TITLES, words or phrases bestowed on in dividuals as a mark of distinction, rank or dignity, and in some cases implying office or vocation. Titles may be official, honorary, civil, military, temporal or ecclesiastical. The use of titles is as old as civilization and seems to have arisen from titles bestowed for some public service, and only later to have been bestowed in virtue of the dignity of the office or em ployment of the recipient, and even later to have become hereditary. As used by the Greeks and Romans, however, titles conformed to the first and the last customs — they were be stowed for service and were hereditary. Later, Roman offices carried their titles with them irrespctive of the merits of the holders, for ex ample, the names Caesar and Augustus, and the phrase pater patria', all of which came to be applied to the imperial throne regardless of the character of the occupant.
Titles to-day in existence in Europe are in teresting relics of the feudal period. First came the titles of count and duke. Counts (comites, companions) were the followers of the feudal lords and the dukes (dux, "leader), the military leaders.
Placed at the head of provinces, their roles were the same, to administer their territory, de fend it against depredations and forays from without, and to organize and lead its man power in the military service of the overlord when the latter went forth to battle. Later came the appellation marquis to denote those in charge of the "marches," marshes, usually on the frontiers or border lands. Under the count came his lieutenants with the title of viscounts. As regards the title baron, which signifies man par excellence, it was at first applied only to the higher feudal personages, the great tenants in-chief of the Crown. The knight was he who had received an order of chivalry or knight hood, and so on through the several grades of feudal society.
Among modern rulers the titles king and emperor with the feminines and in the case of the late Russian Empire that of tsar, are the titles of supreme heads of government. The title king harks back to a period when its bearer bore it by right of kinship as the head of his tribe. The later rex and its derivatives in the Romance languages denotes a ruler. And the word emperor, which is used in the sane sense, originally denoted the ruler of an empire or a confederation of several states, each of which had a king at its head. In this respect the word was advisedly applied to Wil liam II, late emperor of Germany. Meanwhile
it had become customary to add to the titles signifying the office, honorary qualifying titles. Henry IV of England was called "Grace"; Edward IV, "Most High and Mighty Prince"; Henry VII, "Highness"; and Henry VIII, "Majesty." This latter title was universally adopted by the sovereigns of Europe, and was subsequently subjected to further qualification, as in the case of James I, who was called "His Sacred Majesty of England," and was formally addressed as "James, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith," etc. Catholic rulers, meanwhile, had assumed such titles as "Catholic" for Spain, "Most Faithful" for Portugal, etc. The present ruler of Great Britain receives the title, "George V, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Do minions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India," etc. The eldest son of the British sovereign is styled the Prince of Wales, and the eldest daughter the Princess Royal; the other sons and daughters are styled prince and princess, and all, together with the children of the sons of the reigning sovereign, are addressed as Royal Highness. The five orders of nobility in Britain are dis tinguished by the titles of honor — duke marquis, earl, viscount and baron. These nobles have several titles, granted by district patents, in their progressive steps in the peerage. A duke may thus be a marquis, an earl, a vis count, and a baron. One of the inferior titles is permitted as a matter of social dignity to be assumed by the eldest son. Thus the eldest son of the Duke of Sutherland takes the courtesy title, as it is called, of Marquis of Stafford. Courtesy titles do not raise their bearers above the rank of commoners, and consequently the eldest sons of peers are eligible for election as members of the House of Commons. The lowest hereditary title is that of baronet, which, besides its name, which is placed after the name and surname of its bearer, entitles him to the prefix Sir. The dig nity of knighthood is not hereditary. The titles of esquire and master (Mr.) are now given indiscriminately to nearly all classes of per sons. The Continental titles of prince, duke, marquis, count, viscount and baron often differ considerably from the corresponding titles in England. Thus in England the title prince is confined to members of the royal family; Austria has, or had, archdukes but no dukes, Russia had only grand dukes.