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Old 04-29-2021, 12:37 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Kuruharan View Post
Of course, this is very much not the case in German as the word for emperor is “Kaiser” coming straight from “Caesar.” Same thing in Russian with “tsar.” I’d be interested to know if there is a similar practice in other Eastern European languages.
I can speak a bit for Russian on this tangent perhaps, though I have no linguistic or historical background. The derivatives of "Caesar" can be seen in three forms: Tsar, Tsezar, and Kesar (and perhaps others that I have not thought of). Tsar came to mean "king", and is both a title and a common noun, same as "king" in English. Tsezar is the name of Julius Caesar, as well as the title of other Roman Emperors (and the salad). Kesar is more complicated and could mean either "tsar" or "Tsezar" depending on the context (minus the salad), but in some contexts it may be more appropriate to use one versus the other; I am not sure if there are actually any rules here, this is purely my observation. It is also more archaic and a little bit Biblical, but not exclusively. Then the German Kaiser is called kayzer - which is a title that is also distinct from all the rest, and this one has no overlap to my knowledge.

"Augustus" survives in the Russian adjective avgusteyshiy, meaning pertaining to the royal family (e.g. avgusteyshaya osoba = royal persona).

Imperator is, surprise, imperator and is equivalent to emperor.

The other royal persona (avgusteyshaya osoba ) that left quite a mark on European language development is Charlemagne, who I believe is credited with seeding his name all over Europe's languages (mostly in the form of Karl). In Russian it appears as korol, and means "king", same as "tsar", but is applied to non-Russian (perhaps even non-Slavic? not sure) kings. I know the word also appears in Western Slavic languages, but I will leave it to Legate maybe to talk on their behalf, he would do it much better than I.

What all this mess means in terms of Tolkien is that there is a lot more flexibility in titles - not to mention that my beloved translation also dug up konung from some proto-germanic depths specifically for the rulers of Rohan. But Aragorn, for instance, not being tied to any real-world dynasty, can be called tsar and korol interchangeably, and also knyaz (which is "prince" except that it's much more than "prince", it calls back to the time in history when Knyaz was the title of the biggest boss in your group of people).

But coming back to Farmer Giles with a question: wouldn't the root of baselius still echoed in Latin in some form, since it's via Latin that it gives words like basilisk to modern languages? Or am I getting the order of things wrong?
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