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The Latin word imperator derives from the stem of the verb imperare, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to commander under the Roman Republic. Later it became a part of the titulature of the Roman Emperors as part of their cognomen. The English word emperor derives from imperator via Old French Empereür. The Roman emperors themselves generally based their authority on multiple titles and positions, rather than preferring any single title. Nevertheless, imperator was used relatively consistently as an element of a Roman ruler's title throughout the principate (derived from princeps, from which prince in English is derived) and the dominate. In Latin, the feminine form of Imperator is imperatrix.

Imperatores in the ancient Roman Kingdom

When Rome was ruled by kings,[1] to be able to rule, the king had to be invested with the full regal authority and power. So, after the comitia curiata, held to elect the king, the king also had to be conferred the imperium.[2]

Other Languages
العربية: إمبراتور
Bân-lâm-gú: Imperator
català: Imperator
čeština: Imperátor
Deutsch: Imperator
eesti: Imperaator
español: Imperator
Esperanto: Imperator
한국어: 임페라토르
italiano: Imperator
עברית: אימפרטור
Кыргызча: Император
Nederlands: Imperator (Rome)
norsk: Imperator
polski: Imperator
português: Imperator
română: Imperator
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Imperator (rimska titula)
svenska: Imperator
中文: 英白拉多