silverwhistle (silverwhistle) wrote in oltramar,
silverwhistle
silverwhistle
oltramar

MtDNA for the Montferrat siblings...

If anyone ever digs up Conrad or siblings, they should be able to do a Richard III-type MtDNA test: FSI Genetics: Molecular genetic investigations on Austria's patron saint Leopold III
The interesting element here is the analysis of Agnes of Germany: as Conrad's maternal grandmother, she is the source of his MtDNA, via her mother-line (daughter of Berta of Savoy, daughter of Adelasia of Susa, daughter of Berta degli Obertenghi of Ivrea, who d. 1037).These women's haplogroup is R0, which is more common in the Middle East, but not unknown in Italy.
Tags: conrad of montferrat, genetics, von babenbergs
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That's fascinating. Does anybody know anything about Adalbert? Because in the early 12th century being a bit dim or even slightly disabled physically (or if like Ferdinand the Bull all you wanted was just to sit quietly under a cork tree and smell the flowers), that would be enough to get you passed over for a younger more energetic brother, even if he didn't have a mother of more elevated ancestry than yours.

It does amuse me that entombing deal royals seems to be so much like putting things in the freezer. You know exactly what you're putting into the top section in the blue-lidded square Tupperware, and you're convinced you'll remember. But months later, the label has faded or fallen off and when you open the container you're amazed to find that it's not pork goulash but that batch of quince paste that refused to solidify....

It reminds me too of Rebecca West's theory about the disappearance of Diocletian's sarcophagus from his mausoleum in Split:

For about a hundred and seventy years the sarcophagus of Diocletian was visible, firmly planted in the middle of the mausoleum, described by intelligent visitors. Then it suddenly was not there any more. It is suggested that a party of revengeful Christians threw it into the sea; but that is an action comprehensible only in a smouldering minority, and Christianity had been the official religion of the Roman Empire since the time of the Emperor's death. Nor can it be supposed that the sarcophagus was destroyed by the Avar invaders, for they did not reach the coast until a couple of centuries later. Probably the occasion of its disappearance was far less dramatic.

The everyday routine of life persisted in Aspalaton, however many barbarians committed murder; in the textile factory the shuttles crossed and recrossed the loom. Without doubt it continued to be necessary that Diocletian's mausoleum should be cleaned and repaired, and one day the owner of a yard near by may have said, "Yes, you may put it down there," and watched the sarcophagus reverently, wondering that he should be the guardian of such a holy thing. It may be also that the workmen who laid it down did not come back, that there was a threat to the city from land or sea which called them and the authorities who employed them and the owner of the yard himself to the defense. Soon it might be that people would say of the sarcophagus, "I wonder when they will come and take it back"; but continued unrest might make it advisable that the treasures of the temples should be kept dispersed. Not so much later it might be that a break in a chain of family confidences, due to violent death or flight or even natural death, if it were sudden, would leave the sarcophagus unidentified and only vaguely important. Some day a woman would say of it, "I really do not know what that is. It is just something that has always been here; and it is full of old things." She spoke the truth. It was full of old things: the bones of Diocletian the man, the robes of Diocletian the Emperor, the idea of a world order imposed on the peoples by superior people, who were assumed to know because they could act. Aspalaton, the palace of the great Restorer of the Earth, had passed away. It had become Split, a city lived in by common people, who could establish order within the limits of a kitchen or a workshop or a textile factory, but had been monstrously hindered in the exercise of that capacity by the efforts of the superior people who establish world order.

I have no doubt that one day Diocletian's sarcophagus will turn up in the cellar of an old and absent-minded family of Split..

Yes: I do wonder if there may have been something 'wrong' with Adalbert – or that he simply didn't want the job.
But the possibility of a mislabelled grave is plausible. The burial vault of George, Duke of Clarence, in Tewkesbury Abbey was taken over by local worthies in the 18C, so when his putative remains were looked at in recent years, they were found to be those of a Georgian OAP.

I wonder about the porphyry sarcophagi outside the Archaeology Museum in Istanbul. They claim that one of them is Julian's. It's not clear whether there's anyone still in any of them. Schrödinger's Emperor.