Page:The Outline of History Vol 1.djvu/589

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565
THE CÆSARS BETWEEN SEA AND PLAINS

Ever since the time of Alexander, human thought has been haunted by the possible political unity of the race. All the sturdy chiefs and leaders and kings of the barbarians, who raided through the prostrate but vast disorder of the decayed empire, were capable of conceiving of some mighty king of kings greater than themselves and giving a real law for all men, and they were ready to believe that elsewhere in space and time and capable of returning presently to resume his supremacy, Cæsar had been such a king of kings. Far above their own titles, therefore, they esteemed and envied the title of Cæsar. The international history of Europe from this time henceforth is largely the story of kings and adventurers setting up to be Cæsar and Imperator (Emperor). We shall tell of some of them in their places. So universal did this "Cæsaring" become, that the Great War of 1914-18 mowed down no fewer than four Cæsars, the German Kaiser (= Cæsar), the Austrian Kaiser, the Tsar (= Cæsar) of Russia, and that fantastic figure, the Tsar of Bulgaria. The French "Imperator" (Napoleon III) had already fallen in 1871. There is now (1920) no one left in the world to carry on the Imperial title or the tradition of Divus Cæsar except the Turkish Sultan and the British monarch. The former commemorates his lordship over Constantinople as Kaisar-i-Roum[1]; the latter is called the Cæsar of India (a country no real Cæsar ever looked upon), Kaisar-i-Hind.

  1. The spread and the vitality of the place-name "Rome" were even greater than the vogue of the title "Cæsar." All the countries which had formed part of the Eastern and Western divisions of the Roman Empire (excepting the ephemeral extension of Roman rule over Mesopotamia) were known to the Saracens, the Arabs, the Berbers as "Rum," and their peoples as "Rumis," "Rumas." And this name was applied without, in all cases, carrying with it the signification of "Christian" or "Christendom." Thus the Spanish Moors were, and their descendants are, styled by the Moroccan Moors and the Algerians and Tunisians: "Rumas." When expelled from Spain most of them took service under the Sharifian Emperors of Morocco, and brought with them a European knowledge of fire-arms. Thus you are told in Algeria that "Romans" (i.e. Spanish Moors) conquered the Upper Niger basin for Morocco in the seventeenth century; their descendants remain there till to-day between Jenné and Timbuktu, still known to the French as "Roumas." Some Spanish Moors even penetrated to the coast of eastern equatorial Africa and carried the name of "Rome" into the fierce expulsion of the Portuguese from those parts which was begun by the Omani Arabs.—H. H. J.