exhorting kings to rule rather than reign <rule vs reign?>


Greece, Greek
From the wikipedia article on the High King of Ireland http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_King_of_Ireland:

"The Church was well disposed to the idea of a strong political authority. Its clerics developed the theory of a high kingship of Ireland and wrote tracts exhorting kings to rule rather than reign."

The usage above seems to suggest that "ruling" is a more micromanaging or shall we say hands-on kind of "reigning". But then again I suppose it could be understood the other way round (since a high kingship normally requires the High King to not be caught up in petty matters much as a feudal overlord would not get involved in the affairs of his fiefdoms).

Any thoughts?
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    "Hands-on reigning" sounds right, kostasdhm. If those church tracts are similar to much communication from the Church to various leaders, the Church wanted those kings to take an interest in the well-being of their subjects and their territory rather than focusing on collecting taxes and spending all the money on luxury.
    From the passage, 'rule' is connected with wielding authority. This is what a strong monarch does; not simply day-to-day stuff, but all levels. That portion of the article is about 'high kings'.

    You might note Paul's famous and often quoted remark that evildoers should live in fear of the magistrate's sword.

    Romans 13:4 - Bible Gateway

    But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer


    By inference, 'reign' would appear to be more ceremonial, like the present Queen, in the UK. The monarch is more a figurehead.
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