In the Roman tradition a large variety in the meaning and importance of the imperial form of monarchy developed: in intention it was always the highest office, but it could as well fall down to a redundant title for nobility that had never been near to the "Empire" they were supposed to be reigning. Also the name of the position split in several branches of Western tradition, see below.


  • I would suppose it to mean "superfluous", one of many, and of no consequence.
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 12:57

1 Answer 1


For example, the ruler in Constantinople used the title "emperor and autocrat of the Romans". Yet he had never been to Rome and had no power in Rome.

The title was redundant, it had no real effect. Similarly, until 1800 the King of Great Britain claimed to be "King of Great Britain, Ireland and France" even though he had no authority or power in France.

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