Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Inbreeding of Charles II of Spain

Here is a chart (click to enlarge) which shows the inbreeding among the Habsburgs which made Charles II mentally and physically disabled. (Via Tiny-Librarian.) To quote:
Dating to approximately the year 1550, outbreeding in Charles II’s lineage had ceased. From then on, all his ancestors were in one way or another descendants of Joanna the Mad and Philip I of Castile, and among these just the royal houses of Spain, Austria and Bavaria. Charles II’s genome was actually more homozygous than that of [a] child whose parents are siblings. He was born physically and mentally disabled, and disfigured. Possibly through affliction with mandibular prognathism, he was unable to chew. His tongue was so large that his speech could barely be understood, and he frequently drooled.  Charles II is known in Spanish history as El Hechizado (“The Hexed”) from the popular belief—to which Charles himself subscribed—that his physical and mental disabilities were caused by sorcery.
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Sassy Countess said...

All I can say is WOW. I needed this.

Clare Krishan said...

Whenever I read of power structures tempted to concede to worldly means to attain godly ends ( I call to mind JPII's play Radiation of Fatherhood, wherein he reminds us of the folly of man's isolation, trapped in his own ideologies. Sadly, the Church in Spain (and the Pope in Rome) must have fallen victim to the same temptation for Canon law proscribed incest to the 7th degree (thank St Thomas Aquinas & the gifts of the Holy Spirit CAUTION a confessed atheist 'eugenically-minded' blogger, absolutely no endorsement for her radical reductionist-deterministic worldview implied, only her acknowledgement of the Church's wisdowm in these manners) whatever possessed them to agree to these sort of tribal arrangements so soon after ridding the Iberian Peninsula of Islam and its cousin marriages?

And we should be aware this is not an historical anomaly: traditional FBD-marriages result in similar ill-health in those cultures that practice it (in China, clans favor MDB conjugations). It would appear Christianity was the first religion to correct for this fatal human fault of nepotism. But we moderns never learn do we? ... surrogacy and IVF are busy creating generations of anonymous inter-related children:
H/T Wesley Smith at

elena maria vidal said...

You are so right, Clare. Thank you for the resources.