.
"You are not very substantial, I must admit," said the Emperor. "but you are certainly unusual, and therefore worthy to become a member of our select society."
"Nonsense!" said the Emperor -- but in a kindly, sympathetic tone.
The emperor himself, in person, did me the honour to be by at the whole ceremony.
The reader may please to observe, that, in the last article of the recovery of my liberty, the emperor stipulates to allow me a quantity of meat and drink sufficient for the support of 1724 Lilliputians.