Definitions for roman emperor

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. Roman Emperor, Emperor of Rome(noun)

    sovereign of the Roman Empire

Freebase

  1. Roman emperor

    The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period. The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor. If a man was "proclaimed emperor" this normally meant he was proclaimed augustus, or imperator. Several other titles and offices were regularly accumulated by emperors, such as caesar, princeps senatus, consul and Pontifex Maximus. The power of emperors was generally based on the accumulation of powers from republican offices and the support of the army. Roman emperors refused to be considered "kings", instead claiming to be leaders of a republic, however nominal. 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, the Republican institutional framework was preserved until the very end of the Western Empire. By the time of Diocletian, emperors were openly "monarchs", but the contrast with "kings" was maintained: Although the imperial succession was, de facto, 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. The Eastern emperors ultimately adopted the formal title of "Basileus", which had meant king in Greek, but became a title reserved solely for the "Roman" emperor. Other kings were referred to, in Greek, as rēx or rēgas, the hellenized forms of the Latin title rex, king.

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