Basileus

EmperorbasilissaBasiliusbasileisKingMegas BasileusbasilikosSymbasileusbasileabasilei
Basileus is a Greek term and title that has signified various types of monarchs in history.wikipedia
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List of Byzantine emperors

Byzantine EmperorEmperorByzantine emperors
The title was used by sovereigns and other persons of authority in ancient Greece, the Byzantine emperors, and the kings of modern Greece.
Following Heraclius, the title commonly became the Greek Basileus (Gr.

List of kings of Greece

King of the HellenesKing of GreeceKing
The title was used by sovereigns and other persons of authority in ancient Greece, the Byzantine emperors, and the kings of modern Greece.
Only the first king, Otto, was actually styled King of Greece .

Anax

wanaxAnassaἄναξ
The word can be contrasted with wanax, another word used more specifically for "king" and usually meaning "High King" or "overlord".
It is one of the two Greek titles traditionally translated as "king", the other being basileus, and is inherited from Mycenaean Greece, and is notably used in Homeric Greek, e.g. for Agamemnon.

Linear B

𐃏ambiguous writing systemLinear B script
The Mycenaean form was *gʷasileus (Linear B: undefined, qa-si-re-u), denoting some sort of court official or local chieftain, but not an actual king.
For example, pa-te is patēr, pa-si is phāsi ; p on the other hand some times does not represent (like in the beginning of the following word) β: βασιλεύς ("basileus", meaning in this period "court official or local chieftain") is qa-si-re-u ); ko-ru is korus (κόρυς, "helmet"), ka-ra-we is grāwes (plural of γρηύς), ko-no is skhoinos ("rope").

Title

titlesHonorary Presidenthonorary title
Basileus is a Greek term and title that has signified various types of monarchs in history.

Alexander the Great

AlexanderAlexander III of MacedonAlexander of Macedon
Basileus and megas basileus were exclusively used by Alexander the Great and his Hellenistic successors in Ptolemaic Egypt, Asia (e.g. the Seleucid Empire, the Kingdom of Pergamon and non-Greek but Greek-influenced states like the Kingdom of Pontus) and Macedon.
Alexander III of Macedon (20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (basileus) of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty.

Ancient Greece

Greekancient Greekancient Greeks
The title was used by sovereigns and other persons of authority in ancient Greece, the Byzantine emperors, and the kings of modern Greece.
Initially many Greek city-states seem to have been petty kingdoms; there was often a city official carrying some residual, ceremonial functions of the king (basileus), e.g., the archon basileus in Athens.

Giorgio Agamben

AgambenbiosAgamben, Giorgio
According to pseudo-Archytas's treatise "On justice and law", quoted by Giorgio Agamben in State of Exception (2005), Basileus is more adequately translated into "Sovereign" than into "king".
This figure is the exact mirror image of the sovereign (basileus) — a king, emperor, or president — who stands, on the one hand, within law (so he can be condemned, e.g., for treason, as a natural person) and outside the law (since as a body politic he has power to suspend law for an indefinite time).

Mycenae

MyceneansMyceneMycenaean
The first written instance of this word is found on the baked clay tablets discovered in excavations of Mycenaean palaces originally destroyed by fire.
It appears that the Mycenaean state was ruled by kings identified by the title 𐀷𐀙𐀏, wa-na-ka ("wanax') in the Linear B inscriptions at Knossos and Pylos, though it is unclear whether this unnamed ruler was a local king, or in fact a single and peripatetic Great King. In the Homeric poems, the word form is anax, often translated in English as "lord". Some inscriptions with a list of offerings indicate that the king was probably divine, but the term "for the king" is usually accompanied by another name. It is doubtful that the wanax was responsible for religious matters, but probably his title indicates that his right to rule was given by the god. The term 𐀣𐀯𐀩𐀄, qa-si-re-u (cf. βασιλεύς, "basileús"), which was later used in Greece for "king", was apparently used for the "chief" of any group of people, or for a provincial official.

Archon basileus

King Archon
At Athens, the archon basileus was one of the nine archons, magistrates selected by lot.
Archon basileus was a Greek title, meaning "king magistrate": the term is derived from the words archon "magistrate" and basileus "king" or "sovereign".

Hellenistic period

HellenisticHellenistic eraHellenistic Age
Basileus and megas basileus were exclusively used by Alexander the Great and his Hellenistic successors in Ptolemaic Egypt, Asia (e.g. the Seleucid Empire, the Kingdom of Pergamon and non-Greek but Greek-influenced states like the Kingdom of Pontus) and Macedon.
In the aftermath of this victory, Antigonus took the title of king (basileus) and bestowed it on his son Demetrius Poliorcetes, the rest of the Diadochi soon followed suit.

Mycenaean Greek

MycenaeanMycenean GreekMycenean
The Mycenaean form was *gʷasileus (Linear B: undefined, qa-si-re-u), denoting some sort of court official or local chieftain, but not an actual king.

Monarch

kingSovereignkings
The word can be contrasted with wanax, another word used more specifically for "king" and usually meaning "High King" or "overlord". Basileus is a Greek term and title that has signified various types of monarchs in history.

Queen regnant

Queenempress regnantqueens regnant
The feminine counterpart is basilissa (queen), meaning both a queen regnant (such as Cleopatra VII of Egypt) and a queen consort.
The Byzantine Empress Irene sometimes called herself basileus, 'emperor', rather than basilissa, 'empress' and Jadwiga of Poland was crowned as Rex Poloniae, King of Poland.

Roman emperor

EmperoremperorsWestern Roman Emperor
Under Roman rule, the term basileus came to be used, in the Hellenistic tradition, to designate the Roman Emperor in the everyday and literary speech of the Greek-speaking Eastern Mediterranean.
The "Byzantine" emperors from Heraclius in 629 and onwards adopted the title of basileus, which had originally meant king in Greek but became a title reserved solely for the Roman emperor and the ruler of the Sasanian Empire.

Roman Republic

RomanRepublicRomans
Although the early Roman Emperors were careful to retain the façade of the republican institutions and to not formally adopt monarchical titles, the use of basileus amply illustrates that contemporaries clearly perceived that the Roman Empire was a monarchy in all but name.
At first, his Sicilian campaign was an easy triumph; he was welcomed as a liberator in every Greek city on his way, even receiving the title of king (basileus) of Sicily.

Kingdom of Pontus

PontusPonticPontic Empire
Basileus and megas basileus were exclusively used by Alexander the Great and his Hellenistic successors in Ptolemaic Egypt, Asia (e.g. the Seleucid Empire, the Kingdom of Pergamon and non-Greek but Greek-influenced states like the Kingdom of Pontus) and Macedon.
He ruled from 302 to 266BCE, fought against Seleucus I and, in 281 (or 280) BCE, declared himself king (basileus) of a state in northern Cappadocia and eastern Paphlagonia.

King

kingshipMaiRex
Consequently, the title acquired the connotation of "emperor", and when barbarian kingdoms emerged on the ruins of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century, their rulers were referred to in Greek not as basileus but as rēx or rēgas, the hellenized forms of the Latin title rex, king.

Shah

ShahanshahShahzadaShahzadi
By the 4th century however, basileus was applied in official usage exclusively to the two rulers considered equals to the Roman Emperor: the Sassanid Persian shahanshah ("king of kings"), and to a lesser degree the King of Axum, whose importance was rather peripheral in the Byzantine worldview.
In Greek, this phrase was translated as βασιλεὺς τῶν βασιλέων (basileus tōn basiléōn), "King of Kings", equivalent to "Emperor".

Sovereignty

sovereignsovereign entitysovereign nation
According to pseudo-Archytas's treatise "On justice and law", quoted by Giorgio Agamben in State of Exception (2005), Basileus is more adequately translated into "Sovereign" than into "king".

Macedonia (ancient kingdom)

MacedonMacedoniaancient Macedonia
Basileus and megas basileus were exclusively used by Alexander the Great and his Hellenistic successors in Ptolemaic Egypt, Asia (e.g. the Seleucid Empire, the Kingdom of Pergamon and non-Greek but Greek-influenced states like the Kingdom of Pontus) and Macedon.
At the head of Macedonia's government was the king (basileus).

Livadeia

LebadeaLevadiaLivadia
There was also a cult of Zeus Basileus at Lebadeia.
Further west, commanding a dramatic view from the hill of Profitis Ilias, are the remains of a large temple of Zeus Basileus, perhaps begun in the 3rd century BC but never completed.

Empire of Trebizond

TrebizondEmperor of TrebizondTrapezuntine Empire
From the 12th century however, the title was increasingly, although again not officially, used for powerful foreign sovereigns, such as the kings of France or Sicily, the tsars of the restored Bulgarian Empire, the Latin emperors and the emperors of Trebizond.
Emperor John II of Trebizond officially gave up the Trapezuntine claim to the Roman imperial title and Constantinople itself 21 years after the Nicaeans recaptured the city, altering his imperial title from "Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans" to "Emperor and Autocrat of all the East, Iberia and Perateia".

Autokrator

strategos autokratorautocratautocrator
Instead, in official context the imperial titles Caesar Augustus, translated or transliterated into Greek as Kaisar Sebastos or Kaisar Augoustos, and Imperator, translated as Autokratōr, were used.
As such it continued to be used in Greek translations from Latin until the adoption of the Greek title basileus by Emperor Heraclius in 629.

Jesus, King of the Jews

INRIKing of the JewsI.N.R.I.
Other titles involving Basileus include Basileus tōn Ouranōn, translated as King of Heaven, with his Basileia tōn Ouranōn, i.e. Kingship or Kingdom of Heaven, and is Basileus tōn Ioudaiōn, i.e. King of the Jews (see INRI).
In the Koine Greek of the New Testament, e.g., in John 19:3, this is written Basileus ton Ioudaion .