Inbreeding: Downfall of a DynastyBreaking News
The termination of that royal lineage may be the result of frequent inbreeding of the line, which may have left Charles II ill and infertile, a new study suggests.
The House of Habsburg was one of the major royal houses of Europe for many centuries. The Habsburgs ruled over Austria for more than six centuries, eventually coming to rule (through marriages) over Bohemia, Hungary and Spain.
But, historical data show that "in order to keep their heritage in their own hands, the Spanish Habsburgs began to intermarry more and more frequently among themselves," the authors of the new study wrote.
Records show that the Spanish Habsburg kings frequently engaged in consanguineous marriage (or marriage between biological relatives); nine of the 11 marriages that occurred over the dynasty's 200-year reign were consanguineous, with two uncle-niece marriages and one first-cousin marriage.
Gonzalo Alvarez and his colleagues at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain calculated what is called the inbreeding coefficient for each individual across 16 generations of the Habsburgs, using genealogical information for Charles II and 3,000 of his relatives and ancestors. The inbreeding coefficient indicates the likelihood that an individual would receive two identical genes at a given position on a chromosome because of the relatedness of their parents.
comments powered by Disqus
- A New Target for Old Spies: Congress
- Antigua and Barbuda Asks Harvard University for Slavery Reparations
- Historian: Nixon DID contest the 1960 election
- Killer took selfie after stabbing historian over rare ‘Wind in the Willows’ book
- VW fires corporate historian who drew attention to wartime ties to Nazis
- British historian Sheila Lecoeur is on trial for defamation
- Jim Downs laments that Americans still aren’t being taught LGBT history
- Historian Jeremy Kuzmarov calls on Obama to pardon Ethel Rosenberg
- Garry Wills says there’s one human test we can use to decide who’s the better candidate: Trump or Clinton
- Get to Know the Semifinalists for the National Book Award