Familiarity breeds: incest and the Ptolemaic dynasty

Journal of Hellenic Studies 125:1-34 (2005)

This paper examines the problem of Ptolemaic incest from a variety of cross-disciplinary perspectives. Specifically, it seeks to establish the following: that there is little in the ancient record to support the common claim that the Ptolemies suffered extensively from the deleterious genetic effects of inbreeding; that the various theories so far put forward as explanations for Ptolemaic incest offer at best only a partial rationale for this dynastic practice; that the most compelling rationale for Ptolemaic incest is to be found in complex, and perhaps unconscious, symbolic motivations analogous to those observed by anthropologists in other cultures; and finally, that, for the Ptolemies, incest was, like the truphê for which they were so notorious, a dynastic signature which highlighted their singularity and above all, their power
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DOI 10.1017/S0075426900007084
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References found in this work BETA

Vaulting Ambition: Sociobiology and the Quest for Human Nature.Philip Kitcher & J. H. Fetzer - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (3):389-392.
Human Inbreeding Avoidance: Culture in Nature.Pierre L. van den Berghe - 1983 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 6 (1):91-102.
The History of Human Marriage.Edward Westermarck - 1892 - Philosophical Review 1 (3):338-341.
The History of Human Marriage.Edward Westermarck - 1922 - International Journal of Ethics 32 (4):446-447.

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