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of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg.html" ;"title="Aztec">File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg"> Aztec King Nezahualpiltzintli of Texcoco King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, while the title of queen on its own usually refers to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contemporary indigenous peoples, the title may refer to tribal kingship. Germanic kingship is cognate with Indo-European traditions of tribal rulership (c.f. Indic '' rājan'', Gothic '' reiks'', and Old Irish '' '', etc.). *In the context of classical antiquity, king may translate in Latin as '' rex'' and in Greek as ''
archon ''Archon'' ( gr, ἄρχων, árchōn, plural: ἄρχοντες, ''árchontes'') is a Greek word that means "ruler", frequently used as the title of a specific public office. It is the masculine present participle of the verb stem αρχ-, meanin ...
'' or '' basileus''. *In classical European
feudalism Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was a combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society aroun ...
, the title of ''king'' as the ruler of a ''kingdom'' is understood to be the highest rank in the feudal order, potentially subject, at least nominally, only to an
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife (empress consort), m ...

emperor
(harking back to the client kings of the Roman Republic and
Roman Empire
Roman Empire
). *In a modern context, the title may refer to the ruler of one of a number of modern monarchies (either absolute or constitutional). The title of ''king'' is used alongside other titles for monarchs: in the West,
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife (empress consort), m ...

emperor
, grand prince, prince, archduke, duke or grand duke, and in the Islamic world, malik, sultan, emir or Hakim (title), hakim, etc. *The city-states of the Aztec Empire had a Tlatoani, which were kings of pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica. The Huey Tlatoani was the
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife (empress consort), m ...

emperor
of the Aztecs. The term ''king'' may also refer to a king consort, a title that is sometimes given to the husband of a Queen regnant, ruling queen, but the title of prince consort is sometimes granted instead.


Etymology

The English term is derived from the Old English language, Anglo-Saxon ''cyning'', which in turn is derived from the Common Germanic *''kuningaz''. The Common Germanic term was borrowed into Estonian and Finnish at an early time, surviving in these languages as . It is a derivation from the term ''*kunjom'' "kin" (Old English ) by the ''-inga-'' suffix. The literal meaning is that of a "scion of the [noble] kin", or perhaps "son or descendant of one of noble birth" (OED). The English term translates, and is considered equivalent to, Latin ''Rex (title), rēx'' and its equivalents in the various European languages. The Germanic term is notably different from the word for "King" in other Indo-European languages (''*rēks'' "ruler"; Latin ''King of Rome, rēx'', Sanskrit language, Sanskrit ''Raja, rājan'' and Irish language, Irish '' g''; however, see Gothic '' reiks'' and, e.g., modern German ''Reich'' and modern Dutch ''rijk'').


History

The English word is of Germanic origin, and historically refers to Germanic kingship, in the pre-Christian period a type of tribal kingship. The monarchies of Europe in the Christian Middle Ages derived their claim from Christianisation and the divine right of kings, partly influenced by the notion of Germanic king, sacral kingship inherited from Germanic antiquity. The Early Middle Ages begin with a fragmentation of the former Western Roman Empire into barbarian kingdoms. In Western Europe, the kingdom of the Franks developed into the Carolingian Empire by the 8th century, and the Heptarchy, kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England were unified into the kingdom of England by the 10th century. With the breakup of the Carolingian Empire in the 9th century, the system of
feudalism Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was a combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society aroun ...
places kings at the head of a pyramid of relationships between liege lords and vassals, dependent on the regional rule of barons, and the intermediate positions of counts (or earls) and dukes. The core of European feudal manorialism in the High Middle Ages were the territories of the former Carolingian Empire, i.e. the kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire (centered on the nominal kingdoms of kingdom of Germany, Germany and Kingdom of Italy (Holy Roman Empire), Italy). In the course of the European Middle Ages, the Monarchies in Europe, European kingdoms underwent a general trend of centralisation of power, so that by the Late Middle Ages there were a number of large and powerful kingdoms in Europe, which would develop into the great powers of Europe in the Early Modern period. *In the Iberian Peninsula, the remnants of the Visigothic Kingdom, the petty kingdoms of kingdom of Asturias, Asturias and Kingdom of Pamplona, Pamplona, expanded into the kingdom of Portugal, the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon with the ongoing Reconquista. *In southern Europe, the kingdom of Sicily was established following the Norman conquest of southern Italy. The Kingdom of Sardinia was claimed as a separate title held by the Crown of Aragon in 1324. In the Balkans, the Kingdom of Serbia (medieval), Kingdom of Serbia was established in 1217. *In eastern-central Europe, the Kingdom of Hungary was established Europe in AD 1000, in AD 1000 following the Christianisation of the Magyars. The kingdoms of Kingdom of Poland (1025–1385), Poland and Kingdom of Bohemia, Bohemia were established within the Holy Roman Empire in 1025 and 1198, respectively. In Eastern Europe, the Kievan Rus' consolidated into the Grand Duchy of Moscow, which did not technically claim the status of kingdom until the early modern Tsardom of Russia. *In northern Europe, the tribal kingdoms of the Viking Age by the 11th century expanded into the North Sea Empire under Cnut the Great, king of Denmark, England and Norway. The Christianization of Scandinavia resulted in "consolidated" kingdoms of Consolidation of Sweden, Sweden and Norwegian expansion during the Middle Ages, Norway, and by the end of the medieval period the pan-Scandinavian Kalmar Union.


Contemporary kings

Currently (), fifteen kings are recognized as the heads of state of sovereign states (i.e. English ''king'' is used as official translation of the respective native titles held by the monarchs). Most of these are heads of state of constitutional monarchy, constitutional monarchies; kings ruling over absolute monarchy, absolute monarchies are the King of Saudi Arabia, the King of Bahrain and the King of Eswatini.The distinction of the title of "king" from "sultan" or "emir" in oriental monarchies is largely stylistics; the Sultanate of Oman, the State of Qatar, the State of Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are also categorised as absolute monarchies.


See also

*Anointing *Big man (anthropology) *Buddhist kingship *Client king *Coronation *Designation (monarchy), Designation *Divine right of kings *Germanic kingship *Great King *High King *King consort *King of Kings *Petty king *Queen regnant, Queen *Realm *Royal and noble ranks *Royal family *Sacred king *Tribal kingship ;Titles translated as "king": *Archon *Basileus *Lugal *Kabaka of Buganda, Kabaka *Mepe (title) *Malik, Malik/Melekh *King of Rwanda, Mwami *Negus *Oba (ruler), Oba *Raja *Rex (king) *Rí *Tlatoani *Shah *Armenian nobility, Tagavor


Notes


References

*Thomas J. Craughwell, ''5,000 Years of Royalty: Kings, Queens, Princes, Emperors & Tsars'' (2009). *David Cannadine, Simon Price (eds.), ''Rituals of Royalty: Power and Ceremonial in Traditional Societies'' (1992). *Jean Hani, ''Sacred Royalty: From the Pharaoh to the Most Christian King'' (2011).


External links

* * {{Authority control Royal titles Kings, Gendered occupations