You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver
- Apr 3, 2020
Maybe.I've read the claim that the rate decreased in light of the Catholic Church discouraging the practice.
The late Roman Empire set rules on cosanguinity as four degrees minimum (i.e. just beyond first cousins). After the empire, the civil law of many medieval states was more relaxed about consanguinity, and many European states remain at three degrees even now.
The Catholic Church kept with the Roman model, however, even eventually extending it to seven degrees. However, this was both completely impractical, and also a money-making scam (as the Church could gouge the nobility by letting them buy an exemption to four). Eventually they were forced to return to four.