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  • Have you ever wondered what the difference is between an emperor and a king?

  • Well typically, a king rules over one country;

  • Whereas an emperor rules over many countries.

  • A king normally rules by birthright; but can also seize power through conquest

  • An emperor normally rules by conquest but can also gain power by inheritance

  • In the past, empires were made up of multiple countries - however Japan has always been

  • an exception to this rule.

  • The only current ruling emperor is the emperor of Japan.

  • Let’s look at the Japanese system.

  • Prior to the 11th century, Japan was a collection of feudal states ruled by its landowners.

  • The Emperor was appointed by these aristocrats to help resolve disputes and act as a unifying

  • force that would rule over these feudal lands.

  • In terms of etymology, the word Emperor is actually a Latin word, derived from the verb

  • imperāre, meaning 'to rule'.

  • The word King is Germanic and is related to the English word kin

  • Meaning family-which denotes the birthright aspect of kingship

  • Both Kings and Emperors were believed to have divine status.

  • Emperors were considered to be Gods within their Empires, whereas kings were deemed to

  • reign by the Grace of God.

  • There seem to be no definite rules which can be used to determine whether a ruler is an

  • emperor or a king.

  • For example, Louis XVI was a king but Napoleon was an emperor

  • However, usually the hierarchy looks like this:

  • A Duke rules an area by having a force that they control completely

  • A Prince rules over several Duchies or a Princedom

  • A King is the holder of several Princedoms or a Kingdom

  • An Emperor is the holder of several Kingdoms or an Empire. Accordingly, it is possible

  • for emperors to rule over kings as well.

  • There are, however some cultural variations.

  • A modern day example would be the President of the United States and President of India.

  • Both are presidentsbut the way they are elected and their duties and powers are quite

  • different.

  • Similarly, in Ancient Rome the word emperor was used to describe the ruler of the Roman

  • Empire, which consisted of multiple territories.

  • Whereas the Japanese emperor ruled over mainly just one country.

  • There is also the King-Emperor or Queen-Empress - a sovereign ruler who is simultaneously

  • a king of one territory and emperor of another.

  • Like Queen Victoria,

  • who was the queen of England.

  • But an Empress of India

  • This is usually created by the merger of both the royal and imperial crowns.

  • Hope you enjoyed watching this and if you would like to find more answers to those odd

  • nagging questions please subscribe!

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between an emperor and a king?

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