- "I conclude then this point touching upon the power of kings with this axiom of divinity, That as to dispute what God may do is blasphemy … so it is sedition to dispute what a king may do."
– King James I
- "Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government … You can’t expect to wield supreme power just ‘cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!"
– Monty Python
Strategy[edit | edit source]
The concept that a ruler has been appointed by God himself, and resisting him is sacrilege is clearly beneficial. For the ruler. But also, as it turns out, for society, because it creates stability and predictability - the two most important things for stable development. And so, when the concept of the Divine Right becomes formalized in the Middle Ages, it opens up the way to more modern types of government. The (Absolute) Monarchy is the first of them.
This important development also makes obsolete old training practices, and replaces them with new, more modern Policies.
This is a critical civic to research when playing as Byzantium, as it unlocks not only the Tagma but also the policy card that quickens its training. A strong strategy for Byzantine players is to rush straight for this civic as soon as they have finished researching Games and Recreation for the Hippodrome.
Civilopedia entry[edit | edit source]
The notion of divine right emerged as imperial law fused with global religions. The Byzantines based their right to rule on the Bible, as the 13th chapter of Romans begins: “For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment …” Additionally, Arab rulers claimed divine mandate, and Indian kings competed to be seen as the "cakkavatin" - the divine ruler.
While in other places and other times, some kings claimed to be descended from divine beings (or to be gods themselves), in early Christian Europe the notion took hold that the Merovingians held power because it was God’s will they do so, and that they were therefore blessed. Thus, when Charlemagne was crowned by the pope on Christmas Day 800 AD, it was not a conferring of authority but merely confirmation of what already existed … his divine right to rule. The ultimate root of kingly authority was spiritual (although having a big, well-trained army helped).
This philosophy (or theology) was quite popular among kings for many centuries. In 1597, for instance, James VI of Scotland penned the Basilikon Doron, a manual on the power of kings, in preparation for his ascension to the English throne, stating, “The state of monarchy is the supremest thing upon Earth, for kings are not only God’s lieutenants upon earth and sit upon God’s throne.” But by the 18th Century, rulers began to consolidate power in more secular ways, tending towards absolutism. The spread of Protestantism hurried things along, as the Catholic sanction of divine right came into question. The American and French revolutions, and Napoleon’s tossing all kinds of kings aside, deprived the doctrine of its last shreds of credibility.
|Civilization VI Civics |
|* Future Civic is an Information Era civic until the Gathering Storm expansion.|