the title assumed by the Roman emperors after Julius Caesar. In the New Testament this title is given to various emperors as sovereigns of Judaea without their accompanying distinctive proper names ( John 19:15 ; Acts 17:7 ). The Jews paid tribute to Caesar ( Matthew 22:17 ), and all Roman citizens had the right of appeal to him ( Acts 25:11 ). The Caesars referred to in the New Testament are Augustus ( Luke 2:1 ), Tiberius ( 3:1 ; 20:22 ), Claudius ( Acts 11:28 ), and Nero ( Acts 25:8 ; Phil 4:22 ).
Originally the surname of the Julian gens (thus, Caius Julius Caesar); afterward a name borne by the Roman emperors. In the New Testament the name is definitely applied to Augustus (Luke 2:1, "Caesar Augustus"), to whom it belonged by adoption, and to Tiberius (Luke 3:1, "Tiberius Caesar"; compare Matthew 22:17,21). The "Caesar" to whom Paul appealed (Acts 25:11,12,21) was Nero. The form is perpetuated in "Kaiser" and "Czar."
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