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Friday, 18 September 2015

Keeping It In The Family

The 'Kissin Cousins' post, and the comments posted, reminded me of something I had almost forgotten about .... which was that there was, when I thought on it, also the example from history of the 'Hapsburg lip', which we were taught about in school (back in the days when the UK taught British and European history).

This was apparently a medical condition, which accounted for all foreign wars in Europe since 1276 AD, or even longer, if memory of my teen understanding of the events serves me correctly!!

The Lips Have It ......

In reality it didn't, it just seemed that way after the teacher had finished talking about it. This was because the Hapsburgs featured in much of the empires and wars of Europe for several hundred years ..... And amongst the various Habsburg Dukes, Kings and Emperors, the most prominent case of jutting lips ( technically 'mandibular prognathism'), was Charles II of Spain, who had the prognathism in such a pronounced state that he could neither speak clearly, nor chew.

Charles II Of Spain - Last In Line

After 16 generations of inbreeding he was physically disabled, impotent, mentally retarded and disfigured .... he died senile and wracked by epileptic seizures. He had no children and no heirs (although married twice) and his line of the Hapsburg's ended with him. Needless to say another Hapsburg war ensued over the question of the 'Spanish Succession'.

Charles I of Spain and Leopold I of Austria

As discussed in the earlier posting, the more closely related a child’s parents are, the greater the odds that they will have bad genetic issues. This is becasue we inherit one copy of almost every gene from our father, and another complete set our mother. In each set, some will be defective, but chances are that a second working copy will be provided by the partner and compensate for this. But if parents are closely related, they may already share many of the same genes, and they risk of passing down an identical pair of faulty ones to their children .... this can then lead to serious genetic disorders or birth defects being passed to offspring.

This tight inbreeding in the Spanish Hapsburg's was confirmed by a researcher from the University of Santiago de Compostela, who confirmed that inbreeding caused the extinction of this dynasty. He traced the pedigree of the entire line back through 16 generations, including over 3,000 people.

This was as a direct result of generations of politically motivated inbreeding between the various houses houses of the family in Spain and Austria. Even by the limited idea of breeding and inheritance of the times, it was obvious that the Hapsburg's insistence on 'keeping it in the family' was very wrong, but such was their power, that no one dared say anything to them.

However my thoughts and sympathies lie entirely with the poor painters who had to somehow paint their portraits with enough accuracy for it to be recognisable, whilst somehow hiding the full horror of what they were looking at.

They were Ugly Sods and no mistake ......

Lets face it they were very ugly sods ..... and at least one painter just gave up trying to hide it.

2 comments:

  1. As I heard someone once say "why not judge a book by it's cover? I never picked up a book which didn't contain what it said on the outside". I can see how a family of gene paupers, thanks to their deficiencies, could be responsible for some bad decisions which had nations warring for generations. It's no wonder that there's so much contempt for the upper classes who will do anything to prevent the people's wealth find it's way back to the people, even condemn their descendants to deformity and ridicule.

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    1. Hmm .... is this comment a slight case of getting carried away with the analogy? .... 'so much contempt for the upper classes who will do anything to prevent the people's wealth find it's way back to the people, ... I thought that particular class battle had been won in principle if not completely in practise (as many Labour politicians such as Tony Blair and Diane Abbott sent their children to the private schools their party was pledged to abolish someday)

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A middle aged orange male ... So 'un' PC it's not true....