Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 14.djvu/36

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is the Sanskrit ganaka; and "in Sanskrit, ganaka means producing, parent, then king." If this is the true derivation, we have simply an alternative title for the head of the family group, of the patriarchal group, and the cluster of patriarchal groups. The only further fact respecting it calling for remark is the way in which it becomes compounded to produce a higher title. Just as in Hebrew Abram, meaning "high father," came to be a compound used to signify the fatherhood and headship of many minor groups; and just as the Greek and Latin equivalents to our patriarch signified, by implication if not directly, a father of fathers—so in the case of the title "king" it has happened that a potentate recognized as dominant over numerous potentates has in many cases been descriptively called "king of kings." In Abyssinia this compound royal name is used down to the present time; ancient Egyptian monarchs assumed it; and it occurred also as a supreme title in Assyria. And here again we meet a correspondence between terrestrial and celestial titles. As "father" and "king" are applied in common to the visible and to the invisible ruler, so also is "king of kings."

This need for marking by a distinct or additional name the ruler who becomes head of many rulers leads to the introduction of other titles of honor. In France, for example, while the king was but a predominant feudal noble, he was addressed by the title of sire, which was a title borne by feudal nobles in general; but after the middle of the sixteenth century, when his supremacy became settled, the word "majesty" came into use as distinctively applicable to him. Similarly with the names of secondary potentates. In the earlier stages of the feudal period, the titles baron, marquis, duke, and count, were often confounded: the reason being that their attributes as feudal nobles, as guards of the marches, as military leaders, and as friends of the king, were so far common to them as to yield no clear grounds for distinction. But as the differentiation of functions progressed, these titles differentiated in their meanings.

"The name 'baron,' " says Chéruel, "appears to have been the generic term for every kind of great lord, that of duke for every kind of military chief, that of count and marquis for every ruler of a territory. These titles are used almost indiscriminately in the romances of chivalry. When the feudal hierarchy was constituted the name baron denoted a lord inferior in rank to a count and superior to a simple knight."

That is to say, with the progress of political organization, and the establishment of rulers over rulers, certain titles became specialized for the dignifying of the superiors, in addition to those which they had in common with the inferiors.

As is shown by the above cases, special titles, like general ones, are not made, but grow—they are at first descriptive. Further to exemplify this descriptive origin, and also to exemplify the undifferentiated use of titles in early days, let me enumerate the several styles by which,