One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A civic magistrate or governor in some cities of the eastern part of the Roman Empire, such as Thessalonica.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in William Conybeare (1815–1857), Church of England clergyman and author. From Hellenistic Greek πολιτάρχης civic magistrate (Acts 17:6) from ancient Greek πολίτης citizen + -αρχης.
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