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- Czar, csar, and tzar redirect here. For other uses, see Tsar (disambiguation)
Tsar (Bulgarian, Serbian and Macedonian цар, Russian , in scientific transliteration respectively car and car' ), occasionally spelled Czar or Tzar and sometimes Csar or Zar in English, is a Slavonic term designating certain monarchs.
Originally, and indeed during most of its history, the title tsar (derived from Caesar) meant Emperor in the European medieval sense of the term, i.e., a ruler who has the same rank as a Roman or Byzantine emperor (or, according to Byzantine ideology, the most elevated position next to the one held by the Byzantine monarch) due to recognition by another emperor or a supreme ecclesiastical official (the Pope or the Ecumenical Patriarch). Occasionally, the word could be used to designate other, non-Christian supreme rulers. In Russia and Bulgaria, the imperial connotations of the term were blurred with time and by the 19th century it had come to be viewed as an equivalent of king,<ref name=BEC>Template:Cite web</ref>.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The modern languages of these countries use it as a general term for a monarch.<ref>Български тълковен речник. 3. изд. (the entry on цар in A Bulgarian explanatory dictionary).</ref><ref>Словарь современного русского литературного языка. Издательство Академии наук СССР. 1948-1965 (the entry on царь in The dictionary of the modern Russian literary language)</ref> For example, the title of the Bulgarian monarchs in the 20th century was not generally interpreted as imperial.
"Tsar" was the official title of the supreme ruler in the following states:
- Bulgaria in 913–1018, in 1185-1422 and in 1908–1946
- Serbia in 1346–1371
- Russia from about 1480 (or 1547) until 1721 (after 1721 and until 1917, the title was used officially only in reference to the Russian emperor's sovereignty over certain formerly independent states such as Poland and Georgia)
 Etymology and spelling
The word tsar (царь, car' ) is a contraction of the earlier tsesar (цѣсарь, cěsar' ), derived from the Roman title Caesar, but not from its devalued Byzantine derivative Kaisar (Καίσαρ). Originally the name of the deified dictator Caesar and then of his adopted son, the first emperor Augustus, the word Caesar came to designate the Roman emperor, together with the additional titles of Imperator and Augustus, and the Republican dignity of Princeps (designating the foremost senator). From the Antonine period the title Caesar by itself was also granted to junior associates in imperial power or heirs-designate, with which its importance started to decline. This is expressed even more clearly in Diocletian's Tetrarchy 293–306, in which power was shared between two senior emperors (Augusti) and two junior emperors (Caesares). In the Byzantine period the title Caesar (in Greek Kaisar) ceased to imply imperial association or the promise of succession to the throne, and after the Komnenian reforms, it was outranked by new titles such as despotēs and sebastokratōr.
Like German Kaiser, Old Church Slavonic tsesar (цѣсарь) was derived directly from the Roman title Caesar, and not from the lower-ranking Byzantine Kaisar, as can be seen from etymological development and the coexistence of the distinct terms tsesar (цѣсарь) and kesar (кесарь) with different meanings (corresponding to, respectively the Byzantine Emperor (Basileus) and Byzantine Kaisar) in early Cyrillic texts. The word is thus cognate with German Kaiser, Gothic káisar, Dutch keizer, Danish kejser, Swedish kejsare, Norwegian keisar/keiser, and (through Slavonic) Hungarian császár. The contraction of tsesar (цѣсарь) into tsar (царь) occurred by the way of shorthand writing of titles in Slavonic manuscripts (see Titlo article). One may see examples of this in the East Slavic Primary Chronicle. The first attested examples seem to date from the 10th-century grave inscription of Mostič from Preslav (see under Bulgaria below).
Modern usage seems to have standardized on the use of tsar to describe former rulers of Russia (and often Bulgaria and Serbia), while czar is used to informally describe an expert in charge of implementing policy (especially in the US): economics czar, drug czar, etc.
The Russian pronunciation of tsar is [ʦarʲ], the Bulgarian, Serbian and Macedonian one [tsar] (in IPA notation) though many if not most English-speaking people pronounce it considerably differently: [zɑr] or [zɑ:]. This is because although English has [ts] in words like cats, it is unusual for this sound to start an English word.
The spelling tsar is the closest possible transliteration of the original using standard English spelling, while the scholarly transliteration is car, with the letter 'c' standing for 'ц' ('ts') in Slavic languages employing the Latin alphabet (e.g., Serbian, Czech, Polish). Tsar has been accepted in Standard English for the last century as a correct usage. The use of "czar" is typically found in American English and has also been accepted into general use for more than a century there. The French adopted the form tsar during the 19th century, and it became more frequent in English towards the end of that century, following its adoption by The Times (see the Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition). The spelling tzar with 'z' is also very common, and represents an alternative transliteration of the first letter ц, derived from German.
The early spelling czar originated with the Austrian diplomat Baron Sigismund von Herberstein, whose Rerum Moscoviticarum Commentarii (1549), 'Notes on Muscovite Affairs', was the main source of knowledge of Russia in early modern western Europe, while not found in any of the Slavic languages.
 Meaning in the Slavic languages
In contrast to the Latin word "imperator", the Byzantine Greek term basileus had both political and Biblical connotations. In the history of the Greek language, the word originally meant something like "potentate", had gradually approached the meaning of "king" in the Hellenistic Period, and designated "emperor" after the inception in the Roman Empire. As a consequence, Byzantine sources continued to call the Biblical and ancient kings "basileus", even when that word had come to mean "emperor" when referring to contemporary monarchs (while it was never applied to Western European kings, whose title was transliterated from Latin "rex" as ῥήξ, or to other monarchs, for whom designations such as ἄρχων "leader", "chieftain" were used.)
As the Greek "basileus" was consistently rendered as "tsar" in Slavonic translations of Greek texts, the dual meaning was transferred into Church Slavonic. Thus, "tsar" was not only used as an equivalent of Latin "imperator" (in reference to the rulers of the Byzantine Empire, the Holy Roman Empire and to native rulers) but was also used to refer to Biblical rulers and ancient kings. In contrast, the title of Western European kings was derived from the name of Charlemagne (Russian korol' , Bulgarian kral) or was transliterated from the Greek ῥήξ as "риксъ".<ref>The word is used to refer to the kings of Hungary in the Halychian Chronicle.</ref>
From this ambiguity, the development has moved in different directions in the different Slavic languages. Thus, the Bulgarian and Russian languages no longer use tsar as an equivalent of the term emperor/imperator as it exists in the West European (Latin) tradition. Currently, the term tsar refers to native sovereigns, ancient and Biblical rulers, as well as monarchs in fairy tales and the like. The title of king (Russian korol' , Bulgarian kral) is perceived as alien and is reserved for (West) European royalty (and, by extension, for those modern monarchs outside of Europe whose titles are translated as king in English, roi in French etc.). Foreign monarchs of imperial status, both inside and outside of Europe, ancient as well as modern, are generally called imperator (император), rather than tsar.
In contrast, the Serbian language (along with the closely related Croatian, Bosnian, and Slovene languages) translates "emperor" (Latin imperator) as tsar (car, цар) and not as imperator, whereas the equivalent of king (kralj, краљ) is used to designate monarchs of non-imperial status, Serbian as well as foreign, including Biblical and other ancient rulers - just like Latin "rex".
In the West Slavic languages, the use of the terms is identical to the one in English and German: a king is designated with one term (Czech král, Slovak král' , Polish król), an emperor is designated with another, derived from Caesar as in German (Czech císař, Slovak cisár, Polish cesarz), while the exotic term "tsar" (Czech and Polish car, Slovak cár) is reserved for the Russian emperor.
The sainted Boris I is sometimes retrospectively referred to as tsar, because at his time Bulgaria was converted to Christianity. However, the title "tsar" (and its Byzantine Greek equivalent "basileus") were actually adopted and used for the first time by his son Simeon I, following a makeshift imperial coronation performed by the Patriarch of Constantinople in 913. After an attempt by the Byzantine Empire to revoke this major diplomatic concession and a decade of intensive warfare, the imperial title of the Bulgarian ruler was recognized by the Byzantine government in 924 and again at the formal conclusion of peace in 927. Since in Byzantune political theory there was place for only two emperors, Eastern and Western (as in the Late Roman Empire), the Bulgarian ruler was crowned basileus as "a spiritual son" of the Byzantian basileus.<ref>Срђан Пириватрић. Самуилова држава. Београд, 1997.</ref>
Some of the earliest attested occurrences of the contraction "tsar" (car' ) from "tsesar" (cěsar' ) are found in the grave inscription of the chărgubilja (ichirgu boila) Mostich, a contemporary of Simeon I and Peter I, from Preslav.
It has been hypothesized that Simeon's title was also recognized by a papal mission to Bulgaria in or shortly after 925, as a concession in exchange for a settlement in the Bulgarian-Croatian conflict or a possible attempt to return Bulgaria to union with Rome. Thus, in the later diplomatic correspondence conducted in 1199-1204 between the Bulgarian ruler Kaloyan and Pope Innocent III, Kaloyan — whose self-assumed Latin title was "imperator Bulgarorum et Blachorum" — claims that the imperial crowns of Simeon I, his son Peter I, and of Samuel were somehow derived from the Papacy. The Pope, however, only speaks of reges, kings of Bulgaria in his replies, and eventually grants only that lesser title to Kaloyan, who nevertheless procedes to thank the Pope for the "imperial title" conferred upon him.<ref>Innocentii pp. III epistolae ad Bulgariae historiam spectantes. Recensuit et explicavit Iv. Dujcev. Sofia, 1942.</ref>
The title, later augmented with epithets and titles such as autocrat to reflect current Byzantine practice, was used by all of Simeon's successors until the complete conquest of Bulgaria by the Ottoman Empire in 1422. In Latin sources the Emperor of Bulgaria is sometimes designated "Emperor of Zagora" (with variant spellings). Various additional epithets and descriptions apart, the official style read "Emperor and autocrat of all Bulgarians and Greeks".
During the five-century period of Ottoman rule in Bulgaria, the sultan was fequently referred to as "tsar". This may be related to the fact that he had claimed the legacy of the Byzantine Empire or to the fact that the sultan was called "Basileus" in medieval Greek.
After Bulgaria's liberation from the Ottomans in 1878, its new monarchs were at first autonomous prince (knjaz). With the declaration of full independence, Ferdinand I of Bulgaria adopted the traditional title "tsar" in 1908 and it was used until the abolition of the monarchy in 1946. (In the same way as the modern rulers of Greece used the traditional title of basileus in Greek and the title of "king" or "roi" in English and French). However, these titles weren't generally perceived as equivalents of "Emperor" any longer. In the Bulgarian as in the Greek vernacular, the meaning of the title had shifted<ref>Найден Геров. 1895-1904. Речник на блъгарский язик. (the entry on цар in Naiden Gerov's Dictionary of the Bulgarian Language) </ref> (although Paisius' Slavonic-Bulgarian History (1760-1762) had still distinguished between the two concepts) and the rulers of these countries were recognized only as kings by international diplomacy.
The term "tsar" was used once by Church officials of Kievan Rus in the naming of Yaroslav the Wise of Kiev. This may be connected to Yaroslav's war against Byzantium and to his efforts to distance himself from Constantinople. However, other princes of Kievan Rus never called themselves as "tsars"<ref>Wladimir Vodoff. Remarques sur la valeur du terme "tsar" appliqué aux princes russes avant le milieu du 15e siècle, in "Oxford Slavonic Series", new series, vol. XI. Oxford University Press, 1978.</ref> After the fall of Constantinople to the Crusaders and the Mongol invasion of Rus, the term "tsar" was applied by some people of Kievan Rus to the Mongol (Tatar) overlords of the Rus' principalities. Yet the first Russian ruler to openly break with the khan, Mikhail of Tver, assumed the title of "Basileus of Rus" and "tsar".<ref>A.V. Soloviev. "Reges" et "Regnum Russiae" au moyen âge, in "Byzantion", t. XXXVI. Bruxelles, 1966.</ref>
Following his assertion of independence from the Golden Horde and perhaps also his marriage to an heiress of the Byzantine Empire, "Veliki Kniaz" Ivan III of Muscovy started to use the title of tsar regularly in diplomatic relations with the West. From about 1480, he is designated as "imperator" in his Latin correspondence, as "keyser" in his correspondence with the Swedish regent, as "kejser" in his correspondence with the Danish king, Teutonic Knights, and the Hansa. Ivan's son Vasily III continued using these titles, as his Latin letters to Clement VII testify: "Magnus Dux Basilius, Dei gratia Imperator et Dominator totius Russiae, nec non Magnus Dux Woldomeriae", etc. (In the Russian version of the letter, "imperator" corresponds to "tsar"). Herberstein correctly observed that the titles of "kaiser" and "imperator" were attempts to render the Russian term "tsar" into German and Latin, respectively.<ref>"Den Titel aines Khaisers, wiewol Er alle seine Brief nur Reissisch schreibt, darinn Er sich Czar nent, so schickht Er gemaincklich Lateinische Copeyen darmit oder darinn, und an stat des Czar setzen sy Imperator, den wir Teutsch Khaiser nennen".</ref>
This was related to Russia's growing ambitions to become an Orthodox "Third Rome", after Constantinople had fallen. The Muscovite ruler was recognized as an emperor by Maximilian I, the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1514.<ref>"Kayser vnnd Herscher aller Rewssen und Groszfürste zu Wolodimer" in the German text of Maximilian's letter; "Imperator et Dominator universorum Rhutenorum et Magnus Princeps Valadomerorum" in the Latin copy. Vasily III responded by referring to Maximilian as "Maximiliano Dei gratia Electo Romanorum Caesare", i.e., "Roman Caesar". Maximilian's letter was of great importance to Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great, when they wished to back up their titles of "tsar" and "emperor", respectively. Both monarchs demonstrated the letter to foreign ambassadors; Peter even referred to it when he proclaimed himself Emperor.</ref> However, the first Russian ruler to be formally crowned as "tsar of all Russia" was Ivan IV, until then known as Grand Prince of all Russia (1547). Some foreign ambassadors — namely, Herberstein (in 1516 and 1525), Daniel Printz a Buchau (in 1576 and 1578) and Just Juel (in 1709) — indicated that the word "tsar" should not be translated as "emperor", because it is applied by Russians to David, Solomon and other Biblical kings, which are simple "reges".<ref>This objection may be used against translating "Basileus" as "emperor", too. Based on these accounts, the Popes repeatedly suggested to confer on the Russian monarchs the title of rex ("king"), if they only ally themselves with Vatican. Such a proposal was made for the last time in 1550, i.e., three years after Ivan IV had crowned himself tsar. As early as 1489, Ivan III declined the papal offer, declaring that his regal authority does not require anyone's confirmation.</ref> On the other hand, Jacques Margeret, a bodyguard of False Demetrius I, argues that the title of "tsar" is more honorable for Muscovites than "kaiser" or "king" exactly because it was God and not some earthly potentate who ordained to apply it to David, Solomon, and other kings of Israel.<ref>"Et ainsi retiennent le nom de Zar comme plus autentique, duquel nom il pleut iadis à Dieu d'honorer David, Salomon et autres regnans sur la maison de Iuda et Israel, disent-ils, et que ces mots Tsisar et Krol n'est que invention humaine, lequel nom quelqu'un s'est acquis par beaux faits d'armes".</ref> Samuel Collins, a court physician to Tsar Alexis in 1659-66, styled the latter "Great Emperour", commenting that "as for the word Czar, it has so near relation to Cesar... that it may well be granted to signifie Emperour. The Russians would have it to be an higher Title than King, and yet they call David Czar, and our kings, Kirrols, probably from Carolus Quintus, whose history they have among them".<ref>The Present State of Russia, in a Letter to a Friend at London. Written by an Eminent Person residing at Great Tzars Court at Mosco for the space of nine years. 2nd ed. London, 1671. Pages 54-55.</ref>
In short, the Westerners were at a loss as to how the term "tsar" should be translated properly. In 1670, Pope Clement X expressed doubts that it would be appropriate for him to address Alexis as "tsar", because the word is "barbarian" and because it stands for an "emperor", whereas there is only one emperor in the Christian world and he does not reside in Moscow. Reviewing the matter, abbot Scarlati opined that the term is not translatable and therefore may be used by the Pope without any harm. Paul Menesius, the Russian envoy in Vatican, seconded Scarlati's opinion by saying that there is no adequate Latin translation for "tsar", as there is no translation for "shah" or "sultan". In order to avoid such difficulties of translation and to assert his imperial ambitions more clearly, an edict of Peter I the Great decreed that the Latin-based title imperator should be used instead of "tsar" (1721).<ref>The first Russian monarch to update his title to "imperator" was False Demetrius I, following his coronation on 7 July, 1605. Peter started to use the title informally in 1696. He prepared the official adoption of the new title by renaming the Boyar Duma to Senate (as False Demetrius did before), with its ancient Roman associations, and by introducing the posts of State Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor, which were modeled on similar magistratures of the Holy Roman Empire. For Russian traditionalists, these moves signified Peter's conversion to pagan and Roman Catholic traditions, an opinion reinforced by his adoption of the heathen Roman titles of "Pater Patriae" (Отец Отечества) and "Magnus" (Великий) the same year.</ref>
The title tsar remained in common usage, and also officially as the designator of various titles signifying rule over various states absorbed by the Muscovite monarchy (such as the former Tatar khanates and the Georgian Orthodox kingdom). In the 18th century, it was increasingly viewed as inferior to "emperor" or highlighting the oriental side of the term.<ref>Boris Uspensky. Царь и император: помазание на трон и семантика монарших титулов. Moscow: Языки русской культуры, 2000. ISBN 5785901455. Pages 48-52.</ref> Upon annexing Crimea in 1783, Catherine the Great adopted the hellenicized title of "Tsaritsa of Tauric Chersonesos", rather than "Tsaritsa of the Crimea", as should have been expected. By 1815, when a large part of Poland was annexed, the title had clearly come to be interpreted in Russia as the equivalent of Polish Król "king", and the Russian emperor assumed the title "tsar of Poland",<ref name=BEC> Template:Cite web</ref> (and the puppet Kingdom of Poland was officially called Królewstwo Polskie in Polish and Царство Польское - Tsardom of Poland - in Russian<ref name=BECP> Template:Cite web</ref>) (see also Full style of Russian Sovereigns below).
Since the word "tsar" remained the popular designation of the Russian ruler despite the official change of style, its transliteration of this title in foreign languages such as English is commonly used also, in fact chiefly, for the Russian Emperors up to 1917.
 Full style of Russian Sovereigns
The full title of Russian emperors started with By the Grace of God, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias (Божию Милостию, Император и Самодержец Всероссийский [Bozhiyu Milostiyu, Imperator i Samodyerzhets Vserossiysky]) and went further to list all ruled territories. For example, according to the article 59 of the Russian Constitution of April 23, 1906, "the full title of His Imperial Majesty is as follows: We, ------ by the grace of God, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, of Moscow, Kiev, Vladimir, Novgorod, Tsar of Kazan, Tsar of Astrakhan, Tsar of Poland, Tsar of Siberia, Tsar of Tauric Chersonesos, Tsar of Georgia, Lord of Pskov, and Grand Duke of Smolensk, Lithuania, Volhynia, Podolia, and Finland, Prince of Estonia, Livonia, Courland and Semigalia, Samogitia, Białystok, Karelia, Tver, Yugra, Perm, Vyatka, Bulgaria, and other territories; Lord and Grand Duke of Nizhni Novgorod, Chernigov; Ruler of Ryazan, Polotsk, Rostov, Yaroslavl, Beloozero, Udoria, Obdoria, Kondia, Vitebsk, Mstislavl, and all northern territories; Ruler of Iveria, Kartalinia, and the Kabardinian lands and Armenian territories - hereditary Ruler and Lord of the Circassians and Mountain Princes and others; Lord of Turkestan, Heir of Norway, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, Stormarn, Dithmarschen, Oldenburg, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth."
For example, Nicholas II of Russia (1 November 1894 - 15 March 1917) was titled as follows (notice the archaic Cyrillic spelling):
- Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію МЫ, НИКОЛАЙ ВТОРЫЙ ИМПЕРАТОРЪ и САМОДЕРЖЕЦЪ ВСЕРОССІЙСКІЙ
- Московский, Кіевскій, Владимірскій, Новгородскій,
- Царь Казанскій, Царь Астраханскій, Царь Польскій, Царь Сибирскій, Царь Херсониса Таврическаго, Царь Грузинскій,
- Государь Псковскій, и
- Великій Князь Смоленскій, Литовскій, Волынскій, Подольскій и Финляндскій;
- Князь Эстляндскій, Лифляндскій, Курляндскій и Семигальскій, Самогитскій, Бѣлостокский, Корельскій,
- Тверскій, Югорскій, Пермскій, Вятскій, Болгарскій и иныхъ;
- Государь и Великій Князь Новагорода низовскія земли, Черниговскій, Рязанскій, Полотскій,
- Ростовскій, Ярославскій, Бѣлозерскій, Удорскій, Обдорскій, Кондійскій, Витебскій, Мстиславскій и
- всея Сѣверныя страны Повелитель; и
- Государь Иверскія, Карталинскія и Кабардинскія земли и области Арменскія;
- Черкасскихъ и Горскихъ Князей и иныхъ Наслѣдный Государь и Обладатель;
- Государь Туркестанскій;
- Наслѣдникъ Норвежскій,
- Герцогъ Шлезвигъ-Голстинскій, Стормарнскій, Дитмарсенскій и Ольденбургскій, и прочая, и прочая, и прочая.
- The Emperor's subsidiary title of Tsar of Kazan proclaimed the chief Orthodox dynasty as successor in law to the mighty Islamic khanate of Kazan, not maintaining its 'heathen' (khan) title (as the Ottoman Great Sultans did in several cases), but christening it. It should also be noted that Khans of Kazan were mentioned in Russian chronicles such as Kazan Chronicle as Tsars of Kazan.
- The Emperor's subsidiary title of Tsar of Siberia is somewhat misleading, as there never was such a kingdom, only a very weak Tatar (Islamic) Khanate of Sibir, easily subdued in the early stages of the exploration and annexation of the hugely larger Siberia, most of it before inhabited by nomadic tribal people without a state in the European sense.<ref>The title was adopted by Boris Godunov to prop up his waning authority and to highlight similarity between his capture of Kuchum and Ivan IV's conquest of Kazan and Astrakhan half a century earlier.</ref>
- The subsidiary title of Tsar in chief of Transcausasian Georgia is the continuation of a royal style of a native dynasty, that had as such been recognized by Russia; it was a new, Slavonic style, imposed after the former regional superpower, which had used native and even Persian styles refelecting imperial pretences, had been reduced to a vassal unable to ward off its mighty neighbours.<ref>As early as 1592, Fyodor I of Russia styled himself "Государь Иверския земли Грузинских Царей, и Кабардинския земли Черкасских и Горских Князей", i.e., "Sovereign of Iberian lands of Georgian Tsars".</ref>
- The subsidiary title of Tsar of Poland demonstrates the Russian Emperors' rule over the legally separate (but actually subordinate) Polish Kingdom, nominally in personal union with Russia, established by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 (hence also called "Congress Poland"), in a sense reviving the royal style of the pre-existent national kingdom of Poland. Internationally and in Poland, the tsars were referred to as Kings (Króls) of Poland.<ref>The title of Król, with its strong Catholic associations, was deemed not acceptable for an Orthodox ruler. When Fyodor I posited himself as a candidate to the vacant Polish throne in 1587, he envisaged his future title as "Tsar and Grand Duke of Moscow, Vladimir, and all Russia, King (король) of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania".</ref>
In some cases, defined by the Code of Laws, the Abbreviated Imperial Title was used:
- "We, ------ by the grace of God, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, of Moscow, Kiev, Vladimir, Novgorod, Tsar of Kazan, Tsar of Astrakhan, Tsar of Poland, Tsar of Siberia, Tsar of Tauric Chersonesos, Tsar of Georgia, Lord of Pskov, and Grand Duke of Smolensk, Lithuania, Volhynia, Podolia, and Finland, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth."
In other cases, also defined by the Code of Laws, the Short Imperial Title was used:
- "We, ------ by the grace of God, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, Tsar of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth."
 Titles in the Russian Royal/Imperial family
Tsaritsa (царица) is the term used for an Empress, though in English contexts this seems invariably to be altered to tsarina (since 1717, from Italian czarina, from German Zarin). In Imperial Russia, the official title was Empress (Императрица). Tsaritsa (Empress) could be either the ruler herself or the wife (Empress consort) of the tsar. The title of tsaritsa is used in the same way in Bulgaria and Serbia.
Tsesarevich (Цесаревич) (literally, "son of the tsar") is the term for a male heir apparent, the full title was Heir Tsesarevich ("Naslednik Tsesarevich", Наследник Цесаревич), informally abbreviated in Russia to The Heir ("Naslednik") (from the capital letter).
Tsarevich (царевич) was the term for a son. In older times the term was used in place of "Tsesarevich" (Цесаревич). A son who was not a heir was formally called Velikii Kniaz (Великий Князь) (Grand Duke). The latter title was also used for grandsons (through male lines).
Tsarevna (царевна) was the term for a daughter and a granddaughter of a Tsar or Tsaritsa. The official title was Velikaya Kniaginya (Великая Княгиня), translated as Grand Duchess or Grand Princess.
See also Grand Duchess for more details on the Velikaya Kniaginya title.
Tsesarevna (Цесаревна) was the wife of the Tsesarevich.
- When Nicholas II abdicated in 1917 he abdicated not just on his own behalf but also on behalf of his teenage son, Alexey, who was too ill to take up the throne. He named as his heir his own brother Mikhail. Mikhail initially considered accepting the throne, conditional upon the people accepting him as their ruler. But a day or two later he decided against this course. He saw no need to formally abdicate a throne he had never formally accepted. He was never properly proclaimed as "Tsar Mikhail II". Historians and lists of tsars differ as to whether to regard Mikhail or Nicholas II as the last tsar. Nicholas II was undoubtedly the last tsar to rule Russia and so was the last effective tsar. Mikhail, if he can be said to have been Tsar at all, exercised no governmental functions and merely reigned nominally for a very short time. Mikhail, like his brother Nicholas, was executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918.
- In 1924 Grand Duke Cyril Romanov proclaimed himself Emperor in exile.
- Moscow and Saint-Petersburg are known as the two tsar's capitals, though the latter was precisely founded as the new capital, symbolizing the new empire after Peter had shed the formal style of Tsar.
- for its 'Hereditary Sovereign and Prince' (in fact now a vassal) until the annexation, when he himself added this realm to his full style with the same title of Tsar: The Most Serene Tsar (reign name), by the will of our Lord, Tsar of Kartli, Tsar of Kakheti, Hereditary Prince of Samtzkhé-Saatabago, Ruling Prince of Kazakh, Borchalo, Shamshadilo, Kak, Shaki, and Shirvan, Prince and Lord of Ganja and Erivan, with the style of His Majesty; however these Russian designations were largely ignored in Georgia by the Georgians themselves, who continued to use the ancient styles and titles (varying in time, but here is the latest example): The Mepe-Umaglesi 'Most High King' (reign name), by the will of our Lord, Mepe-Mepeta 'King of Kings' of the Abkhazis, Kartvelians, Ranians, Kakhetians and the Armenians, Shirvanshah and Shahanshah (two Persian titles, royal viz. imperial) and Master of all the East and West.
- All sons of the Georgian Sovereign, including the Heir, were styled: Tsarevitch 'Prince' (given name) (father's name) Grouzinskii, i.e. Prince of Georgia, with the style of His Highness.
- All legitimate male descendants of Kings Irakli II and Giorgi XII, in the male line, were styled: Kniaz 'Prince' (given name) (father's name) Grouzinskii, i.e. Prince of Georgia, with the style of His Serene Highness.
- More remote princes of the blood or descendants in the natural line, also received the title of Kniaz (given name) (father's name) Bagration (the name of the royal dynasty, which has also ruled in Armenia), frequently with a territorial or other designation, e.g. Bagration-Mukhranskii 'Bagration of Mukhrani'.
The title Tsar was also used in Serbia, but only by two monarchs — Stefan Uroš IV Dušan and Stefan Uroš V between 1345 and 1371. Earlier Serbian monarchs had used the royal title Kralj / Краљ (King) since 1077, which had been granted by the Papacy during an early union with the Western Church. In 1345 Stefan Uroš IV Dušan began to style himself "Emperor of Serbians and Greeks" (the Greek renderings read "imperator and autocrator of Serbians and Romans"), and was crowned as such in Skopje on Easter (April 16) 1346 by the newly created Serbian patriarch, alongside with the Bulgarian patriarch and the autocephalous archibishop of Ohrid. On the same occasion, Stefan Uroš IV Dušan had his wife Helena of Bulgaria crowned as empress and his son associated in power as king. When Stefan Uroš IV Dušan died in 1355, his son Stefan Uroš V became the next "emperor of Serbians and Greeks". The new emperor's uncle Simeon Uroš (Siniša) contested the succession and claimed the same titles as a dynast in Thessaly. After his death around 1370, he was succeeded in his claims by his son John Uroš, who retired to a monastery in about 1373.
With the extinction of Nemanjid dynasty in Serbia in 1371, the imperial title became obsolete (though it was retained by Stefan Uroš IV's widow Elena of Bulgaria until her death in 1376/1377). The royal title was preserved by Vukašin Mrnjavčević, a Serbian ruler in Macedonia, who had been associated by Stefan Uroš V as king, but lapsed on the death of his son Marko in 1395. The Bosnian ban Tvrtko I also assumed the Serbian royal title, but he and his heirs reigned as kings of Serbia and Bosnia, while Sebian part in fact remained under the rule of princes, occasionally granted the Byzantine title of despotēs.
Several other Serbian rulers are known traditionally but incorrectly as Tsars, although they realistically cannot be called so. They include Lazar of Serbia, Tsar Jovan Nenad and Tsar Stephen the Little.
When Serbia, which had emerged as an autonomous principality after a long period of Ottoman domination, became an independent kingdom, its prince, knjaz, adopted the traditional title of king, kralj. The King's full style was, between 6 March 1882 and 1 December 1918 (New Style): Po milosti Božjoj i volji narodnoj kralj Srbije "By the grace of God and the will of the nation, King of Serbia".
Again, when the Serbian dynasty came to rule an enlarged kingdom, including Croatia and Slovenia, three peoples on the Balkan peninsula, after a decade generally collectively referred to as Yugoslavs (literally "Southern Slavonic"), its full style remained accordingly:
- 1 December 1918 (New Style) - 3 October 1929: Po milosti Božjoj i volji narodnoj kralj Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca "By the Grace of God and will of the people, King of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes";
- 3 October 1929 - 29 November 1945: Po milosti Božjoj i volji narodnoj kralj Jugoslavije "By the Grace of God and will of the people, King of Yugoslavia".
 Metaphorical uses
Like many lofty titles, e.g. Mogul, Tsar or Czar has been used as a metaphor for positions of high authority, in English since 1866 (referring to U.S. President Andrew Johnson), with a connotation of dictatorial powers and style, fitting since "Autocrat" was an official title of the Russian Emperor (informally referred to as 'the Czar').
This use is not limited to statesmen, e.g. 'drug czar' for the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. agency against illegal narcotics, or "terrorism czar" for a Presidential advisor on terrorism policy.
 See also
 Sources and references
- George Ostrogorsky, "Avtokrator i samodržac", Glas Srpske kraljevske akadamije CLXIV, Drugi razdred 84 (1935), 95-187
- John V.A. Fine, Jr., The Early Medieval Balkans, Ann Arbor, 1983
- John V.A. Fine, Jr., The Late Medieval Balkans, Ann Arbor, 1987
- Robert O. Crummey, The Formation of Muscovy 1304-1613, New York, 1987
- David Warnes, Chronicle of the Russian Tsars, London, 1999
- The entry on tsar in the Eleventh Edition of Encyclopædia Britannica (1911)
- WorldStatesmen- see each present country
 External links
- Detailed List of Roman and Byzantine Rulers
- Detailed List of Bulgarian Rulers
- Detailed List of Russian Rulers
- Detailed List of Serbian Rulers
- Detailed List of Georgian Rulersbg:Цар
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