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Caliph

or Calif. A title given to the successors of Mahomet. Among the Saracens a caliph is one vested with supreme dignity. The caliphat of Bagdad reached its highest splendour under Haroun al Raschid, in the ninth century. For the last 200 years the appellation has been swallowed up in the titles of Shah, Sultan, Emir, and so on. (Arabic, Khalifah, a successor; khalafa, to succeed.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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