Meanwhile in Spain Galba had been saluted imperator by his legions, had accepted the title, and was already on his march towards Italy.
During the times of the republic, a victorious general, who had been saluted by the title of imperator by his soldiers, had his fasces crowned with laurel (Cicero, Pro Ligario, 3).
On the revival of the Roman empire in the West by Charlemagne in Soo, the title (at first in the form imperator, or imperator Augustus, afterwards Romanorum imperator Augustus) was taken by him and by his Frankish, Italian and German successors, heads of the Holy Roman Empire, down to the abdication of the emperor Francis II.
The Servians again installed themselves in Upper Albania about 1180, and the provinces of Scutari and Prizren were ruled by kings of the house of Nemanya till 1360; Stefan Dushan (1331-1358), the greatest of these monarchs, included all Albania in his extensive but short-lived empire, and took the title of Imperator Romaniae Slavoniae et Albaniae (emperor of the Greeks, Slays and Albanians).
He hastened to propitiate the former by a donative of twice the usual amount, and excused his hasty acceptance of the throne to the senate by alleging the impatient zeal of the soldiers and the necessity of an imperator for the welfare of the state.
When Greek became the sole language of the East Roman Empire, imperator was rendered sometimes by Octort,Xc13 and sometimes by airroKparwp, the former word being the usual designation of a sovereign, the latter specially denoting that despotic power which the imperator held, and being in fact the official translation of imperator.
The term imperator was the natural and regular designation employed by his troops in addressing such a magistrate; but it was more particularly and specially employed by them to salute him after a victory; and when he had been thus saluted he could use the title of imperator in public till the day of his triumph at Rome, after which it would lapse along with his imperium.
Julius Caesar was the first who used the title continuously (from 58 B.C. to his death in 44 B.C.), as well domi as militiae; and his nephew Augustus took a further step when he made the term imperator a praenomen, a practice which after the time of Nero becomes regular.
But by the 2nd century the dyarchy is passing into a monarchy: the title of princeps recedes, and the title of imperator comes into prominence to designate not merely the possessor of a certain imperium, or the general of troops, but the simple monarch in the fulness of his power as head of the state.
It is one of the strongest instances furnished by history of the fascination exercised by an idea that the Italians themselves should have grown to glory in this dependence of their nation upon Caesars who had nothing but a name in common with the Roman Imperator of the past.