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King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant (while the title of queen on its own usually refers to the consort of a king).
In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contemporary indigenous peoples, the title may refer to tribal kingship. Germanic kingship is cognate with Indo-European traditions of tribal rulership (c.f. Indic rājan, Gothic reiks, and Old Irish rí, etc.)
In the context of classical antiquity, king may translate Latin rex or either Greek archon or basileus.
In classical European feudalism, the title of king as the ruler of a kingdom is understood as the highest rank in the feudal order, potentially subject, at least nominally, only to an emperor (harking back to the client kings of the Roman Empire).
In a modern context, the title may refer to the ruler of one of a number of modern monarchies (either absolute or constitutional). The title of king is used alongside other titles for monarchs, in the West prince, emperor, archduke, duke or grand duke, in the Middle East sultan or emir; etc.
^ The notion of a king being below an emperor in the feudal order, just as a duke is the rank below the king, is more theoretical than historical: the only kingdom within the Holy Roman Empire was the Kingdom of Bohemia; the Austrian Empire technically contained the kingdom of Hungary, but the emperor and the king were the same person. The modern Russian Empire and German Empire did not include any kingdoms; only the short-lived First French Empire (1804–1814/5) did include a number of client kingdoms under Napoleon I, such as the Kingdom of Italy or the Kingdom of Westphalia.
^ Pine, L.G. (1992). Titles: How the King became His Majesty. New York: Barnes & Noble. p. 86. ISBN 978-1-56619-085-5.

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