Difference Between King and Emperor (With Table)

Since the existence of mankind, there has been a practice or tradition of rulers. A ruler is a person who takes forward the entire population together and works for their betterment. A ruler can also be referred to as King, emperor, leader, monarch, shahansha, etc. Each kingdom, nation or country has a different title for the highest power of the kingdom.

King vs Emperor

The difference between king and emperor is that a king is the ruler of only a kingdom and he has the powers to rule and take decisions related to that kingdom, the power is transferred to him by inheritance, by conquest or by elections. An emperor is a ruler of the much larger empire and is thus referred to as the king of kings, he has the power to various territories or a group of nations.

King and emperor are the two titles that are often confused with each other and as a result, are used interchangeably but they have some differences. A king is a ruler or head of a particular area or king and an emperor is a ruler of a larger empire and he poses all the power related to the empire.

Comparison Table Between King and Emperor 

Parameter of ComparisonKingEmperor
What is it?A king is the ruler of a particular area termed as the kingdom, he is the person who can take decisions regarding the kingdom.An emperor is also known as the King of kings. An emperor is the ruler of an empire that is much larger as compared to the kingdom. He is the highest power of the empire.
Sources of being in powerThe power is transferred to a king by inheritance, by election or by conquest.An emperor comes to power either by inheritance or by conquest. 
Types of power in handA king has the maximum power within his kingdom only but has nothing to do in other kingdoms. The title of the king is more of a political title because sometimes he is not the highest power in an area.An emperor has the maximum powers in his hands since the whole empire is under him, in other words, absolute powers of the territory reside with him.
Ruling areas or reach of the powerA king rules a homogeneous territory such as a country or nation or some particular kingdom.An Emperor is the ruler of a large territory such as a group of several countries.
Divine statusKings are sometimes referred to as Gods or a person sent by God to help the people of their kingdoms.Like King’s, emperors may also be considered as a God in their empires or a messenger or person who is either sent by God or have divine powers.

What is a King?

King is the title given to the male leader of the kingdom and his female equivalent is queen. A king is the ruler of a particular area often termed as a kingdom or nation. 

A king comes to power by inheritance, by elections and by conquest. The king is the highest order within a defined kingdom. The title of king is more defined for political purposes. A king rules homogeneous territory such as kingdom, nation or a country. 

In the early times, people used to refer to a king as equivalent to God or a person sent by God to help them. In the modern times, the title king is used to refer to the ruler of modern monarchies.

What is an Emperor?

An emperor is the sovereign ruler of an empire, his equivalent is an empress. An emperor is also entitled as the King of kings since it is the highest rank. An emperor always looks forward to annexing more areas.

An emperor is given power either by inheritance or by conquering an empire. An emperor rules a larger area such as a group of nations. An Emperor also has more powers in his hands, he takes important decisions related to military, trade, development, etc.

In the recent or modern times, Japan is the only country with an Emperor.

Main Differences Between King and Emperor

  1. A king is the ruler of a kingdom whereas an emperor is the ruler of an empire.
  2. The king may not be the highest power of the kingdom but an emperor is always the highest power of a territory, therefore, an emperor is higher in rank as compared to a king.
  3. The power is transferred to a king or emperor through inheritance, elections or conquest.
  4. The title of a king is more for political purposes while the title of the emperor is entitled to the absolute powers of the territory.
  5. A king always rules a homogeneous territory such as a kingdom or nation, on the other hand, an emperor rules on an empire that consists of several kingdoms or nations.
  6. Kings and emperors both are sometimes referred to as a person sent by God to help people, an emperor is also referred to as the King of kings.
  7. A female king is known as Queen whereas a female emperor is referred to as an Empress.
  8. In the modern world, Spain is a country having a king and Japan is the only country with an emperor.

Conclusion

The king and Emperor may differ in their ranks and powers but both are entitled to take decisions related to their respective region. Both work for the betterment of their region and its people. Both may have a council of ministers appointed to help in taking important decisions. In the modern world, it is rather to find an emperor since Japan is the only country with an emperor, however, a king is comparatively easier to find.

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=BPotkOzzeGYC&oi=fnd&pg=PP11&dq=king+and+emperor&ots=7Uj4aByLT9&sig=7vKfyTxwA3LK5OAFiZbXWugZ4ok
  2. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdfplus/10.1086/363981
x
2D vs 3D video