Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

7 Too Close for Comfort? A Critical View of an Ancient Legacy

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

Cousin marriage derives from a culture of incest. Our understanding of Samaritan (and generally Middle Eastern) cousin marriage will be more complete when one turns to a generic rather than a relativist view of incest, and to the toleration of incest instead of its taboo. This perspective makes us realize the historical depth of close marriage in general as well as, in particular, its durability and plasticity in the face of all its weaknesses and complications, which will be the subject of this chapter. The most extreme known example of general close-kin marriage is represented by the so-called khwetodah marriages of Imperial Persia. In the Sassanian Period at the latest, when Zoroastrianism became the state religion and exerted a powerful influence on civil law, the khwetodah became a binding value that was practiced throughout the entire population, to be stopped only some time after the Islamic conquest.

Keywords: close-kin marriage; Samaritan family; Sassanian Period



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    The Comfort of Kin — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation