Question by zeronegativeplus: Is there a relation between the words Czar and Cesar other than just the phonetic sound they share?
I got the idea from the book of thoth, one of Aleister Crowley’s finest books.
“The sign is thus a combination of energy in its most material form with the idea of authority. The sign TZ or TS implies this in the original, onomatopoetic form of language. It is derived from Sanskrit roots meaning Head and Age, and is found to-day in words like Cæsar, Tsar, Sirdar, Senate, Senior, Signor, Sefior, Seigneur.”
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Answer by Rumtscho
The word “Czar” really comes from “Cesar”. Cesar was the family name of Guy Julius Cesar, who become the first Emperor of the Roman civilization. After that, most emperors used the word “Cesar” as a title. This tradition was continued in the Byzantine empire, when the Roman empire was split in a West and East (Byzantine) empire. With the time, it didn’t mean exactly “emperor”, but “ruler”.
With the migration period which ended the Antique, Asian tribes came into Europe and built their states. The state closest to the Byzantine empire was Bulgaria, built 681 when some Proto-bulgarians made a union with the Slavs living on the Balkan peninsula. There was war between the two states, and the second Bulgarian ruler, Tervel, won against the emperor Justinian. Justinian was forced to declare Bulgaria a state, and to confes that Tervel is a ruler just like him. Since that day, Tervel wore the title Cesar (spoken K-e-ss-a-r) in Byzantine documents. The Bulgarians called their ruler a Khan.
When other Slavic states emerged (most notably the Kievskoe Gossudarstvo, which was to become Russia in later days), their rulers got the same, already established title.
When Bulgaria became a Christian state, the Khan officially changed his title to Czar, derived from the older Kesar. This was in the 9th century A.D. The title wasn’t used in Russia then, they only started using it later (15. or 16. century). Today, the word is most closely associated with the Russian monarchs, but most slavic countries have used it for their rulers.
Edit: the German word for Emperor was always Kaiser, that’s the same root.
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