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From the Ancient Greek τοπάρχης (topárkhēs, ruler of a small district), from τόπος (tópos, place) +‎ -αρχης (-arkhēs, ruler). Compare the Latin toparcha and French toparque.



toparch (plural toparchs)

  1. The ruler or prince of a small district, city, or petty state; a pettyking”.
    • 1640, Thomas Fuller, Ioseph’s Partie-Colored Coat, page 11:
      By those many Kings mentioned in the old Testament, thirty and one in the little land of Canaan,…is meant onely Toparchs, not great Kings, but Lords of a little Dition, and Dominion.
    • 1646, Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, book VII, chapter viii, page 353:
      Toparks, Kings of Cities or narrow territories, such as were the Kings of Sodome and Gomorrah, the Kings of Jericho and Ai.
    • 1655, Thomas Fuller, The Church-History of Britain; From the Birth of Jesus Christ, Untill the Year M. DC. XLVIII (1662), book I, 6ª Century, pages 116–117:
      About the same time…flourished Cadocus, abbot of Llancarvan in Glamorganshire, son of the prince and toparch of that country.
    • 1737, William Whiston (translator), Flavius Josephus (author), Antiquities of the Jews, book XI, chapter iii, § 2:
      The toparchs of India and Ethiopia.
    • 1852, Charlotte Mary Yonge, Cameos from English History (1877), volume I, chapter xxii, page 162:
      The top-arch, Turlogh O’Connor, was the friend of O’Rourke.

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  • NED X, part i (Ti–U; 1st ed., 1926), § 1 (Ti–Tz), page 149/1, “Toparch