Wednesday, April 15, 2009

el hechizado (she's my daughter... she's my sister...)






















We sort of knew this, didn't we? I mean, look at the dude
.

An article in the Independent completes the following exchange:

"Carlos II, el Hechizado (1661-1700) was so inbred..."

"How inbred was he?"

The answer to that question, according to the article, is that he "was the offspring of a marriage that was almost as genetically inbred as an incestuous relationship between a brother and sister or parent and child."

That can lead to something really nasty such as, say, the War of Spanish Succession. Those wacky Hapsburgs -- keeping it all in the family.

Of course, there were hints of problems with our poor "bewitched" chin-rich monarch:

Charles II not only suffered an extreme version of the Hapsburg lip, his tongue was said to be so big for his mouth that he had difficulty speaking and drooled. He also suffered from an oversized head, intestinal upsets, convulsions and, according to his first wife, premature ejaculation.

"He was unable to speak until the age of four, and could not walk until the age of eight. He was short, weak and quite lean and thin. He was described as a person showing very little interest in his surroundings," Professor Alvarez said. "He looked like an old person when he was 30 years old, suffering edemas [swellings] on his feet, legs, abdomen and face. During the last years of his life he could barely stand up and suffered from hallucinations and convulsive episodes," he said.

Yeah. Sometimes when you marry, you should make the effort to go out of the immediate family.

(h/t: Adrian Murdoch).

11 comments:

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

Charles II not only suffered an extreme version of the Hapsburg lip, his tongue was said to be so big for his mouth that he had difficulty speaking and drooled. He also suffered from an oversized head, intestinal upsets, convulsions and, according to his first wife, premature ejaculation.She found that last item to be upsetting, in light of everything else? What did his second wife say?

Fetching fellow... You know, he doesn't look all that different from Real Madrid's right back Sergio Ramos. Is it true that the Castillian "lisp" goes back to old Carlos?

As bad as the Hapsburgs may have been inbred, Carlos was probably in better shape than Tutankhamon. The Egyptian pharaohs and their dynasties? Now that was inbreeding.

Liam said...

Yes, but Ramos at least can play soccer.

I think there's a couple of stories like that to describe the supposed Castilian "lisp" (how come no one says the English "th" sound is a lisp?), and from what I know, they're all apocryphal. It's just the way the language developed.

I see what you're saying about the Pharaohs, but hey... Nefertiti was HOT...

crystal said...

He also suffered from .... according to his first wife, premature ejaculationOuch - is nothing kept private? Have to disagree with Jeff, though, on the importance of this, er, disability :)

I guess all royalty was kind of inbead? I think I read once that at one point almost all the crowns of Europe were in some way related to Queen Victoria. At least Cleopatra shared her genetic makeup with others besides her brother.

Jeff said...

Have to disagree with Jeff, though, on the importance of this, er, disability :)I see your point, but I figured with the drooling, convulsions, edemas and everything else, she'd probably be just as glad to have it over with as soon as possible.

Jack said...

Liam,

I know I am off-topic, but is anyone going to comment on the Bush torture policy and action. Is there not at least ONE catholic bishop or blogger who cares. I thought torture was an "intrinsic" evil. But I guess we just overlook it because Bush was "pro-life". Jack

Liam said...

Jack, tons of Catholic bloggers have been writing about it. Check commonweal.com and Andrew Sullivan to start with. And please stop beating the same tired old drum on this blog.

cowboyangel said...

I'm guessing that the theory behind royal inbreeding was to keep the great and God-blessed genetic package in place for future generations?

If that's true, why would they continue to do so after seeing the effects on someone like Carlos II?

Was there another reason for the inbreeding? It went against spiritual injunctions, so it must have been for something very important, no?

Liam said...

I'm not sure exactly if there was a specific theory a la egyptienne. The reason that royal marriages were a political match and you married someone whose level was high enough so that your marriage would reflect positively on them and vice-versa. For kings, this left a very reduced pool of people and over time, most of them would be cousins.

Earlier periods weren't as bad. Alfonso VI married five or six times (he kept outliving his wives), and many of his wives came from outside Spain and from aristocratic, though not royal blood. Urraca's first husband was from Burgundy, not related to her, and although from the high nobility, not a royal. Her second husband, Alfonso I of Aragon, was both royal and related to her in a canonically prohibited degree (causing a lot of problems with certain bishops). Her marriage was something of an emergency situation, arranged by a dying father worried about the defense of the realm, and didn't last long in the end. Also, they were far enough apart to be legally married in our country today -- her great-grandfather was his grandfather so they were what? Third cousins once removed?

BunBun4life said...

Then you should know, that the majority of people living in Pakistan are more genetically inbred than the offspring of a brother and sister relationship of a European family.

Complete strangers in Pakistan can be more closely related THAN THAT. Over 65% of ALL marriages are consanguineous. First cousin or uncle/niece marriages of people whose parents and grandparents are ALSO first cousins.

ALSO, FYI, the last descendants of the hapsberg family were so messed up they were sterile, causing the family line to end.

BunBun4life said...

Also at Liam,

English TH sound IS a lisp, if you are trying to pronounce an 'S' or 'sh' sound and it comes out like TH.

As in Thufferin Thuccatath.