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And / and /root are directories, of course. You didn't specify
which one you meant.
They can be both directories and fs's. You will hear a lot of times about the root fs, which can be used to refer to both of them, though the most correct interpretation would be to talk about the root fs when you mean /, and the root dir when you mean /root, I guess, even if /root can be a separate fs itself.
And there's no directory called init on any of the linux machines
I've had access to so far ...
Generically speaking, "root" refers to user-id #0, which is traditionally an "all-powerful" user. Processes running with this effective user-id are also "all-powerful."
In actual "hardened" Linux implementations, usually no processes actually have "all" powers, but those processes which have extraordinary powers are still referred-to as being "rootly."
"init," on the other hand, is a process that is manually constructed during the kernel-initialization sequence. It then becomes the first process that runs, and which is responsible for starting all the others. Also, when a process is "orphaned" by its parent, init is the process that reaps the orphan when it finally dies.
The "init" process is not allowed to die. If it does, for any reason at all, the kernel will panic with a rather poorly-worded message ... "attempted to kill init."