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The incest taboo is and has been one of the most widespread of all cultural taboos, both in present and in many past societies.

Despite the act of incest being unacceptable within the Roman Empire, Roman Emperor Caligula is rumored to have had sexual relationships with all three of his sisters (Julia Livilla, Drusilla, and Agrippina the Younger).Incestuous unions were discouraged and considered nefas (against the laws of gods and man) in ancient Rome.In AD 295 incest was explicitly forbidden by an imperial edict, which divided the concept of incestus into two categories of unequal gravity: the incestus iuris gentium, which was applied to both Romans and non-Romans in the Empire, and the incestus iuris civilis, which concerned only Roman citizens.For example, Tutankhamun married his half-sister Ankhesenamun, and was himself the child of an incestuous union between Akhenaten and an unidentified sister-wife.It is now generally accepted that sibling marriages were widespread among all classes in Egypt during the Graeco-Roman period.

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