The author tries to define social and cultural conditions for the formation of the basic idea of the rule of law concept, which is a limitation of the royal power by the law. He says that this basic idea arose in England and Scandinavian kingdoms because here the two main factors weakening the royal power met: a tension between a secular authority and the church and an outliving tradition of a military democracy in which a relation between a prince (a military leader) and his warriors was conditional and contractual. On the contrary, a Roman idea of an unrestricted authority of emperors was weak in these lands. A development of legal and philosophical thinking helped to describe such a situation also from a theoretical point of view. An original struggle between nobility and commons defending legal restriction of royal authority and – on the opposite side - monarchs stressing their own sovereignty and superiority over law continues also today – in a discussion on mutual relations between the State and citizens.