Real-life trash monster Donald Trump has gone on record saying how he'd date his daughter Ivanka if she wasn't related to him. Trump also took suggestive pictures with Ivanka when she was a teen. But he wasn't the only figure from history to have a questionable relationship with his kids...
1. Agrippina the Younger and her son, Nero: The Roman Emperor Nero ruled in the first century C.E., but his creepy legacy has survived two millennia. His mother was royal heiress Agrippina the Younger, a descendant of Mark Antony and Augustus, and she retained a ton of control over her son, especially after she married her uncle, Claudius, and tried to position her own kid as Claudius's heir. She probably poisoned her husband to get Nero on the throne!
Ancient rumors linked Nero and Agrippina sexually. They were so close that, the day he became emperor, he used the phrase "the best of mothers" as a password for his tribunes. Suetonius reports that "whenever he rode in a litter with his mother, he had incestuous relations with her, which were betrayed by the stains on his clothing." Nero also acquired a concubine that looked a lot like his mom. Tacitus gossips that Agrippina boasted about sleeping with her son to anyone who'd listen, although he adds that Nero was the one who was hot for his mom, not the other way around.
Whether or not they actually were sleeping together, though, Nero definitely sucked up to his mom...when he was trying to kill her.
2. Pretty much every pharaoh from ancient Egypt and his daughters: Everyone knows that pharaohs, both really ancient and Hellenistic, wed their sisters, but many also married their own daughters and made them consorts (note: this was the exception, not the rule, in Egypt). Scholars debate on whether the marriages, conducted to reinforce the image of the pharaoh's family as divine, a mirror of the Egyptian pantheon, were ceremonial, or were actually consummated. And the long-held "heiress theory" (that the throne could only be passed on through a royal princess, so a prince had to marry his sister) was refuted years ago.
Akhenaten, rebel pharaoh and husband of his daughters. Image via Papillus/Wikimedia Commons.
Admittedly, the assumption that father-daughter marriages weren't consummated is based on our modern taboos. There is good evidence that at least some of these unions came to fruition: Akhenaten, the "heretic pharaoh" who broke away from the established Egyptian religion to worship the Aten, wed three of his own daughters and had children by them. The mummies of the resulting children, who didn't survive, have been unearthed. One of the most famous pharaohs of all, Ramesses II, even wed his own daughter, Bintanath, and made her his Great Royal Wife (chief queen).
3. Olympias, Queen of Macedon, and her son, Alexander the Great: There's no evidence that Alexander the Great's mom had sex with her son, but she was way too over-involved in all things Alex. She helped hold down his home territories in Greece while Alexander was conquering almost every territory under the sun, even to the point that Alexander complained about his mother getting involved in public affairs.
But Olympias was pretty ruthless in keeping control of Macedon in the family. She probably murdered one of her late husband's other wives and her newborn when somebody suggested that Alexander wasn't his father Philip's legitimate heir; in order to secure the throne for her son, she may also have offed Philip himself! After Alexander's death, Olympias wanted to keep power with her son's chosen heir, the legitimate child of his wife Roxana, so she killed Alexander's other concubines and kids. She also offed Alexander's mentally challenged half-brother to keep him off the throne. What a way to keep Alex's memory alive!
Feature image via My Ancient World.