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Definition of TETRARCH
: a governor of the fourth part of a province
: a subordinate prince
— te·trar·chic\te-ˈträr-kik, tē-\adjective
Origin of TETRARCH
Middle English, from Latin tetrarcha, from Greek tetrarchēs, from tetra- + -archēs -arch
First Known Use: 12th century
In Greco-Roman antiquity, the ruler of a principality, originally the ruler of one-quarter of a region or province. The first tetrarchs ruled the four tetrarchies of Thessaly under Philip II of Macedonia. Tetrarchs ruled in Galatia (in Asia Minor) before the Roman conquest (169 BC) and still later in Hellenized Syria and Palestine, where the title denoted the semi-independent ruler of a divided kingdom or minor district. Herod the Great's realm after his death (4 BC) was ruled by his three sons, two of whom were called tetrarchs.