The great world attention received by the royal marriages of England
in the last years of this planetary age were indicative of:
1. A longing for romantic glory from days of old carried by noble blood,
2. The final disintegration of a social custom known since remote antiquity.
The marriage of European noble families exclusively among nobility had
a long tradition behind it; the practice came down from the remote past.
Queen Victoria of England was related to the royal houses of Germany,
Russia, Greece, Rumania, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Belgium. The infamous
Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany was her grandson, her "Willy." Nicholas II,
Czar of all the Russia's, was her great nephew. She referred to him as
"dear Nicky." Juan Carlos, the present monarch of Spain, is her great grandson.
Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was the son of Prince Andrew
and Princess Alice of Greece; he is the great-great grandson of Victoria.
Elizabeth II is his third cousin. Queen Victoria married her first cousin,
Albert. They were the grand children of Francis Ferdinand, a famous noble
of the Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, or Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family of Germany. The
British royal family, from the time of George I in 1714 to World War I,
were known as Hanoverians; they had right by birth to German titles and
lands. Because of the great conflict between England and Germany in World
War I they changed their name to Windsor and renounced all claim of titles
or land in Germany.
This action on the part of the English royal family may have been an
attempt to save face. First they wanted to disassociate themselves from
the cruel actions of their cousin, the Kaiser. Second they could no longer
claim lands that had been disrupted and conquered by modern war. The twentieth
century broke ancient traditions; nobility no longer could claim control
of people or lands. The Czars and Kaisers passed away; the royal families
of Europe are passing away along with the present world age.
Other royal families of Europe paraded under different names but all
originated in some common ancient nobility. The Hapsburgs and Hohenzollerans,
both famous German royal lines, intermarried with the nobility of Spain,
Portugal, the Netherlands, England, Bohemia, Hungary, France and Russia.
The Bourbons of France, a branch of the older Capetian line, gave their
blood and family name to rulers of Italy, Sicily, and Spain.
The interrelationship among European nobility is like a complex web
going back through the generations. Prince Charles is descended by way
of James I from the Stuart line of Scotland, and through that link, from
the royal families of Ireland. He is also descended by way of the Tudors
and the Plantagenets from William the Conqueror and French Norman kings.
The French Normans, of course, are mixed Celtic and Teutonic blood. Through
the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Hanover branches of the family Charles is descended
from the ancient nobles of Germany.
Two important social features marked noble families. First, they claimed
title to nobility by right of birth. The lists of kings and queens of Europe
are more than mere tables of names; they are genealogies, records of descent
by blood stretching beyond historic memory. Second, in earlier times they
had right of title to all lands. Commoners worked the lands and were subject
to the will of the noble overlords. The nobles in turn had responsibility
for the welfare and care of their peasant subjects. This feudal system
is remembered by us from early medieval times but the roots date into the
As the European world converted to Christianity profound changes took place. In order to more fully appreciate these changes we must recognize the social attitudes which prevailed in prior times. The noble families did not proclaim title by law or authority; they were law and authority. Their rights were accepted without question. Commoners submitted to this overrule as a natural state. But Christianity brought the rule and
authority of the nobles into question. Jesus now became the ultimate king and all earthly rule became subject to him. Since the Church was the vehicle for expressing that earthly rule the nobles became subject to the Church. However, they did not take this imposed rule lightly. Throughout Europe a struggle ensued over the division and execution of their respective rights. The Magna Charta executed by King John and the barons at Runnymede in 1215 was an attempt to redefine the changing social roles.
During this same period commoners witnessed an increasing rise in social
status. Christianity taught the worth of the common man. He became elevated
to greater social respect. As a consequence commoners began to have increasing
influence in social developments. Merchant and craft guilds, growth in
urban centers, and increased commerce were forcing dramatic civil changes.
Feudal serfdom was being attacked; liberties were being proclaimed. The
development of middle classes, and of knighthood by proclamation for service
rather than through blood, were making inroads among the noble families.
The great intellectual, spiritual and scientific renaissance of the 14th,
15th and 16th centuries was creating daring new attitudes in social relationships.
Now the royal families did not claim title to exclusive right of rule
as they once had. An increasing social approval of aristocratic rights
was now formalized by law; it was no longer admitted solely by right of
blood inheritance. The social claim of divine right of kings was recurrently
used by royalty to combat the forces eroding their complete dominance of
society. They were no longer regarded with the awesome respect commanded
by their forefathers.
Another important element affected those ancient noble beliefs. The
Stuarts of Scotland claimed descent from the ancient kings of Ireland.
The kings of Ireland, in turn, claimed descent from the Sons of Mil, wandering
Hebrew tribes who migrated to Erie via Spain from Egypt and the eastern
Mediterranean. The Irish also believed they were descended from the magical
Tuatha de Danaan; children of the goddess Dana who came to Ireland in a
chariot through the clouds. The chieftain-kings of Saxony, Germany not
only traced their descent from those ancient nobles who fought the Roman
Caesars; they also believed they were descended directly from Wodin, the
king of the Teutonic gods. Whether Celtic or Teutonic the right of birth
came through ancient chieftains who believed they were descended from the
gods and who left records of their fabulous deeds in the folklore of the
The fundamental claim of the noble families rested in blood descent.
Their prohibitions on marriage outside nobility were intended to preserve
blood lines. Through loss of social memory the rationale behind these prohibitions
are no longer clear to us; over the many centuries we forgot why they were
different from commoners, why they wished to remain separate. The strength
of this tradition is still remembered in France where books are published
listing members of the French noble families. Anne Giscard d'Estaing, wife
of a former president, is listed among some hundred thousand other "blue"
The close intermarriage among European nobility was illustrated for
Queen Victoria, who married her first cousin. Philip II of Spain married
his blood niece, daughter of his sister Maria and Maximilian II, all from
the Hapsburg family. Other uncle-niece marriages were Philip IV of Spain
to Maria Anna, and of Leopold I, brother of Maria Anna, to Margaret Theresa.
Louis XIV of France, nephew of Philip IV, married Maria Theresa, the daughter
of Philip IV. Numerous other example of close blood marriage among European
nobility could be cited.
Close blood marriages were far more common in earlier times. Today many countries outlaw marriage among first cousins, and from uncle to blood niece. But Jews still practice such marriages on a wide scale. This is especially true for Rabbis who are restricted to marriage among Levitical families. But two different elements influenced close blood marriages. One was preservation of blood lines; the other was economic. Marriages among nobility was to preserve blood lines. Later close marriages among merchant classes were intended to hold property within family.
|THE FAMILY OF TERAH|
The fact that close family marriage comes down from the remote past
is illustrated in the Bible. Many Christians and Jews are unaware that
Abraham married his sister Sarah. More precisely, he married his half-sister;
she was the daughter of his father but not the daughter of his mother,
Gen 20:12. Such marriage is far closer than first cousins, or uncles to
nieces. Although the purpose of this consanguinity is not explained in
the Bible, the motif of the wife-sister was important to the ancient Hebrew
scribes. They recorded this event in no less than three different accounts.
Abraham's claim of Sarah as his sister is given in two places. In the
first incident of Gen 12:10-20 Abraham seeks refuge in Egypt. Fearful that
he might be killed because of the great beauty of Sarah, he tells her to
say that she is his sister. If the Pharaoh should want to marry her, he
can safely do so if she is the sister of Abraham. If she is Abraham's wife
the Pharaoh would have to kill Abraham to take possession of her. In this
version of the story there is no mention that she is, indeed, his sister.
In the incident of 20:1-18 it is Abimelech, king of Gerar, who wants Sarah
as his wife. As the episode unfolded Abraham justified his claim that Sarah
was, indeed, his sister. The strong parallels with 12:10-20 suggest the
two stories are confused. In Gen 26:6-11 the story is repeated for the
third time, here again with Abimelech, but this time the episode is with
Isaac and Rebekah. Obviously, there is confusion in the accounts,
Marriage among members of Abraham's family was not limited to Abraham and his sister Sarah. Abraham's brother Nahor married his niece Milcah, daughter of another brother Haran. Abraham's son Isaac was told that he must not take a wife from among the daughters of the Canaanites but should go to Abraham's home country and take a wife from among his kindred. Isaac married his cousin Rebekah, the granddaughter of Nahor, Gen 24. Isaac's son Jacob was also told to seek a wife among their kin. He was instructed to go to the land of Haran where Laban, his mother's brother lived, and take one of his daughters for his wife, a first cousin. Through trickery he first married Leah, the older, ugly sister, for whom he had to labor seven years. Then he had to give another seven years for the younger sister, Rachel, who was the beautiful and lovely one, Gen 28-29. Esau, Jacob's brother, married his second cousin Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael, Gen 28:9.
It is also interesting to note that in the strange affairs of Abraham's
family the daughters of Lot, the son of Haran, lay with their father to
have offspring after their mother was turned into a pillar of salt. They
feared they would find no husbands to come in to them "after the manner
of all the earth," Gen 19:30-38. They wished to carry on the family line.
The traditions of close family marriage among the Hebrew people carried down through the next five hundred years; the parents of Moses were aunt and nephew, Exod 6:20. But with the new social and religious laws those practices were expressly forbidden, Lev 18:12 and Deut 27:22.
A question now before us is the social status of Abraham and his family. Was he of noble blood? The biblical record suggests he was.
He was to be the father of a multitude of nations, Gen 17:4.
Kings were to come forth from him, Gen 17:6.
His blood had special genetic endowment. He was a red-skinned Semitic;
he was descended from Adam.
Other clues are provided of Abraham's important social status. When Chedorlaomer, the leader of a confederation of feudal kings, was on a rampage Abraham gathered together a body of men and defeated the king, Gen 14. Abraham espoused the cause of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah; he was their champion. He was not a knight on an errand like a servant; he was offering service because he was of equal status. They could not merely demand his service. The incident with Abimelech again suggests equal status. These facts attest that Abraham was more than common blood.
|EGYPTIAN ROYAL MARRIAGES|
When Abraham went to Egypt he was welcomed into the household of the
Pharaoh. He was more than a commoner, although the story leads us to believe
the hospitality was due to Sarah's great beauty, Gen 12:14.
Abraham's claim of Sarah as his sister should not have been a complete deception for the Pharaoh. The Egyptian ruler had good cause to question whether Sarah might also be Abraham's wife. The Pharaohs practiced brother-sister marriages. The builders of the great pyramids, circa 2600 BC, married their sisters. Seneferu, builder of two large pyramids, married his half-sister. His son Khufu, builder of the Great Pyramid, married
a full sister, Merytyetes. Their son Djedefre married his full sister Hetepheres II. Khafre, the builder of the second large pyramid at Giza and son of Khufu through Khufu's second wife, married his full sister, his half-sister, and his niece. This marriage between full brothers and sisters continued in the royal line with each marriage producing childrenROP. The Egyptian royal family had no reason to be surprised that Abraham might have married his sister, and good reason to suspect that he had. When Abraham and Sarah were invited into Pharaoh's residence he was admitting to their royal blood.
Click Here to review Egyptian Royal Marriages of the Fourth Dynasty.
|MACEDONIAN ROYAL MARRIAGES|
|Support for intermarriage among noble brothers and sisters is offered elsewhere. The practice was observed in later times among the royal families of Macedonia. When Alexander the Great died the lands of his empire in the Near East and Egypt were divided among his Macedonian generals. Ptolemy I, (Soter I), became king of Egypt. He married Berenice I, the grandniece of Antipater of Macedon. Their son, Ptolemy II Philadelphus, married his full sister, Arsinoe II, although Arsinoe first married Lysimachos, king of Thrace and Ptolemy II first married||
Arsinoe I, the daughter of Lysimachos. Their son Ptolemy III married Berenice II, his first cousin. Ptolemy IV married his full sister Arsinoe III, and so on, down through the royal line descended from Macedonian kings. The famous Cleopatra VII of Roman times married her full brother. After her tragic affairs with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony she committed suicideCLP.
Click Here to see chart of Macedonian Royal marriages after assuming rule in Egypt.
|The Athenian Greeks, cousins of the Macedonians, were forced by law to marry. It was a criminal act not to do so. Plato mentions that it was incumbent upon every individual to perpetuate his own name to ensure that his heritage would not be cut off. The Greeks were required to have representatives to succeed them as "ministers of the Divinity." Their laws forced them to preserve blood lines. As ministers of the Divinity they were following practices from the ancient past and descent from||some remote divine ancestor. This attempt to preserve blood lines is noted by a detail of Athenian law. A citizen was not allowed to marry with a foreign woman. Proximity of blood was held in high esteem; brothers and sisters were permitted to marry if they were not of the same mother. In Sparta Anaxandrides married his sister's daughter; his example was not unusual. The only proscription against consanguinity seemed to be in direct lineal descent, father-daughter or mother-sonDGRA,ASAG.|
|NEAR EAST MARRIAGES|
Brother-sister marriages were also observed in Persia in early Christian
times under the Sassanid rulers. These were especially favored in Avesta
and Pahlavi theological literature. Such marriages were regarded by some
religious leaders as being accompanied with a divine splendorAPIC.
The ancient Hurrians of Assyria had a fratriarchal society where the sister was under the care of the brother. He contracted for
|her marriage and such arrangement, regardless of husband, was known as wife-sister marriage. The wife became a legal sister. Similar contractual marriage obligations prevailed among the Greeks, the Persians and other people. The purpose was to ensure right of title to property. If the wife was not of the same blood family, title might be lost. This practice was a legalistic memory of early wife-sister marriages and indicates a strong tradition handed down from very ancient timesOBS|
If we take the biblical literal view that Adam and Eve were the first
man and woman their children, brothers and sisters, had to marry one another
to propagate the race. Consanguinity would have been a necessity. First
cousins, second cousins, uncle-niece and other marriages would have been
the order of the day, the only order. We thus have simple explanation for
practices that continued into historical times.
But there is another explanation. If evolutionary man was different
from Adamic man we can devise another rationale for these practices. We
have reviewed some of the evidence that speaks strongly for differences
in blood. In ancient times both nobility and commoners recognized each
other as not equal. There was a strong tradition on both sides to prevent
the lines from blending with one another. The noble wished to remain separate
from the commoner.
As I mentioned before, the problems centers around genetic quality, or superiority of genetic strain. Suppose the superior strain was intended to interbreed with evolutionary man in order to uplift him physically, intellectually and spiritually. However, one man and one woman could not have done this. If they had interbred directly with the evolutionary races their genetic potentials would have quickly diluted among the children. A certain ratio of pure blood to evolutionary blood was necessary to provide biological uplift. This could be accomplished only if a body of pureline children were sufficiently large to accomplish that purpose. If interbreeding had been done before that pool was sufficiently large it would have diluted as it spread out from the first parents. The uplift would not have produced sufficient ennobling of the races. Therefore, it was necessary for brothers and sisters or other close kin to marry one another.
Thus we arrive at an understanding of brother-sister marriage other than the biblical one. We also have an explanation for a social elite. The practices of a noble elite were intended to preserve blood lines from that ancient source. Furthermore, we can understand why such close inbreeding would not produce degeneracy. The superior genetic strain did not contain biological weaknesses. Not until the noble lines began to dilute with evolutionary races did degeneracy begin to appear with close inbreeding.
But something went wrong. Eve committed a great error. She ate the forbidden
apple. She engaged in an illicit sex act. She copulated with an evolutionary
man in an attempt to more rapidly advance the celestial plan. In the following
turmoil Adam's children spread out from the garden home. Because of their
superiority they were respected by evolutionary people. They acquired rights
to land and to rule. They became a noble class. However, as time went on
this class slowly disintegrated by interbreeding among evolutionary stock.
The pool of pure blood children was not sufficiently strong. As millennia
passed their blood became further diluted. Groups here and there preserved
themselves more purely than others. Thus the traditions among Abraham's
family, among the ancient Egyptians, among the Greeks, and so on. Abraham
was chosen to be the father of many nations because of his superior genes.
This concept also provides insight into why the Near East is the cradle of civilization. Those superior minds initiated the culture which yielded writing, mathematics, architecture and Occidental civilization. All of this evidence, when taken together, shows the hand of Adam and Eve. If they were special beings, designed to ennoble evolutionary man, we would have an explanation for many puzzles. These include:
For a full description of ancient marriage practices see: