Difference between Rijk and Keizerrijk

Dalieux

Member
Portuguese - Brazil
According to wikipedia,
Holy Roman Empire is equivalent to Heilige Roomse Rijk,
and Roman Empire is equivalent to Romeinse Keizerrijk.

Are Rijk and Keizerrijk supposed to be synonyms? Or do each of them carry its own slight nuance to the original latin term Imperium?
I reckon german also features two words for each institution, Reich and Kaiserzeit, so one could assume germanic cultures make a distinction between the two concepts. Correct or just utter nonsense?

Also, why is one Roomse and the other Romeinse? As far as I could tell, the latter is the general word one would use for most scenarios except when referring to the HRE itself. Any linguistical/cultural/etymological reason whatsoever behind it, or is it that you just so happen to use Roomse for no reason other than outright tradition?

Clarifications will be greatly appreciated.
 
  • Peterdg

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    Are Rijk and Keizerrijk supposed to be synonyms?
    No!
    "Rijk" is "state". "Keizerrijk" is a state ruled by a "keizer" (an emperor).
    Also, why is one Roomse and the other Romeinse?
    "Rooms(e)" is referring to a religion (Catholisicm, because the pope's residency is in Rome). "Romeins(e)" is referring to something from Rome.
     
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    Dalieux

    Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Interesting, so dutch adds a catholic conotation into the name of the HRE which is not present even in german.

    Etymologycally speaking, though, I still wonder why they are different, since both obviously come from the same root Roma.

    Maybe Room or Rooms is a more archaic dutch word originally used to simply refer to the city of Rome? I don't know.
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    Peterdg is entirely correct all the way, short and concise. I regret having to be a bit more wordy.
    I don't think Dutch adds anything.
    Rooms = rooms -katholiek <Roomser dan de Paus>.
    Romeins= van de Romeinen, van het Romeinse Rijk. (allicht ook: 'van Rome)
    Those are two different adjectives for different things.
    In English, Roman has both meanings, it's the same word.
    • 1 Relating to ancient Rome or its empire or people.
      ‘a site rich in finds from Bronze Age and Roman settlements’
      More example sentences

      1. 1.1Relating to medieval or modern Rome.

        ‘the Roman and Pisan lines of popes’
        2 short for Roman Catholic (dated)
      [*][*][*][*][*][*][*]
      1. Roman Catholic | Definition of Roman Catholic by Lexico
        German: Heiliges Römisches Reich (Deutscher Nation)
        In German, Römisch means only 'zu Rom'. So I think it's the 'Heiliges' that clearly introduces the Roman Catholic connotation. I must say I always found it funny to call a nation (Reich, Rijk, Empire) 'Heilig'. Sounds very pretentious, preposterous, pompous. But OK, , then Kings and Emperors were always the representatives of the power of God on earth, power passed on them and confirmed by the Roman Pope. (sorry for the 'digression').
     
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    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    "Het rijk" can mean the state, but only in the Nederlands, as in Rijkswaterstaat. We did have the rijkswacht (empire/state guard), some kind of military police, but no longer. I think "rijk" is more like the territory, the domain, but governed by some ruler, mainly a king or an emperor. In fact that is the underlying meaning of "gebied": the area where a someone is in charge, can gebieden (to order, to rule perhaps) - and verbieden... Rijk refers to the root reg-, which we find in regel(s), maha-radja/ rex, etc.

    ONe other difference: we will never use "keizerrijk" in a figurative sense, but we do use "rijk" in that way. "Het rijk (voor zich) alleen hebben" bijvoorbeeld... Ironisch kunnen we ook zeggen: "in zijn/ haar rijk"...
     
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    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    The first question was about the difference between Rijk (R capital) and Keizerrijk.
    I reckon german also features two words for each institution, Reich and Kaiserzeit, so one could assume germanic cultures make a distinction between the two concepts. Correct or just utter nonsense?
    Reich is totally Rijk.
    Kaizerseit? That can't be the name of a Keizerrrijk. Kaiserzeit means <Zeit, Ära, in der ein Kaiser bzw. eine Kaiserin regiert>
    Keizerrijk: that's "Kaiserreich"
     

    bamia

    Member
    Dutch
    The Roman identity/nature of the empire you're referring to is disputed. Italian etnonationalism became an important ideology during the Renaissance and as a consequence the Holy Roman Empire was often considered an entity that wasn't italianate or Roman. Its ruling caste was culturally cosmopolitan and heavily influenced by Roman, Greek and Arab culture, but of German origin. That was enough for Petrarca and other Italian nationalists to consider its members to be German and thus completely foreign. However, the empire and its ruling class were still considered Roman Catholic.

    Interesting, so dutch adds a catholic conotation into the name of the HRE which is not present even in german.

    Etymologycally speaking, though, I still wonder why they are different, since both obviously come from the same root Roma.

    Maybe Room or Rooms is a more archaic dutch word originally used to simply refer to the city of Rome? I don't know.
    Rooms refers to Roman Catholicism, Romeins refers to (usually ancient) Rome.
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    Etymologycally speaking, though, I still wonder why they are different, since both obviously come from the same root Roma.
    Logical: Because they came to design and mean different things.
    Perhaps you prefer the ambiguous English Roman that means the two or the unequivocal German Römisch, that only means 'Romeins'?

    Maybe Room or Rooms is a more archaic dutch word originally used to simply refer to the city of Rome? I don't know.
    M. Philippa, F. Debrabandere, A. Quak, T. Schoonheim en N. van der Sijs (2003-2009) Etymologisch Woordenboek van het Nederlands, 4 delen, Amsterdam
    rooms
    bn. ‘behorend tot de Kerk van Rome, betreffende het rooms-katholieke geloof’
    Onl. romisk ‘Romeins, betreffende Rome’ in beuangen Von them romis[c]he here ‘gevangen door het Romeinse leger’ [1151-1200; Reimbibel]; mnl. Dat romsce herre ‘het Romeinse leger’ [1285; VMNW], Roomsch ‘betreffende het rooms-katholieke geloof’ in toten here der Roomscher kerke, ... paues Gregorius ‘tot het hoofd van de roomse kerk, paus Gregorius’ [1300-50; MNW-R]; vnnl. d'oude, Catholijcke, Roomsche Religie [1578; iWNT]; nnl. alle Roomsch Catholique Ingezetenen deeser Landen [1702; iWNT Roomsch-Katholiek].
    Afleiding met bijvoeglijke → -s van de naam van de stad Rome, de hoofdstad van het Romeinse Rijk en later de zetel van de leiding van de rooms-katholieke kerk.
    In de christelijke betekenis is het woord min of meer synoniem met → katholiek. Daarnaast bestaat de ondubbelzinnige koppeling rooms-katholiek, die vanaf de 18e eeuw voorkomt.
    'Romeins' came a few years first.
    It's not archaic now, because it's of daily use for 'popish/Catholic' Almost all Dutch and Flemish know the word...

    Gangbaarheid

    95 %van de Nederlanders;
    86 %van de Vlamingen.
    Source: Wiktionary
     
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    Dalieux

    Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Fascinating answers, guys!

    "Het rijk" can mean the state, but only in the Nederlands, as in Rijkswaterstaat. We did have the rijkswacht (empire/state guard), some kind of military police, but no longer. I think "rijk" is more like the territory, the domain, but governed by some ruler, mainly a king or an emperor. In fact that is the underlying meaning of "gebied": the area where a someone is in charge, can gebieden (to order, to rule perhaps) - and verbieden... Rijk refers to the root reg-, which we find in regel(s), maha-radja/ rex, etc.
    I think the english word Realm kind of fits your description for Rijk. what do you think?

    ONe other difference: we will never use "keizerrijk" in a figurative sense, but we do use "rijk" in that way. "Het rijk (voor zich) alleen hebben" bijvoorbeeld... Ironisch kunnen we ook zeggen: "in zijn/ haar rijk"...
    I don't understand what you meant here. could you develop a little more?

    Reich is totally Rijk.
    Kaizerseit? That can't be the name of a Keizerrrijk. Kaiserzeit means <Zeit, Ära, in der ein Kaiser bzw. eine Kaiserin regiert>
    Keizerrijk: that's "Kaiserreich"
    I got the word Kaiserzeit from first looking up "Roman Empire" on wikipedia, and then changing the language to german. The title of the article is Römische Kaiserzeit, so I assume that's how it's called in Germany. I do agree that Kaiserreich is the more 1:1 equivalent to Keizerrijk, but I don't know why german uses the other one since I don't know german.

    Perhaps you prefer the ambiguous English Roman that means the two or the unequivocal German Römisch, that only means 'Romeins'?
    I actually like the distinct words in dutch, I find them richer in meaning. Roman and Römische, even though they could be used both in the context of the political body and the religious entity, standing by themselves they don't clearly indicate either. Romeins(e) and Rooms(e), on the other hand, seem more clear and unambiguous in this respect.

    'Romeins' came a few years first.
    It's not archaic now, because it's of daily use for 'popish/Catholic' Almost all Dutch and Flemish know the word...
    Thank you very much for referring to this book, I love this kind of content (historical development of words, languages and filology in general)

    I absolutely agree with you that Roomse is not archaic, but rather in current use. I think I meant something else, that one might have originated before the other. But yeah, both are equally modern.

    But by the snippet you have shared it doesn't seem like romeinse necessarily came first. The word written in old dutch in the 12th century Reimbibel was the adjective romisk (inflected to romische in singular nominative and romis[c]he in singular dative).

    I'd have to research further on this topic, but from a quick look into this source I'd imagine that latin Roma -> old dutch Roma -> old dutch adjective Romisk (roma + isk suffix) -> old dutch inflected adjective romisch(e) -> middle dutch adjective roomsch(e) -> early modern dutch adjective rooms(e).

    While the other word took a different path, going from latin Roma -> old dutch Roma -> middle dutch Rome -> inflected romeinsch -> modern dutch romeins(e).

    At some point in the history of middle dutch, roomsch(e) might have gotten too closely associated with the Catholic Church, and that may be why another term was developed to describe purely the place. Of course, I'm not asserting all this, I'm no linguist. I'm just conjecturing, so it's probably riddled with faults.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Realm: yes, indeed, though that is generally very abstract, isn't it? But yes, that is, I think, what we could call the figurative sense of "rijk".

    "In het rijk van" someone: where that person determines all the rules, tyranically perhaps…
    "Het rijk (voor zich) alleen hebben: have all the freedom…

    Will that do?

    I think "Rooms" very often just means "Roman Catholic" (rooms-katholiek). I think "rooms'" is mainly an abbrevation of some kind...
     
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