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In Germanic antiquity, kingship was primarily a sacral function, and the king was either directly hereditary for some tribes, while for others he was elected from among eligible members of royal families by the thing.
elected monarchies only pedigrees are taken into account for eligibility of the next ruler, whereas many hereditary monarchies impose requirements regarding the religion, age, gender, mental capacity, etc.
Occasionally this might create a situation of rival claimants whose legitimacy is subject to effective election.
From earliest historical times, with the Egyptian and Mesopotamian monarchs, as well as in reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion, the king holds sacral function directly connected to sacrifice, or is considered by their people to have divine ancestry.
The role of the Roman emperor as the protector of Christianity was conflated with the sacral aspects held by the Germanic kings to create the notion of "Divine right of kings" in the Christian Middle Ages.