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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's Nothing New

How about a mention of literature, seeing as how you may need something to read while waiting in line to vote today? Adrian Murdoch plugged his father's new book, Gregorius: An Incestuous Saint in Medieval Europe and Beyond, which tracks the popularity of an interesting tale ...
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The striking (and shocking) story of Gregorius, a child born of incest who later marries his mother, undertakes a massive penance, and eventually becomes both pope and saint, is a European theme. The apocryphal story probably came from medieval England or France, but is found in most European languages in all kinds of forms, from major literary works down to short folktales. In modern times the best known (but not the only) version is that by Thomas Mann, The Holy Sinner.
Murdoch linked to this site, which had more.

The story of the apocryphal pope and saint Gregorius was extremely popular throughout the middle ages and later in Europe and beyond. In a memorable narrative Gregorius is born from an incestuous relationship between a noble brother and sister, and is set out to sea with (unspecific) details of his origin. He is found and brought up by an abbot, but when revealed as a foundling leaves as a knight to seek his origins; he rescues his mother's land from attack, and marries her. 
Consanguinamory has always been a theme in legends, mythology, folk takes, and fiction because it has always been a part of reality.
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