Skip to main content

Incest or Adoption? Brother-Sister Marriage in Roman Egypt Revisited*

  • Sofie Remijsen (a1) and Willy Clarysse (a2)

In JRS 97 Sabine Huebner argued that the brother-sister marriages in Roman Egypt could be explained as marriages between an adopted son and a natural daughter, a widespread family strategy in the Eastern Mediterranean. Remijsen and Clarysse now return to the traditional view that Egyptians did marry their full sisters. Ancient authors considered brother-sister marriages as a peculiarity of the whole Egyptian population and, moreover, papyrological sources do not prove any connection between adoption and brother-sister marriage. Neither the household size nor the onomastic pattern in families with brother-sister marriages are consistent with the usual adoption practices of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Hide All

* We would like to thank Dorothy Thompson for correcting our English and offering invaluable comments. We also profited from suggestions by Mark Depauw and Katelijn Vandorpe.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Roman Studies
  • ISSN: 0075-4358
  • EISSN: 1753-528X
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-roman-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Related content

Powered by UNSILO