Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A Short History Of Sibling Rivalry

Let's have a quick look back at the history of sibling rivalry by reviewing some of the most tempestuous sibling arguments.


Romulus and Remus were the mythical brothers who founded Rome. They were twins, so if it helps picture Danny DeVito as Romulus and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Remus. 

Romulus is standing on a box in this picture
Romulus and Remus

The pair were discussing how they should arrange the aqueduct, roads, irrigation, medicine, education, wine, baths, order and peace. The topic then came up of what to call the city, Remus wanted it to be called "Wolfland" for their adoptive lupine mother, but Romulus being more narcissistic declared it should be called "Romulus' Outdoor Market and Entertainatorium!", later abbreviated to "Rome". 

As they couldn't agree what to call it they played rock, paper, scissors. Remus' rock crushed Romulus' scissors but then Romulus got into a mood complaining that game didn't count because paper wouldn't be invented for another 850 years. In a fit of rage Romulus picked up his shovel screaming about how it can break rocks and hit Remus in the head knocking him into an early grave. And the city of Romulus' Outdoor Market and Entertainatorium! was born. 


On the 17th of December 1903, the Wright's made their first powered flight. 

The first flight

As it was so close to Christmas the pair decided to exchange gifts first. The conversation went as follows.

Wilbur: Hey Orvy before we start I'd like to give you this. Merry Christmas
Orville: Thanks Wil, Oh wow a sculpture of the two of us, with wings! I love it, I love it so much 
W: I've, er, been working on it at night for three months. So, um, what did you get me?  
O: Well I thought us working on the plane was a big gift to each other, so...  
W: We, we never said that. Orville you pulled this last year as well! You owe two Christmas presents now 
O: We've been really busy, how could I have had enough time to... You're right, I've been being selfish 
W: Yeah, you have 
O: Well it's not Christmas yet. I've still got time 
W: Okay 
O: And I'll tell you what, you can have the first go in the plane.  
O: Feeling better? 
W: a bit.
Despite Orville's attempts Wilbur was still a bit upset and the whole day felt awkward.


The only evidence of the tension between Branwell and his sisters was from this painting he did of all of them in 1834. Because of rift between him and his sisters he later felt the need to paint himself out of it but here Branwells image has been restored. 

This image has been altered.
Anne, Emily, Branwell and Charlotte


Napoleon had a sister named Pauline, who was something of a tearaway. In 1806 Napoleon made her duchess and princess of the town Guastalla. While she enjoyed being a princess she didn't like the responsibility of being a duchess so she sold the duchy for 6000000 francs. (That was worth the equivilent of loads more in modern money. I'd have probably done the same thing.) 
Napoleon stopped giving her nice presents after that. 

When Napoleon got exiled Pauline sold everything she had to go look after him, so I guess they worked things out in the end.

Speaking of Napoleon...


Auguste and Louis were pioneers of cinema in the 1890s. Their sixth movie Les Forgerons originally had the title Crapoleon (which was an incredible offensive french swear word at the time though it has since disappeared from common use.) Crapoleon featured two blacksmiths hammering an anvil then getting drunk, satirizing Napoleons leadership and public profile. The brothers clashed over whether to use the swear word in the films title, a clash which ended in a brawl. 

In the end censorship won and Crapoleon was renamed to avoid controversy and the films satirical plot was lost. 

The 47 second film can be viewed here

I suppose the point of all this is don't fight with your sibling. It's rarely worth it. 

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