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Surprising Facts about Incest

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Graeco-Roman period

One of the famous relationships of Egyptians was the marriage of Cleopatra VII and her younger brother, Ptolemy XIII. Their parents, Cleopatra V and Ptolemy XII, were also brother and sister. Sibling marriage had been an old tradition among all the rulers of Ptolemaic dynasty starting from Ptolemy IV and was done in order to keep the Ptolemaic blood “pure” and “to strengthen the line of succession.” The ancient Egyptians believed that royal women carried bloodlines and so the ruler marrying a sister of half-sister was thought to be advantageous. Apart from the royalty, there are also accounts of several of the Egyptian pharaohs marrying their siblings and having children with them.

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