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It is a well known fact that in ancient Egypt, it was not unknown for a Pharaoh to marry his own sister.

As such, I have 2 questions (about pre-Alexander/Ptolemaic times):

  1. How common/uncommon was such a marriage for Pharaohs?

  2. Was the same lax attitude extended to non-Pharaohs, especially "normal" people? Or were they prohibited from sibling marriage like a vast majority of other societies, not being "gods"?

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According to Wikipedia, incest was practised by all classes in ancient Egypt: "It is generally accepted that sibling marriages were widespread among all classes in Egypt during the Graeco-Roman period. Numerous papyri and the Roman census declarations attest to many husbands and wives being brother and sister." –  Yannis Rizos Dec 16 '12 at 4:29
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@YannisRizos - just to clarify, the question specifically pertains to before Graeco-Roman period. –  DVK Dec 16 '12 at 8:37
    
I kinda thought only your first question (the Pharaos one) was specific to before the Graeco-Roman period. In any case, I don't really have a good answer to this, the comment was more of a general pointer. –  Yannis Rizos Dec 16 '12 at 8:42

1 Answer 1

It is generally accepted that sibling marriages were widespread among all classes in Egypt during the Graeco-Roman period. Numerous papyri and the Roman census declarations attest to many husbands and wives being brother and sister.

-wiki

Here is a large article on the subject of incest in ancient Egypt. It seems, that in the Old Kingdom it was not in practice, and during Middle Kingdom it was very rare. But we have no knowledge about limitations during this period.

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