Divine Right of Kings

Of course when you watch Game of Thrones, or read the books which are widely known to have been inspired by actual medieval conflicts such as The War of the Roses, you have to wonder – why the hell would people have ever put up with this nonsense?

At least part of the reason was a doctrine called the divine right of kings. Put simply, the monarch is appointed by God, therefore to rebel against your King was to rebel against God, so unless you want to spend eternity with red hot pokers being shoved up your butthole just don’t do it, son.

It wasn’t just a Christian thing – similar ideas have existed in other cultures such as the Mandate of Heaven in China. Although at least in China if the Emperor turned out to be an asshole ‘heaven’ could withdraw the mandate and so people had the right of rebellion.

Anyway, after a few revolutions, like a little one in 1775 that I expect not many people will have heard of, although there are countries that still have monarchies I don’t think anyone really believes in their divine right anymore.

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