Meaning in Slavic Languages
The title Tsar is derived from the Latin title for the Roman emperors, Caesar. In comparison to the corresponding Latin word "imperator", the Byzantine Greek term basileus was used differently depending on whether it was in a contemporary political context and in a historical or Biblical context. In the history of the Greek language, basileus had originally meant something like "potentate", it had gradually approached the meaning of "king" in the Hellenistic Period, and it came to designate "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.
From this ambiguity, the development has moved in different directions in the different Slavic languages. Thus, the Bulgarian language and Russian language 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, (along with the closely related Croatian language and Bosnian language) and Ukrainian language translates "emperor" (Latin imperator) as tsar (car, цар) and not as imperator, whereas the equivalent of king (kralj, краљ, король) is used to designate monarchs of non-imperial status, Serbian as well as foreign ancient rulers - just like Latin "rex". Biblical rulers in Serbian are called цар and in Croatian kralj.
In the West Slavic languages and Slovene language, the use of the terms is identical to the one in English and German: a king is designated with one term (Czech král, Slovak kráľ, Polish król, Slovene kralj), an emperor is designated with another, derived from Caesar as in German (Czech císař, Slovak cisár, Polish cesarz, Slovene cesar; Croat cesar and Montenegrin ćesar fall into disuse in the last century), while the exotic term "tsar" (Czech, Slovene and Polish car, Slovak cár) is reserved for the Russian and Bulgarian rulers.
Read more about this topic: Tsar
Other articles related to "slavic, slavic languages, languages, meaning in slavic languages, language, meaning":
... The pre-Christian religions of the Slavic peoples probably died out slowly in the countryside after the official adoption of Christianity (Moravia in 863, Poland in 966, Kievan Rus' in 988) ... In the 19th century, many Slavic nations experienced a Romantic fascination with an idealised Slavic Arcadia believed to have existed before the advent of Christianity, combining such notions as the noble savage ... In the absence of extensive written or archaeological evidence for the destroyed Slavic religions, these artistic visions were important in rebuilding interest in the ...
... are found throughout Eurasia, the specific name pierogi, with its Proto-Slavic root "pir" (festivity) and its various cognates in the West and East Slavic languages, shows the ... The West Slavic Poles, Czechs, and Slovaks, as well as the East Slavic Belarusians, Russians, Ukrainians and Rusyns, and the Baltic Estonians, and Lithuanians all consume this ... In some East European languages, variants of this dish are known by names derived from the root of the word "to boil" (Russian варить, varit ...
... In the history of the Greek language, basileus had originally meant something like "potentate", it had gradually approached the meaning of "king" in the Hellenistic Period, and it came to ... as "tsar" in Slavonic translations of Greek texts, the dual meaning was transferred into Church Slavonic ... the development has moved in different directions in the different Slavic languages ...
Famous quotes containing the words languages and/or meaning:
“It is time for dead languages to be quiet.”
—Natalie Clifford Barney (18761972)
“Tis good to give a stranger a meal or a nights lodging. Tis better to be hospitable to his good meaning and thought, and give courage to a companion. We must be as courteous to a man as we are to a picture, which we are willing to give the advantage of a good light.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)