Origin of the name CAESAR.
Etymology of the
Meaning of the baby name CAESAR.
CÆSAR.Biblical. [Latin, probably from Caesaries =
"a head of hair." N.T. Greek Kaisar]. Some render it "shaggy-haired."
In Julius Cæsar
the curious combination of two names, both significant of hair,
the one shaggy and the other soft, is the more striking, as the
appellation of one who, as his medals and busts have sufficiently made
known, was bald... (What Is Your Name?, Moody, 1863)
CÆSAR. The family
name of a branch of the Julian house or clan in Rome. Though it is
traceable from B.C. 501, it did not gain extensive celebrity till it was
borne by Caius Julius Cæsar, who ranks with Alexander the Great and
Napoleon as one of the three most remarkable conquerors the civilised
world has produced. On the assassination of Julius Cæsar,
B.C. 44, his will requested his grand-nephew Augustus, to assume the
name of Cæsar. Tiberius, who succeeded Augustus, and
Caligula, Claudius, and Nero, who followed in succession, were all
entitled by relationship to the great dictator to bear the family name;
the seven succeeding emperors—Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian,
Titus, Domitian, and Nerva—assumed it, so that it is customary to
speak of the twelve Cæsars. From having been the name of one
mighty conqueror and then of a series of emperors, the name Cæsar
became the type or symbol of the civil power in general, and it is
continually used in this sense in discussions as to the relative domains
of civil and ecclesiastical rulers (cf. Matt. xxii. 17, 21; Mark xii.
14, 16, 17; Luke xx. 22, 24, 25).
The name Cæsar is applied in the New Testament
(1) The first Roman emperor, Augustus Cæsar [Cæsar
(Luke ii. 1).
(2) The second Roman emperor, Tiberius Cæsar
(q.v.) (Matt. xxii. 17; Mark xii. 14; Luke iii. 1; xx. 21, 22; John xix.
(3) The fourth Roman emperor, Claudius
(q.v.) (Acts xvii. 7 [?]).
(4) The fifth Roman emperor, Nero (Acts xxv. 12, 21;
xxvi. 32; Phil. iv. 22). His predecessor, Claudius, had been
married to a woman—Messalina—who ultimately proved a shameless
profligate. She had borne him a son named Britannicus, and a
daughter called Octavia. When she was put to death, he married
next his niece Agrippina, a widow with a son called Lucius Domitius.
The first ambition of this new profligate was to get her son married to
Octavia, and appointed successor to the empire. She was
successful, Lucius being adopted by the emperor under the changed name
of Nero. Then, after a time, Claudius was poisoned, and Nero in
A.D. 54 became emperor of Rome, any rivalry from Britannicus being soon
terminated by his assassination. Nero was a monster of lust and
cruelty, though, perhaps, his crimes have been exaggerated. In the
tenth year of his reign, A.D. 64, a great fire broke out at Rome, in
large measure destroying three of the fourteen districts into which the
city was divided. The emperor was believed, apparently on
insufficient evidence, to have been himself the incendiary, and was in
consequence in danger of his life. To screen himself, he falsely
accused the Christians of having caused the fire, and put many of them
to cruel deaths, tradition adding that both Paul and Peter were among
the sufferers. Nero is the "lion" of 2 Tim. iv.
17. Finding that he was deserted by his troops, and that he would
soon be put to death, he anticipated his fate. Like Saul, he
attempted suicide, and, failing, induced one of his supporters to
complete the act of slaughter. He died A.D. 68, in the
thirty-second year of his age and the fourteenth of his reign. (The
Sunday School Teacher's Bible Manual, Hunter, 1894)