Imperator

Roman imperatorBerengariaImp.Imperator AugustusImperator Caesarimperatrixsupreme commander
The Latin word imperator derives from the stem of the verb imperare, meaning 'to order, to command'.wikipedia
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Roman emperor

EmperoremperorsEmperor of the Roman Empire
Later it became a part of the titulature of the Roman Emperors as part of their cognomen.
Another title often used was imperator, originally a military honorific.

Emperor

empressemperorsimperial
The English word emperor derives from imperator via Old French Empereür.
An emperor (through Old French empereor from Latin imperator) is a monarch, and usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm.

Imperium

imperium maiuscommandcurule magistracy
So, after the comitia curiata, held to elect the king, the king also had to be conferred the imperium.
A man with imperium ("imperator") had, in principle, absolute authority to apply the law within the scope of his magistracy or promagistracy.

Roman Empire

RomanRomansEmpire
After Augustus established the Roman Empire, the title imperator was generally restricted to the emperor, though in the early years of the empire it would occasionally be granted to a member of his family.
Occasionally, successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator (commander), and this is the origin of the word emperor (and empire) since this title (among others) was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession.

Victory title

agnomenvictory titlestitle
At first the term continued to be used in the Republican sense as a victory title but attached to the de facto monarch and head of state, rather than the actual military commander.
In a broader sense, the term victory title is sometimes used to describe the repeatable awarding of the invariable style of Imperator (Greek equivalent Autokrator; see those articles), which is the highest military qualification (as modern states have awarded a non-operational highest rank, sometimes instituted for a particular general), but even when it marks the recipient out for one or more memorable victories (and the other use, as a permanent military command for the ruler, became in fact the more significant one), it does not actually specify one.

Augustus

OctavianAugustanCaesar Augustus
After Augustus established the Roman Empire, the title imperator was generally restricted to the emperor, though in the early years of the empire it would occasionally be granted to a member of his family.
Imperator Caesar Divi Filius: From 38 BC, Octavian opted to use Imperator, the title by which troops hailed their leader after military success. His name is roughly translated as "Commander Caesar, Son of the Divine".

Julius Caesar

CaesarGaius Julius CaesarJulius
The title of imperator was given in 90 BC to Lucius Julius Caesar, in 84 BC to Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, in 60 BC to Gaius Julius Caesar, relative of the previously mentioned Lucius Julius Caesar, in 45 BC again to Gaius Julius Caesar, in 44 BC to Marcus Iunius Brutus, and in 41 BC to Lucius Antonius (younger brother and ally of the more famous Marcus Antonius).
In Spain, he conquered two local tribes and was hailed as imperator by his troops; he reformed the law regarding debts, and completed his governorship in high esteem.

Autokrator

strategos autokratorautocratautocrator
As a title imperator was generally translated into Greek as autokrator ("one who rules himself," also sometimes used as a translation for Roman dictators.) This was necessarily imprecise as it lost the nuances of Latin political thought contrasting imperium with other forms of public authority.
In a historical context, it has been applied to military commanders-in-chief, and to Roman and Byzantine emperors as the translation of the Latin title imperator.

Germanicus

Germanicus Julius CaesarCaesarGermanicus Caesar
In 15 AD Germanicus was also imperator during the empire (see below) of his adoptive father Tiberius.
Again he marched back victorious and at the direction of Tiberius, accepted the title of Imperator.

King of Rome

kingskingRoman kings
When Rome was ruled by kings,
Whoever used the imperium to victoriously lead an army could acquire the title of imperator, which later became chief title to the emperors, who were technically included in the system as proconsuls over most (and the strategically most important parts) of the empire, chief senators, and popular tribunes without the title.

Imperator totius Hispaniae

EmperorEmperor of All SpainEmperor of All Hispania
Beginning in 1077 Alfonso instituted the use of the style ego Adefonsus imperator totius Hispaniae ("I, Alfonso, emperor of all Spain") and its use soon became regular.
In Spain in the Middle Ages, the title "emperor" (from Latin imperator) was used under a variety of circumstances from the ninth century onwards, but its usage peaked, as a formal and practical title, between 1086 and 1157.

List of Byzantine emperors

Byzantine EmperorEmperorEmperor and Autocrat of the Romans
The Roman emperors of this period (referred to by modern historians as the Byzantine emperors) were referred to as imperatores in Latin texts, while the word basileus (king) was used in Greek.
Their names were preceded by Imperator Caesar and followed by Augustus.

Augustus (title)

AugustusAugustiAugusta
Nevertheless, this title (along with sebastos for augustus) was used in Greek-language texts for Roman emperors from the establishment of the empire.
Most emperors also used imperator but others could and did bear the same title and functions.

Tsar

czartzartsars
The style remained the official one for all his successors down to the end of the Russian Empire in 1917, though the Russian rulers continued to be colloquially known as tsar (a word derived from "Caesar"), which they had begun to use c.
Tsardom of Russia, in 1547–1721 (replaced in 1721 by imperator, but still remaining in use, also officially in relation to several regions until 1917)

Monarch

kingSovereignkings
At first the term continued to be used in the Republican sense as a victory title but attached to the de facto monarch and head of state, rather than the actual military commander.

Latin

Lat.Latin languagelat
The Latin word imperator derives from the stem of the verb imperare, meaning 'to order, to command'.

Roman Republic

RomanRepublicRomans
It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to commander under the Roman Republic.

Cognomen

cognominacognominalCamillus
Later it became a part of the titulature of the Roman Emperors as part of their cognomen.

Old French

Frenchmedieval FrenchOF
The English word emperor derives from imperator via Old French Empereür.

Principate

early EmpireRoman PrincipateAugustan
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.

Dominate

Roman dominatedominatingdominion
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.

Curiate Assembly

comitia curiataPlebeian Curiate Assemblyseveral
So, after the comitia curiata, held to elect the king, the king also had to be conferred the imperium.

Roman Senate

senatorSenateRoman Senator
After an especially great victory, an army's troops in the field would proclaim their commander imperator, an acclamation necessary for a general to apply to the Senate for a triumph.

Roman triumph

triumphtriumphstriumphal
After an especially great victory, an army's troops in the field would proclaim their commander imperator, an acclamation necessary for a general to apply to the Senate for a triumph.

Roman legion

legionslegionlegionary
Since a triumph was the goal of many politically ambitious Roman commanders, Roman Republican history is full of cases where legions were bribed to call their commander imperator.